Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A bridge and a weird person


Another zombie run today, Week 4 Day 2. One more session and I'll be halfway through the program! That's a scary thought as I am nowhere near running a continuous 5K. I really didn't feel like going out for a run today but the only low-guilt alternative was staying at the desk where I'd been stuck all morning and doing more work. Even running seemed preferable to that.

It was the same format as Saturday, a mix of slow walking and fast walking and knee-up jogging and 30 second interval running (it still seems odd to go backwards in terms of how long I am running, last week was 60 seconds). I planned out an interesting route that I hadn't taken before around nearby suburbs.

I set off down the hill for a few blocks on a path between houses, then across a main road. The walking/cycling path on the other side wove between trees at least 50 meters away from the road so it wasn't dangerous or too noisy but at the same time I didn't feel isolated. I didn't think my route was going to be long enough to cover the whole session (turns out I was wrong) so I diverted up a side street and along beside a park for a while, then back again.

As usual my shins were pretty sore, especially on the left, but stretching helped. The path was moderately hilly -- I really like running downhill as long as it's not too steep. Just before the bridge back over the road, about my 2/3 point, I saw a runner coming the other way. I was only walking at the time -- I had finished my intervals and was up to the 15 min free-form and I was pretty tired. From a distance I thought the runner was a child but as she got closer I saw it was a woman. She was very unusual-looking, hard to describe. Short and stocky, I suppose, with very brown skin. At first I thought she was of non-Anglo ethnicity but then I decided it was fake tan. She had on shorts and a bright orange crop top that exposed a flat stomach but with very loose wrinkly skin, making her body look a lot older than her face.

I was preparing to give a quick friendly smile as we passed each other, as you do, when she suddenly swerved in front of me and stopped, forcing me to stop too. She stood a bit too close for my ideas of personal space with sweaty strangers. I am only 5 ft tall (152 cm) but she was even shorter, with a very square masculine face and the skin peeling off her nose (so maybe real tan not fake?)

"Keep it up!" she exclaimed. "You'll get there!"

I gave a polite smile and wondered if it would be rude to step around her.

"I lost 22 kilograms in six months with running! You can do it."

Well that explained the excess stomach skin. It seemed an odd thing for her to say; a not particularly tactful way of saying I needed to lose weight. But I'm sure she meant well. I made some appropriately amazed facial expression.

"Start with walking and soon you'll be running! I did it!"

"I'm trying," I said. She finally trotted off. It was an odd encounter. I know she was just being friendly but something about her was just weird.

I got to the geographical goal of today's run, the pedestrial suspension bridge over the main road. On the side I was on I only had so go up a short ramp, but on the other side the ground was lower and the path spiraled round and round and down. I really enjoyed running down that, my longest interval of the day.

My shin pain was making me rethink the whole hard surfaces thing again so I tried running across a huge oval -- two football fields side by side -- with smooth short grass. It was nice and soft underfoot, but was like trying to run through quicksand. Much more exhausting than on the footpath. So I'm going to stick to the footpath for now.

My session finished when I was still a kilometre away from home. I bought a juice at the service station and walked home slowly. I didn't have time to shower, I had to pick up the kids almost immediately. At the school I arranged with a friend for the kids to go to her place and went home to shower, jogging part of the way. Then I walked to the friends house. All up I would have gone over 6K today, a lot of it walking but some running. And my legs are really feeling it tonight. A bit achy all over. Definitely need a rest day tomorrow.

Oh, and there were no actual zombies today. Some more exposition of the storyline though.

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