I did it! (Mostly)

Today is Sunday and you knot what that means…. yet another attempt at the 10k! This time I have better news than I did last week. This week I made it! Well, mostly. I DID go 10k, in 1 hour 9 minutes 44 seconds, but I have to admit that I walked about 1 or 1.2km of it. STILL! I DID IT!

Something I learned today (there’s always something to learn) is that if I go out running, and the sun is shining, and it’s later than 8am and it’s between June and September, go with a full head of WET hair.

This morning I left the house at about 10:15 and headed for Sloterplas. It was sunny. It will probably rain tonight as it’s really muggy, but for now it’s really warm and sunny. The route around Sloterplas is about 80% shaded but for the 20% in the sun it just about stopped me in my tracks. The sun is not my friend. Never has been. Or should I say, HEAT is not my friend. On my 10k run this morning I ended up walking through some of the sunny parts since I just couldn’t take the heat. I felt like an ant under the magnifying glass being sizzled by focused sunlight.

(Did you do that as a kid? I remember playing with my cousins at Grandma and Grandpa G’s house. We would take a big round magnifying glass and hunt down ants in the sunshine, focus the light beam on the ants and watch them sizzle and burn. I felt guilty every time and prayed to God that he would forgive me for being so mean and nasty to these innocent ants, then gleefully go search for more. Such is childhood.)

At the 3km point I opened up my little water bottle that hangs on my belt and drank a little and poured a little more over my head. Ahhh that felt good. Next time, start with a wet head and save your water for drinking.  With the water, and walking part of the sunny spots, I managed to make the 10k without any damage to body or soul. My legs felt great! I guess the last week of no running really did me some good.

The second thing I learned today is that running is as much mental as physical.  I decided on the way to Sloterplas that I would run the marked route to the 5km mark, then turn around and run the opposite direction back to the starting point.  It felt right.  It felt proper.  It felt organized and good to end up at the end/start point right at the distance I was aiming for.  It made me feel like it was really possible.  And THAT my friends is key to being able to do just about anything.

Of course any real athlete knows this already.  But I’m just a beginner, at this middle age, and have to learn everything like a beginner.  I just wonder what the next lesson will be?

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