Although Long Run #2 started almost an hour later than Long Run #1, there was a noticeable lack of zest as everyone filtered in to our meeting place. Maybe other people were feeling like I did…that 20 weeks suddenly felt like a very very long time to show up and see the same people and run longer and longer every week. I did remember what Chandra said the first week though, that this whole experience is about the journey, not the destination. That thought helped get me a little more excited to get out and run again.
However, we weren’t going to hit the road until we…drumroll please…learned how to tie our shoes! That’s right, a bunch of runners had to sit down, take their shoes off, and actually think about how we were lacing up our kicks.
This came from a story about legendary coach John Wooden, who used to sit his basketball players down at the first practice of the year and show them the correct way to put on their socks and tie their shoes, as a way of practically demonstrating that the little things matter a great deal in the big picture.
Now, I trust Coach Jimmy with my life, but I have to admit, as we started lacing up our shoes, I rolled my eyes a bit inwardly and thought “I’ll just put them back my original way when we’re done.” Obviously I’d been running with them laced just fine, because it had been working out ok, so why should I have to change?
Spoiler alert, not all change is bad. And putting aside your own stubbornness and pride can be a really good thing sometimes. The new lacing system works great, keeps the tops of my feet from being sore, and works way better than my old system.
After that, we headed out on our run. I ran with Lisa again, and it was nice to see that we improved just a little bit on our splits from last week, while still staying nice and aerobic (and even though the weather was nice and warm).
When we got back to the meeting spot, it was blast time! This week’s blast included cinnamon, which I’m not the biggest fan of (in my world, it gets mixed with sugar and put on buttered toast, and that’s about the only time I use it), but in the spirit of getting out of my own way and trying things, I drank the whole thing. I still wasn’t a huge fan of cinnamon when I finished, but hey, I got those anti-inflammatory benefits anyway!
After a quick clinic about different types of running shoes and socks, we were done with long run #2. I headed home to shower, put on different running clothes, and then went to Disneyland to spend 9 hours in 100 degree heat. Just getting in some heat training and time on feet in the happiest place on earth, which by the end of the day had me feeling pretty wrecked.
After a day of recovery, it was on to strength training with Coach Nicole on Monday. It was a quick, action-packed 30 minutes, and it was so much fun. I haven’t been able to really open it up on a run in a long time, either because I was focused on not aggravating injuries, or now, trying to be smart and build into intense effort. But I miss the single-minded focus that comes with taking a really big step into the pain cave, and a group strength workout offers a small taste of that experience. I think I smiled through the whole class, and I can’t wait to go again next week.
Next up: a run on my own today, and a group run tomorrow!