All of us need new, new challenges, new adventures, new ways to bring energy into our lives. Since starting my life as a runner in 2003, I have had a number of wonderful finishes, and tons of quiet, painful moments in training. The dawn of 2011 has me looking for a new way for me to bring the joy of running into the cold winter of STL. I'm also combining some lessons from a book that I am reading, "In Motion: The Experience of Travel" about enjoy the little things as we travel or in my case run. Thanks also to Coach K for the idea of taking on the 10K for 10 day challenge.
Day 1- 10K 49:39- Wandered around Webster Groves with Tim Storck
24 degrees, sunny
Day 2- 10K 49:59- Ran the home course; listened to the Moral Math of Climate Change; saw Tim Storck;
Thought about poverty and climate change advocacy; active lifestyle and poorer neighborhoods; felt the warm beauty of the sun; cold push of the north wind
17 degrees, sunny
Day 3- 10K 50:42- Ran from school through Forest Park over Art Hill and home; beautiful afternoon; sunny shining; warm; ran through a calf strain that I think I picked up sleeping.
Day 4- 10K 48:46- Strongest day so far, hope I don't pay for it in the morning; cold though; an hour later than yesterday, sun was setting; home course; listened to interview with Jay-Z and Terry Gross.
38 degrees on bank clock
Day 5- 10K 53:07- There was something special about this morning's run. I rarely run in the darkness, and it is even more rare for me to log two runs between sunset and sunrise, but that was the case this morning. STL was still asleep at 5:53 when I headed out the door. It was quiet especially in the path in Forest Park between Skinner and Art Museum. I love in the darkness when you eyes form a bond with your animal relatives. I could see in the dark, and only the orange glow of the city on the cloud helped light the way. I saw the art museum, zoo, World Fair Paviliion, the boat house, the Muny, the visitors' center, the tennis complex, the History Museum and the Grand Basin in less than two miles on with the veil of darkness overhead. When I reached the street, the world had awakened, and I was reminded that it was time to focus again as busses, trucks, and emergency personnel all pierced the quiet of the morning. Sure I arrived at work 10 minutes later than normal, but the running buzz was still with me.
Day 6- 10K 49:06- Today's out and back to Webster was a good stress relief. It is definitely uphill on the run 25:03 out, and 24:03 on the way home. It felt good to that this energy six days into this challenge.
Day 7- 10K 48:47- Friday afternoon is a never a good time for me to run, but I took on the challenge of the Southwest Hill. If you are from STL, you will know that this hill is probably one of the longest and steepest in the city. I went through Clifton Hills, and along Columbia almost to Highshighway, hard to imagine that it is only 3.1 miles to that spot. I watch the sunset on the same back to school, and by the time that I arrived home, there was snowing falling. Crazy time of the year.
Day 8- 10K 48:55- Holy cow. It was cold, wind chill minus 3. The running north and west were the hardest. There was no joy today, just pain. It was hard to breath. It was hard to warm up. It is hard. I was supposed to run at Creve Coeur Park, but partner, probably wisely, bailed, so I ran the home course. I passed a few other runners, but not the usual Saturday morning volume.
Day 9- 10K 46:49- A bit warmer today, but it's still winter. I ran a day time version of Day 5. I must have gone out pretty hard. I didn't notice since I was trying to get warm, but half way through the run, I was totally baked. Did I dress wrong? Was I feeling the effects of eight day. Well when I got home, I realized that I was just running too hard. Best time of the nine days. I have pledged during these days not to be a watch hawk during my run and wait until the end to look. I looked, totally shocked, but everything made sense.
Day 10- 10K 49:13- I think today was the day that I was looking for all along. The beauty of running in falling snow is hard for words. It was great to be a shadow floating over snow covered sidewalks through Webster and Kirkwood. The orange glow of the street lights is incredible as the snow falls. The run was great for day 10. I am looking forward to three days off, but these past 10 days have shown my that the challenges of running aren't all P.R., but they are the adventure of thinking about what is possible, what is next.