Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Can it be repeated? I kept asking myself, out there on the run this morning. I ran my own little 5K around the suburbs, the one I contrived years ago, the one where it all really started. "My 5k", I call it on my little running calendar. It goes out across the mighty intersection and tours the suburbs. Past the elementary school where the kids will go in a few years, up and over some hills, past the high water towers and a hundred homes just like mine, and then down and around the hillside, a vantage point from which I can see my own backyard and, on some days, the big tv glowing in the distant living room with the kids watching Handy Manny or Little Einsteins, or something. Then my course goes down, down, down, where I try to pick up a little speed without breaking my ankles, back across the boulevard, and then up, up as fast and as hard as I can, back into my cul-de-sac. It's exactly 5 kilometers. My PR on it is 22:07, which is about 2:30 slower than I can do on a flat 5k course. The hills really throw you, and crossing the Big Street is always a crapshoot, which I chalk up as that capricious variable that exists in every race (like this past Sunday's biting cold.) Some days there are no cars, and I can rocket across the highway. Other days I have to wait, as big trucks lumber by and the seconds fall off my watch.

Today I ran/walked it in 30 minutes, feeling the residual pain of the Vegas race, but trying to rub it out of the system with some sort of massage of consistent, but slowed, footwork, like a painter moving from oils back to pencils. These marathons punish the body, taking it right up to the limit, and I couldn't honestly see how I'd done it, or whether it could be repeated, or even improved upon. It can, I'm sure, but I'll have to take it nice and easy for a while, which is really the challenging part. But it's Christmas, so that set of distractions will help.

Back to making shade this week, though who needs it after last weekend's storm? We arrived back in town to find a new set of broken pottery and our patio umbrella halfway across the yard. Some weather tore through here while we were gone, and by the looks of it there was quite a fight. But it's good to be home. Someone ought to put these ornament boxes away so we can get on to enjoying the holidays.