I went for a bunch of runs last week ranging from 3 to 9+ miles. I had a first, for me, during one of the shorter runs; I tripped and fell. It was an odd fall, because I was running on a route I regularly run with a perfect sidewalk about 6 feet across. I have a habit of sometimes running really close to the sides of walks, which was exactly what I was doing when I lightly tapped a landscaped outcropping with my left shoe. Luckily, I didn't get anything more than a scrape on my hand. And, even more luckily, I was in a somewhat rural location, so there was no one around to see the minor spectacle. I quickly stood up and took off running again. Point of the story...keep your wits about you whenever you are doing something athletic - particularly in remote locations. Second point...if the sidewalk is 6 feet wide, maybe use more than just the outside 8 inches.
Sunday started off blustery and cold. Chris and Marisa Ford showed up on my doorstep at 10 a.m.; Chris to run, and Marisa to hit the grocery store while her husband and I sauntered around the western outer reaches of the city. Chris and I had a debate about whether to take jackets (we both had gloves, hats, and long sleeve shirts over Ts). We opted to err on the side of warmth, and it turned out to be a good choice. Portions of the run that were either with or perpendicular to the wind were nice and warm. But every time we turned into it, the breeze became biting.
It is always fun to run with someone else, even if that person happens to be a crazy great runner like Chris. We had some good exercise, made better by good conversation. And that, conversation that is, is something that I am not accustomed to when I run. I'm such a solo guy, that when I have the chance to run with someone, it is fun to chat. But it does require some extra effort. Chris asked me a question as we were just beginning to head up the longest and steepest hill on the route. I had to defer my answer until we were closer to the top. I normally just listen to music or NPR when I run. It is not uncommon for me to throw out a short verse or harmony to a tune when I run. I usually do it when I think that no one is around, but every now and then I'll startle the crap our of someone with a loud outburst or a yell (like before the bass solo in the Beastie Boys song, Camouflage). I've read that in training, a good pace is where you can have a conversation with someone else. If you can sing a song, you're running too slowly. So I am just a snippet of song guy. It is like a conversation with myself and my MP3 player. Later this week, I'll go over my fav bands and songs to listen to when I run. I do know that Chris likes LCD Soundsystem among others. If anyone has suggestions as well, this might be a good time to make them.
Finally a short note. Oakland had its first marathon and half marathon in 25 years over the weekend. Over 6,000 showed up to run the course which took people all over the city. The race turned out to be a smashing success (according to the written reports). It is good to see the sport expanding and thriving.
And now, as usual, finally finally... In upcoming entries, I want to start covering gear, training techniques, books/magazines, training routes around the country, and races that people enjoy (or better, hate). I'm mainly writing these points for myself in order to have a reminder that I need to get started on this. The posts will become a bit more frequent if I can get it together.
Ciao for now.