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Friday, May 4, 2012

Running Alone

Last Friday night was rough.   I didn’t sleep at all.   6:30 a.m. rolled around and there was simply no way I could make it to my practice.  I needed sleep desperately.   So, I turned the alarm off, rolled over and slept until 10.  

Later that afternoon I emailed my coach to find out if I could run with the Westside team on Sunday.  I was set and ready to go.   But, once again, someone (or something) reared it’s ugly head and I was deprived of sleep.   I did manage to make it out of bed by around 7:30 a.m., laced up my running shoes and took off on my ten mile run by myself.  

I run by myself in the evenings 2-3 times per week.   But the majority of these runs are between 2 ½ and 3 ½ miles.   I follow some variation of the same route every evening.   But, I knew if I was going to do 10 miles I needed to mix it up a bit, so I started running east away from my house.   About 2 miles east I turned north for about a 1/2 mile (did I mention that east is flat and north is a hill?) then it was time to go east again for another half mile.    Finally, at last, west.   About 2 miles west there is a drop, woah!  Oh, no, it’s time to go north again!   Going north, north, north, and, okay, going South.    Relief.   About that time I realize, thanks to my handy dandy iphone app, that I have gone 7 miles, but I am only about 1 mile from my house.   I have to get in another two miles.  I am going to have to go north again!!!!  I know what you are thinking, why does she keep going North when there is the possibility of going South?   Well, for starters I deeply fear the South.   Nothing good ever happens when you go South.   In the case of whether I live, about a mile a Southeast of where I live, I hit gang territory.  North of where I live, are crazy celebrity mansions.   Hills or no hills, I’m going North.   I finally made it to 9 miles – at the top of a gently sloping hill, which meant the last mile home was going to be super easy.   It may have been the fastest I have ever run.  

Running alone is, not surprisingly, a little bit lonely.   When I run with the group, there is conversation and commiseration to keep me going.   But, out there alone, its all me.  And, well, I am just not that interesting to myself.   I’ve been told to expect to run most of the marathon alone.   Sure, I will start with people I know, and I may even make new friends along the way, but the marathon is an individual sport.   The thing about that sentiment is, while I will be running alone, I will be running with all the camaraderie and support that friends, family and the team have given me a long the way.   With all that, I could never really be alone.    So, I suspect that when I finally run the marathon, that will the be the fastest I will have ever run.   

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