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Run Report: 7km Around Ashfield!

Drenched after running in the rain!
So I went out running today and had my personal distance best! 7 kilometers around Ashfield, and I'm really happy that I'm able to get past the 5km mark. I've been running exactly 5km or less recently and today I made a decision to just keep running until I felt like I wanted to stop. This was a pretty special run for me because it was the first time I've ever run in the rain! I've changed things up a bit too and started listening to music on the run (courtesy of Rdio which is now available in Australia!) which made it a lot more pleasant than my previous runs.

Why was running in the rain special? Well, when I was a kid growing up I was always told that running or playing in the rain would bring about sickness or disease. Being the good kid that I was trusting parents and guardians, I developed this aversion to rain. For the longest time I've always felt like the rain was something bad, something to be avoided, something that makes the day short of awesome no matter what happened.

Today though that all changed. I literally let the rain drench my face (had my hair pony tailed just so the wet hair wouldn't mess with my vision) and for once in my life I enjoyed and cherished the rain. Now I look back at all the times when I felt like the rain was making the day less awesome than it should be and I see how foolish that thought was.

The run wasn't without its hardships though. 7 kilometers is 2 kilometers more than the longest run I've ever done. It took a lot of convincing myself to just keep running and just push through. It was also the first time I had multiple "winds". I took mental notes of how I felt at kilometers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and here's what I largely remember:

View 1/21/12 11:20 AM in a larger map
  • Kilometer 1: I felt just about warmed up but a little sluggish. Starting the run on a climb up to Parramatta road, then a short descent then up again kills whatever momentum I built up in the descent. I started pacing myself down.
  • Kilometer 2: This gassed me a little -- I was running along a busy road and I tell you there's nothing like knowing how you're slow compared to cars running in a 50km/h area. Halway between kilometer 2 and 3 though, I got my second wind.
  • Kilometer 3: At this point I had a choice as to whether to keep running to Fredericks street -- I was already almost back to Orpington Street (after having a little "pit stop"). This was the crucial point where I got determined to go all the way up and go the long way around heading home.
  • Kilometer 4: I was an intersection to which I can turn left and take the short route home. I was seriously contemplating this especially because my left calf and achilles tendon started complaining a bit. I took some time to stretch and proceeded to push less in the next kilometer.
  • Kilometer 5: I was already on Fredericks street and this was the point of no return. Whatever mileage I made after this was unknown territory so I was mostly interested in just keeping myself moving. This was also when my third wind came and I actually felt like I was just beginning to run again.
  • Kilometer 6: This arrived when I was at Elizabeth street and surprisingly it came sooner than I thought. Between kilometer 5 and 6 I was going mostly uphill but unlike between kilometer 1 and 2, this felt a lot more fluid.
  • Kilometer 7: This was almost at the end and hearing My Tracks tell me that I did 7 kilometers made me feel really good. I did stop to take a picture of flowers along the path which also reminded me of the reasons why I decided to start running, and this was one of the sweeter runs by far.
The soundtrack for this run was The All American Rejects' Move Along (International Version) album. It took me one full hour to get through this run, which was consistent with my 7km/h speed.
I learned a few things in this run about me, what my limits are, and what I can do potentially at some point later on. I plan to keep running, and now my goal of being able to run 10km per session is almost within reach. I don't intend to push it too hard because I'm learning to listen to my body more now than ever.

Hopefully in the next runs I can change things up by taking a different route -- now that I know I can do 7km, I'll plan a route that's a little more adventurous and a little more scenic than the usual routes.

Until next time, I'm celebrating this achievement with protein bars and lots of recovery time!



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