I just finished an 8.4-mile loop around the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It’s about 30 degrees out, grey and alternating between rain and snow. And I loved it.
It was my first solo long run since returning to longer distances. I was supposed to get 30 miles in this week and I need 8 more today to hit that mark. I could have skipped it. I could have let the weather keep me in as an easy excuse. But I want “it” so bad and being lazy and missing the mark is not the way to get “it”.
Let’s make the hows and whys of this run into a list, because lists are just plain more fun to read, right?
10 Random Things About Running 8.4 Miles in Yucky Weather in No Particular Order
1. Very few other people are on the running path. There are no crowds, no bikers asking you to move over, no annoying walkers (or worse, boat people!) meandering across in your way. Just you and the other hardcore/crazy runners.
2. After the halfway point, you kind of get delirious. I was laughing for no reason or perhaps at myself for being such a fitness fool.
3. You cannot deny yourself a lazy night on the couch afterwards. There are no guilty feelings about how you could be doing something more productive.
4. I did the loop. Once you head out around the 8.4-mile loop around the river, there’s no turning back.
5. Since I have been fighting shin splints, I spent some time after mile 1 doing some walking, dynamic stretching. It was a wonderful decision and made for a better run than last week’s miserably slow warm up.
6. At my midpoint, a tall, skinny guy turned around right in front of me. So I decided to run with him. He was just a little faster than me so I pushed myself to keep up. Thanks for letting me be a creeper and run 2 feet behind you for 2 miles, Mr. Spandex Runner Man.
7. Playing “Ketchup Fartleks” is fun and was possible today because of number one. For miles 6 and 7 I raced to catch up to the runner in front of me. When I caught her, I slowed down. When she got far ahead of me again, I raced back up to her. My apologies to the slow but steady girl that was involuntarily part of this game.
8. Podcasts. They are a must for me for solo long runs. Today I listened to episodes from Savage Love Cast and How Stuff Works.
9. I bought new, expensive compression pants right before. New clothes can inspire me to do anything. Shout out to the lovely saleswomen at Philly’s City Sports for helping me pick an awesome pair and to CW-X for making these wonderful tights. Up top, I donned my new fave all-purpose jacket: the Lululemon Stride Jacket.
10. Pink always helps me sprint the last mile with gusto. A little “F*ckin’ Perfect”, a little “Raise Your Glass” and a lot of speed in my tired legs.