Tuesday, October 7, 2008

horse chestnuts

One of my favorite things about autumn is finding horse chestnuts. They seem like little pieces of art -- carved wood, lovingly polished. So I can't help but pick them up when I see them. Of course, there are so many of them around this neighborhood, I can't really keep filling my pockets as if they were squirrel cheeks.

But on my last two runs, I couldn't resist picking one up and holding it in my hands while I ran. I remembered hearing that Emma Snowsill, the reigning Olympic triathlon champion, runs with sticks in her hands "to help with her rhythm". I've often pondered what exactly this means - does she tap them against herself? Do they help her relax her shoulders? Do they distract her ever so slightly to help her get in a zone? Who knows. But I enjoyed holding a horse chestnut today, mainly in my left hand, hoping to counteract the weird flippy motion I make with my right arm, which I blame on often holding my iPod in that hand.

I ran my standard loop backwards today -- running up the hill to 80th, then west all the way to Loyal, then the diagonal to 85th, and then south and over to the Sunset Park, and then back towards home. I warmed up a little too long -- 7:30 -- and then alternated 5:30 runs and 2:00 walks until I was 55 minutes in. Then a brisk walk to cool down for 6 minutes or so until I got home.

I felt pretty good once I was in to the run. I ended up going 5.63 miles, but again, I walked quite a bit of the time.

I didn't really want to run today -- but convinced myself that I at least had to go out and start the run. Like they always say in Runner's World, just getting out the door is the hardest part. I also want to take advantage of the decent weather for real-world runs as long as I can.

How that it's been 3 hours since I finished the run, I'm feeling a little pain in my right hip, and some stiffness in my knees. I hope I feel strong again soon.

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