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Every run is an adventure March 31, 2010

Posted by Christine Coleman in Exercise.

Mississippi River, Quad Cities

Yesterday was the first 70 degree day of 2010, with the first 80 degree temperature on the horizon for tomorrow. After cold and wind kept me from the Mississippi riverfront at the end of last week, I was anxious to head back there after work to go running.

This is week five of my running program (mostly the Cool Running Couch to 5K program, although my inner competitiveness has me stretching beyond their suggestions most days) and I’m up to running five minutes at a time now.  My last run was Saturday, indoors at the YMCA. Since I don’t like treadmills, I run on one of the tracks. Usually it’s the cleverly named jogging track – a large blue oval that rings the large gym below. The other, the walking track, is in an area that houses bikes and elliptical machines, plus a series of resistance weight machines. It’s smaller, meaning that sensation of going around in circles is worse, but there’s a drinking fountain! Typically, it’s very crowded with walkers so running there is challenging. Saturday, there were few people so I ran there. Of all four weeks’ worth of outings, it was probably the easiest.

So my expectations were high yesterday – I was again running five minutes at a time, plus back outdoors.

It was very windy. On my running days, I obsessively check the Weather Channel Web site all afternoon for the wind speed and direction. The Mississippi River actually runs east to west in the Quad Cities, so the riverfront path does too. Typically I park at the east end, though on occasion will change because of the wind. (When it’s cool, I prefer running into the wind first and having an easier time on the way back to the car.) Yesterday’s 20 to 25 mph winds were from the south. I wasn’t sure how that would affect me, so I decided to stick with the usual. I like routine!

As expected, the lot was crowded when I arrived. A woman in a little SUV pulled in right as I did. While I was gathering my iPod and car keys, she backed up and left. Well, one less person to on the path … And there were many, far more than any other day I’ve been there. I passed the walkers and just enjoyed the weather.

There were many runners out yesterday, also more than ever before. One cute shirtless guy smiled as he ran past, which was nice. I almost laughed out loud when the song “Be Still My Beating Heart” by Sting began a moment later on my iPod. As the song continued, and Sting said “it’s not healthy to run at this pace,” I chuckled to myself again. My running pace is not harmful to anyone.

As I continued, things weren’t quite as easy as they’d been Saturday at the Y. Quickly I realized why: springtime allergies + budding trees + new grass + 20 to 25 mph winds = difficulty breathing! Approaching the end of my five-minute segments, I couldn’t help but huff and puff like Fernando Vina and David Eckstein used to do as they were rounding the bases.

But I did end up with a friendly voice guiding me along. For no reason at all, I am listening to all the songs on my iPod in alphabetical order while running. It’s kind of like having it on shuffle, since I don’t really know what will come up next. As mentioned with the Sting song, I’m in the B’s now. And I was thrilled when, as U2’s “Beautiful Day” ended, the next song was “A Beautiful Friendship” by Teraesa Vinson. Teraesa is one of my Cardinals Twitter pals, as well as a jazz singer in New York City, and I love her music. (Find out more about Teraesa and her music here.)  Listening to her sing boosted my motivation.

After the turnaround, the running stretches were more difficult as my allergies bugged me more. The usual Chris Carpenter motivation didn’t work, perhaps because Chris was not his best yesterday either when he pitched for the Cardinals. But as I started my last section of running, it was Teraesa to the rescue again as “Being Green” (the Kermit the Frog song!) began. I kept my pace even slower, just concentrating on one step at a time. When I approached five minutes, I decided to keep going a bit to prepare for Thursday – the first stretch is for eight minutes. At six minutes, I wondered if I could reach seven. (More examples of my competitiveness with myself!) And I did reach seven, and was that much closer to my car. Sweaty yet victorious, my trip was soon complete.

As I reached my car, I shut off the iPod and took out the ear buds. That gave me the opportunity to hear the conversation of the couple on the other side of the path. “So what size is your bed?” the young woman said. The guy was silent for that moment, so I never did hear what his response was. Too bad I didn’t see the cute shirtless runner again. Now I had a question I could ask him.



1. Erika - March 31, 2010

Great job on the running Chris!! I love how you throw baseball thoughts into everything .. glad to know it isn’t just me! lol 😉

2. LSMurphy - March 31, 2010

You’re inspiring me to try this whole running thing again. 🙂
Keep up the good work.

Christine Coleman - March 31, 2010

Seriously, check out that Cool Running link. Great program that helps you build up a little at a time. If you’re planning to run, though, be sure to get running shoes (instead of walking or other sneakers). That was the first advice I was given!

3. linda suring - April 1, 2010

Boy, you make running sound attractive. And makes me want to get an ipod. 🙂
Starting next week i will have to be watching for you (80 is going to be closed eastbound for the next 4 months or something).

Christine Coleman - April 1, 2010

Though I know that detour is such a pain for you, yay for me! I was thinking the other day down there (45 to 50 minutes is time for lots of thoughts on lots of things) how it was fun last summer to look for you to drive by — a good distraction, which I obviously always need. And the fact you’ll be driving by regularly means drinks at the Captains Table are not out of your way at all! 🙂

4. Riverfront ramblings « Christine Coleman - May 5, 2010

[…] do have these actual words in one post, but it mentions Chris plus a shirtless guy I saw running on the riverfront. Sorry to disappoint […]

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