Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Picaresque Adventures

I don't remember having had a run like this morning's. Between 7:35 and 11:00 this morning I ran for 2:12:32 (call it 16 miles) in several installments.

IC organized, if you can call it that, his "guerilla 5k" for this morning at 8:30. I was supposed to set it up but cannot claim any credit (or notoriety) for having done so, but I did want to get some mileage in before I went to that event at Lemon Hill. I planned to leave at 7 this morning but didn't get out of the house until 7:35, and got about 45 minutes of running in through Fairmount Park before crossing the Girard Street Bridge and meeting the folks for the "race."

11 people were in the race, which was four times around a loop of roughly .75 miles that went up and down Lemon Hill (x 4). It can perhaps be described as the way anarchists would put together a race, heavily emphasizing community, using stuff that's already available and lying around, and with heavy doses of humor. The start was under the statue of Morton McMichael, a 19th Century Philadelphia mayor who sits, I kid you not, with an outstretched hand as though still collecting his lagniappe through posterity (or at least in spirit through his successors). The start was marked by the firing of a Nerf gun and most of us hung together for the first loop around, which as I said was very hilly (hey, IC designed the course) and at one point had a large puddle almost spanning the entire road (with "warning: water ahead) chalked on the street about 15 feet in front of the puddle. As the loops passed, me and B took the lead amidst the encouragement of IC and an additional onlooker (2X4 however, as we got their support four times). As we rounded the final turn, B and I decided to clasp hands and cross the finish line in victory together in 20 minutes something, testimony either to a slow effort or a long course or a bit of both. I won a plush toy and a t-shirt that says "running sucks".

After that we went to the Art Museum to meet the 9:30 PR crowd. Bike Mike was there, whom I hadn't seen in ages, and various other folks. IC and I and another guy G, whom I never met before, ran up to Belmont Plateau and ran the trails there, which were green and shaded, but also narrow and slippery. We ended up at Strawberry Mansion Bridge and the other two went back to the Drives to finish their run and I went home through Fairmount Park to finish mine. Instead of taking the usual way back from SM Bridge, I cut back into the woods and found another Belmont trail, which led me down the infamous hill and back to the plateau. From there I took St. Georges Hill and headed home. Whew, long hot morning.

And all I got was the lousy t-shirt (and a plush toy). "Running sucks." I picked the shirt perhaps reflecting a growing ambivalence about running, or as a reflection of my mood in the aftermath of missing the last two days running. One was planned, the other, yesterday came as a result of heavy rain (my nemesis) in the morning and plans to run in the evening were dashed by an opportunity to go to the Phillies game. I'm glad I went, but it leaves me with an intensified feeling of a lack of focus towards running. I don't know if this is temporary or will get progressive, but I feel like I'm going through the motions right now, and not getting anywhere in terms of any thing I'd consider training. Its still possible to get away with this at this time of the year, but it leads me to wonder how long it will last.

I'm sure I'll continue to write about this in upcoming posts. But running was fun today, as well as exhausting, and that's a good feeling.


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