This was my first run morning since I moved. I was very grateful for no rain and especially no lightning when it was time to go. Rain would probably not cancel the run. Lightning would.
I went off in exploration of hills. Gotta keep training on hills, if I'm gonna survive running the Bix at the end of July (side note: I signed up yesterday and I'm a little offended that the time classifications didn't include me. I expect it to take me about an hour and 50 minutes to run this thing. Longest running time available went up to 90 minutes...then..."walker." I signed up in the 90 minutes section because darn it, I AM NOT walking! Grrr. People who don't appreciate us slowbies!)
A friend/coworker who runs in this neighborhood recommended 38th street for its hill, so I headed on over there. I did some running on sidewalks, where I was unsure of traffic, but if you've been around long, you know I don't deem sidewalks an acceptable running surface. Too irregular for me with my shuffly gate. Too easy to fall. When I fell last week - IT WAS ON A SIDEWALK. Where traffic was very light, I ran on the highly preferable street, over in the gutter on the wrong side of the street, so I could see who was coming.
Apparently I irritated or fascinated some SUV driver, who slowed and finally STOPPED while coming toward me (and mind you, it had MADE A U TURN to come back my direction, within my sight), though I was, as I said, clear over in the gutter and it was a very wide street. I thought maybe they were going to turn into the driveway I was crossing, despite the lack of signal, but NO. They just waited until I ran past, and then drove on. I did not try to look at the driver. I don't need to know if they were making mean faces or nasty gestures or obscene words. I don't need to risk it being some crazy person who just needs me to give them a reason to say, "She asked for it." So I kept my eye on the hood of the vehicle and ran on by, and when I was past the SUV, it drove slowly away and I might have thought mean thoughts toward it rather than thinking grateful thoughts for safety, because when it comes right down to it, I am a total ass most of the time.
That was right before I turned onto 38th street. Running DOWN the big hill was fun...other than the massive, thick clouds of gnats. I assume it's the combination of the wet weather and the forest preserve all around here. I tie back the top of my hair to keep it out of my eyes when I run; by the end of the run, the top of my hair was thick with dead bugs, and I had been swiping them out of my eyes, nose and ears (and choking them down, whenever I couldn't spit them out) for about 3 miles. Ahh gnats. I know I looked like a crazy person, waving them away as I ran. Oh well.
When I started UP the 38th street hill, I was impressed. Okay, so it's not nearly as tall as Brady, but it gives a run for its money, when it comes to incline. Wee HA! I was on mile 3, trying to make it strong, chugging up the hill, slower and slower. Thinking oh golly it really feels like I'm gonna puke...but then, I never do. It always just feels like I'm going to.
Except: I DID. Oh my golly. Somebody send the wahmbulance.
All I had in my stomach was the half cup of water I drank before I ran, so it wasn't very gross. But it WAS very humbling. I heaved, tried to recover, took a few more steps, heaved again, tried to recover and stumbled, took a few more steps, finally stood stock still and just let it go.
And because God has a hilarious sense of humor, an emergency vehicle went by right then on the other side of the street and slowed. I looked up and started waving them on. He rolled down his window. "Are you okay?" I hollered that yes I was fine, thank you, and waved him off some more.
So, today, I WALKED the entire rest of the way up that steep part of the hill, which was probably another minute or maybe two - your sense of time gets wonky when you just got your ass handed to you, eh?
While walking, I decided this was a GOOD thing - I just earned major badass cred by going hard enough to puke. And, just to show 38th street it doesn't REALLY own me, I ran the rest of the way home, once I hit the top of the worst of that incline.
Finally: in the last mile of the run, I realized I have to buy another sweatband before I run again. The cold weather had bought me a reprieve, but it was 64 degrees out there this morning, which is almost too hot for me for running, and sweat kept running into my left eyeball and stinging like crazy.
You know I love this crap. I will walk around today feeling like a superhero, for this run, despite the fact that my time was slow.
Cuz I'm strange like that.