Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top Ten Reasons...

I don't blog very often. See above, on imbalance. Or just generally having many other things to do! Since the last entry, I've been to a conference in Krakow, Poland, which was great professionally, and also an opportunity to get in some runs (mostly along the River Vistula, where there's a nice path in either direction; and to the Kosciuszki Mound, which affords of nice view of the city; and to the edge of the Las Wolski Forest). The days are long and the humidity was low, a nice contrast to central North Carolina.

My trip to Poland also included a sobering visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The scope of the atrocities committed, and the deliberateness with which they were undertaken, is difficult to comprehend, even today.

Our group also made a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which has a bit of a "have to see it to believe it" quality. It includes lots of sculptures carved from rock salt -- Copernicus; the Seven Dwarfs (plus an eighth one for good measure); and a version of the Last Supper in relief.

After Poland, I squeezed in a long run, then took my little girls to Florida to visit their grandparents. I realized that, as much as I had complained about the recent heat and humidity in Chapel Hill, Florida is in an entirely different category. Even a five mile run early in the morning left me a tired, dripping mess. But it was fun to spend time at Lake Weir, and at Homosassa Springs State Park, and to visit with family.

So, this brings me to today -- in the middle of a week of solo parenting, but also worried about getting in enough miles. The Vermont 100 is 4+ weeks away; now is the time to log the training. But today, the only time to fit in a run was at night. 

I get antsy if I don't get my run in the morning. To distract myself from that antsy-ness today, I started the Top Ten Reasons to Go on a Night Run list. Now that the run is over, I've finished it. Enjoy!

10. You didn’t find time during the day to fit in a run…and you really need to run.
9.   In the dark, your running partners can’t tell that your socks don’t match (not that most of them care, of course).
     8.  It really is cooler at night.
     7.  Those 100 mile races involve some running in the dark, so it's good to practice that now and again (for me, winter means lots of running in the dark, usually early in the morning; but I don't get out in the dark much during the summer months).
     6.  You received a new headlamp recently, and this is a good chance to try it out. (For what it's worth, it -- the Petzl Myo XP -- was great).
     5. Even at your age, there's a certain thrill to doing something -- running at night in the woods -- of which your father wouldn't approve. (The local police may not approve either, but they rarely turn up for these things).
      4. You like the look your sitter gives you when you tell her that you're heading to the forest for a run in the dark. (In truth, our sitter has been with us for four years, and she's used to this sort of thing. But she did say that her roommate found it very odd).
      3. The night run reminds you that there's almost always some subset of the Trailheads who are up for a run, no matter the time, place or distance.  
      2.  If you can't see the copperheads or the coyotes, they're not there. (Right?)
      1.  Meeting up with a group of friends to hang out in a church parking lot and drink beer (with a run through in before the beer) reminds you of high school.