I think I'm breaking up with Nike+. It has totally let me down and driven me crazy. My run on Saturday, as my pal Kel would say, was E-motional, and today's run wasn't super.
Even though I only run for about 30 minutes, that's the only time I get all day for uninterrupted focus. My mind can wander to all sorts of places while I'm running around in a circle at the goose pond. When I started my run Saturday, I was already in a bad mood. It was a good day for mood swings I guess. I knew it would be my last time to run on level three before moving up to level four on PodRunner, and I was worried about finishing.
Trea and I got a very late start Saturday, so I was mad at him for making us run in the dark. Then I was mad at the people who let their giant 80-pound dog poop on the trail. I was mad that the front side of the pond smelled like goose poop and made me want to gag. These geese, by the way, are the reason I don't usually run all the way around the pond. I try to stay away from their hangout by the parking lot, but on Saturday we were out so late the geese had gone to bed. I took this picture today, and it does not do them justice. There are usually three times that many standing in the middle of the trail.
As I was running and getting annoyed and angry at every little thing that was wrong with the day, I noticed that I was running really well. I wasn't too tired. My legs didn't hurt, and every breath I took was satisfying instead of that awful feeling I get when I'm sucking wind and it seems like my lungs won't fill up all the way. So I decided to change my attitude. It takes less energy to smile than to frown, right? So I forced myself to smile for a second, and it truly helped my mood.
I remembered when I was in high school, I kept a gratitude journal. I used to write down three things each day that I was thankful for. As I ran, I started to make a mental list. My first thought was of my dad. His story is a long one, but I'll keep it short here. My strong, active, outdoorsy father was in a horrific motorcycle accident in April 2009. He not only broke most of the bones in his body, but he crushed and shattered them. Over the last 14 months, I've watched him struggle and work and sweat to relearn things that we all take for granted - like brushing your hair. This time last year we were rejoicing over his holding a cup without any help. Now I'm watching him learn to walk and fight with all his energy to not be in a wheelchair anymore. And I get overwhelmed when I have to run for three minutes at a time?! Dad is strong, and I can be too. I'm thankful that I can run, and I'm thankful that he can stand.
And right in the middle of all those deep, emotional thoughts, I inhaled a gnat right up my nose. And man, I was mad! But I thought, just keep going, just keep going, almost there. I'll be thankful for this sweatband on my wrist, so I have a place to expel that gnat. Yep. Thankful for the sweatband. Just keep calm and keep running.
At the end of level three, there's a 4-minute walk to cool down. My legs felt so good I decided to see if I could run to the end of the music for 4 minutes - longer than I've ever run before. I did it! It was hard, but I made it all the way to the end, and I knew that I'd be able to move up to the next level after that little test. I couldn't wait for the Nike+ lady to tell me what a good job I had done. I just knew that I had set a new personal record pace with all that running. When I listened to my results, Nike+ lady said, "Workout time: 27 minutes. Workout distance: 0.00 miles. Average pace: 0." And I promptly burst into tears. Crazy E-motional. So much for being thankful and not sweating the small stuff.
Today, Trea and I ran for the first time on level four. Trea has already broken up with Nike+ because of its unreliable ways, so he was using a new iPhone app that tracks his route with GPS. We both ran our tails off! We ran slower today to try to pace ourselves because we knew it was going to be tough. Level four is two 3-minute runs and two 5-minute runs. Five minutes straight!! TWICE! And we finished! The run was so hard, and the weather was wicked humid, but it felt good to get through the end and not give up.
When Trea and I compared our stats, our mileage didn't match. His said he went 3 miles, and mine said 3.7 miles. That can't be right because he's faster and always runs a little farther than I do. He argued that his mileage was correct because his GPS app is more reliable than Nike+. When we analyzed how both programs work, I realized I had calibrated my Nike+ all wrong! Over a month ago! So you see that widget over there on the right? It's not true. I have no idea how far I've actually run. Trea thinks my total mileage is around 35 miles instead of 43. Unfortunately, he's probably right.
So, bye-bye Nike+. We had a good run.