Tuesday, March 29, 2011

03/29/11: Teaching an old dog new tricks.....

My legs are the old dog.....and running without pain seems to be a new trick I'd love very much for them to learn.

I ran 9 miles this weekend with no pain.....after work today, I ran 4.5 wondering the entire time what the heck I was doing. :-)

I slept in...which was my first mistake.

Well, sleeping in makes it sound like it was an accident. I actually turned off my alarm and made a conscious decision to run after work.

My morning conscious mind isn't the brightest some days. (giggle)

I really wish I had gotten up though....this happened while we were sleeping and running in it would have been beautiful!!!

The snowflakes were at least an inch or two across....they were huge!! It was so pretty to see it falling, especially knowing that it wasn't going to last long. We've had some nice days and the ground is warm enough to keep it from lingering and accumulating.

By the time I got off work, it was pretty much all gone.

I changed into my running gear at work, and went to one of the city trails a mile away or so. The wind had a little chill to it, and the sun was it seemed cooler than it really was. But I'd packed clothes for nearly every weather possible (and there are allot of possible conditions in this part of the country this time of year - hehehehehe).

I locked my car and started to walk down the trail.....realized I'd forgotten to put a bondiband (more to keep my ears warm then to keep the sweat out of my eyes) on my head, so went back to the car to get it. Once I reached the car I remembered that I'd put it in my running jacket pocket. :-)

I turned around to start walking down the trail, and this time realized I'd forgotten my iPod in my car. I KNEW it was sitting on my passenger seat. Not only did I want to go back for it so I'd have something to listen to, I also didn't want to leave it lying in the open. Last thing I needed was to come back to a broken car window, or a missing car.

Finally, I was ready to start running.

About 2 full minutes into the run I realized that it was going to be painful. Really, really painful. I could feel that one tight muscle, in each of my legs....I could feel it screaming at me for even thinking about running, let alone doing it.

About 20 seconds later I saw this.......

There were two young deer walking along the trail (they were actually ON the trail when I first noticed them). I watched them walk towards me, only moving off the trail once they were within 20 feet of me. I had slowed to a walk when I saw them....but when they got that close I stopped altogether.

I kept thinking they'd eventually stop.....or run the other way.


I talked to them, and it only made them come closer.

I made sudden moves, and one of them could have cared less....the other took notice, but only slowed it's walking a little.

I had my arm outstretched, and the lead deer sniffed my hand.

I bit back every urge I had to pet it......but it was difficult. The last thing I wanted to be was a victim of a deer kick...but I really really wanted to pet it. :-)

If sniffed my hand a little....then went walking on it's merry way...the other following close behind. I watched them cross the trail, and walk down the bank to the creek, then I started back down the trail myself.

A minute or so later I could hear something behind me. I may run with my iPod when I'm on the trail, but it's turned down plenty low enough to hear all sounds around me.

When the sounds didn't stop, I turned my head to casually look behind via my peripheral vision.

What the......?

I turned my head back to where I was going......then looked behind me again.

I couldn't believe what I'd seen, and wanted to see if it was still there.

It was.

Well, THEY were, to be more specific.

Those two deer were running along behind me. Following me like stray dogs. They followed along behind me for nearly a mile....before the trail went over a bridge and continued on the other side of the creek. When I got to the bridge, they stopped......their eyes almost pleading for me to come back and run with them on their side of the creek.

I'd like to say that the encounter made the rest of my run fun and feel easy....but it didn't. I was having to stop nearly every 1/4 of a mile to stretch my lower legs. I was nearly in tears a couple of time....mostly from frustration, but maybe a little from the pain.

I finished the 4.5 miles on my schedule. I fought for those 4.5 miles. I knew I'd pay for it the next day though.

I paused my Garmin while dealing with the deer.....and I'd pause it during a leg stretch every once and a while, so my time isn't actually an accurate measure of how long it took me to complete those 4.5 miles. I'd say it was definitely over an hour, if I had to guess.

The last mile and a half was completed through sheer will and brutal stubbornness alone. I ran (if you could call it running) the whole thing without stopping to stretch. I knew if I stopped, I'd probably never get going again.

Per my Garmin, I completed it in 53 minutes....11:46 overall average pace.


Pat said...

Wow! The deer came right up to you, and even followed you! That's awesome! I should run on that trail. Maybe I'd see more wildlife. I hope the pain in your legs go away.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome deer story! So sweet!

I admire your perserverence to keep running through the pain. So many would probably just throw in the towel and quit! You're awesome. I hope the pain goes away for you!

Fran said...

It might be a struggle but you did it Jen and that's what counts.

Could it be painful because you had worked all day and probably moved around a lot? That's my biggest problem with running in the afternoon: tired legs.

How special that those deers were running with you, I think that's awesome!

Nej said...

@ Pat - the one came right up to me. You could see that there wasn't really any fear in it's eyes at all. I can only assume that someone feeds them. Their mannerisms were soooo much like dogs, it was nuts! :-)

Nej said...

@ Lori - some people probably think I'm crazy for running through the pain. Heck, I thought I was crazy for doing it. (hehehehehe) I just wish I knew why some days I can go eight or nine miles without issue, and some days I can't take more than a couple of steps. Might be time to call the ol' physical therapist again.

Nej said...

@ Fran - I wish I could blame it on being on my feet all day, but I sit behind a desk and computer. Getting up to walk to the restroom, or to leave for lunch is about the extent of my during the day activity. :-) People laugh because every once and a while I just take a walk around the building. I can't stand sitting so much. :-)

I will never forget turning around and seeing them running along behind me. I've had dogs and cats do that, but having deer do it was definitely something to remember. :-)

Faith Ann said...

OH my gosh... they *followed* you?!?! That is so cool!!!

Sorry it was a tough run though :(

I seem to be in that boat quite frequently lately and don't know what to do about it! I think I need some daytime running and perhaps my running buddy back... distraction helps.

Nej said...

@ Faith Ann - yep, they were jogging along behind me. I'd stop, they'd stop and wait....then when I started going again, so did they. It went on for nearly a mile. I can only imagine what it looked like to anyone who saw it. :-)