Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Outdoor Obstacles

So, I will admit it. I was more than a little scared to do my running this weekend while we were at the lake. Literally, as I was driving in on Saturday, I was evaluating the path that I knew I would be jogging and saying things to my dog like, "Well, this hill is gonna be a fun one", and "Maybe I should turn around before I have to run up this small mountain." Eventually, Sunday morning rolled around and I was surprised to find that I was actually looking forward to getting outside and seeing how it was going to be. Or maybe I just wanted to get it over with. Whatever. I was awake before anyone else, so I changed and was lacing up my shoes when Seth drug himself into the living room. This is how the conversation went:
Me: "Good morning!"
Seth: "Why are you awake?" (Grumpy voice)
Me: "I'm going to run. I told you I was going to."
Seth: "Well, I didn't think you were serious. You always talk about relaxing at the lake. Running is the opposite of relaxing. (Still grumpy. Like he's mad because I'm going to run. WTH??)
Me: "I really want to keep up this workout I've been doing. Want to come with me?"
Seth: (Blank stare...) "You are REALLY running right now?
Me: "YES." (I'm hooking Tuff up to his leash, Seth is still staring at me like I'm crazy.)
Seth: "Seriously???"
Me: "I'm going now. If I'm not back in 30 minutes come pick me up off the side of the road."
Seth: "Seriously??"...

So I started my first 8 minutes, and ran in the direction of a cove that is about a mile down the road from the house. With a few hills in between, I actually did better than I expected...Tuff wasn't happy with me because he couldn't stop and pee on every stump and bush though. So during my first walking interval, I unhooked his leash so he could go explore. Bad idea. As we rounded the curve and the cove came into view, I noticed about 8 deer on the bank. Guess who else noticed them? See, Tuff doesn't just start chasing things on a whim. He thinks it's a game if other animals run from him. So they hightailed it for the fence and he ran after them. I yelled and chased until he finally came back to me, tail wagging and tongue hanging out with a big grin on his face. By this time, my 2 minute walking interval had been spent splashing in 45 degree water and jumping over driftwood trying to keep my dog in sight. So we hiked back to the road (leash securely fastened) and started the next 8 minute jog. About halfway through, Tuff was dragging behind me and trying to wriggle out of his collar, so I reached down and unhooked the leash again. I reached the cattle guard, which is about a mile and a half from the house, and turned around. Tuff was keeping up pretty well as we rounded the curve by the cove again. No deer in sight this time, and as I looked at the mist coming off of the water, it occurred to me that I was actually ENJOYING this. I wasn't checking my watch every 30 seconds or thinking about how bad my feet hurt. I felt good!! As I finished and got closer to the house, I felt really good about spending the rest of the day relaxing, and I realized I might actually be looking forward to running again tomorrow morning. What the heck is happening to me????? Monday's run was actually better, because I decided to leave Tuff sleeping so I could focus on nothing else but my running. Here's what I found out:

1. Running downhill is FUN.
2. Running uphill SUCKS.
3. There are LOTS of animals to addition to the deer, I saw turkey and raccoons.
4. Running uphill SUCKS!!

So, I feel like I overcame a little bit of my fear of running outside. I still don't feel like running outside today...maybe it's because there is nothing to look at here in Flatland. I do know, however, that when Spring Break rolls around (12 school days!!), I am now looking forward to running at the lake instead of thinking of excuses to get out of it!


  1. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I think about the route that I'm going to run, and I just get nervous about it...almost like a small panic attack or something. It is weird and hard to describe. Usually, I'll just put my running shoes on and go. I think the anticipation of it is sometimes worse than actually getting out there and getting it done!

  2. I'm so excited that you are starting to enjoy it. I still have some days where I stare at my watch, counting down the seconds until I'm finished, but for the most part I really enjoy it. I'm so pumped that you are still running!! : )
    And, I totally 100% agree that running uphill SUCKS!!

  3. Aaaah! I love that feeling!! You feel like you can just run forever. I love love love it. It helps to have new things to look at and all that. GOOD FOR YOU!!