Sunday, February 18, 2007

An 8 Mile Run

Yesterday, after an pretty brutal biking session, I had my longest run ever. Overall it was great. TRIgirl Cheryl was a sweetie and wanted to run with me despite the fact that I'm slower than her. She has one of those cool Nike chips she puts in her shoe and tracks her run. The results are far better than I expected:
Distance 8.52 miles
time 1:44:34
Pace 12:15

For the sake of my conscience I should mention that I think her computer was a little generous to us. I think the run technically should have been 8 miles, meaning that our pace time could have been a bit slower, closer to a 13 minute pace.
The run started at Willow Lawn and we ran down Monument Avenue all the way to the Downtown YMCA and then back. The Y let us in to get a drink of water, and we tried to pee, but couldn't (figures) our time doesn not include the 10 minutes it took for us to find our way into the locked bathrooms (and up and down the stairs) and back out again.

Some of you may know this but when I came to Richmond in 1991 I lived right on Monument Avenue, well actually Franklin Street in Johnson Hall...the dorm. Each year, I would just a couple of blocks farther west. And until about 2 years ago, I lived right at Willow Lawn (901 Parrish St). So this run was a journey back in time for me. As I worked my way closer and closer to the dorm that I started my adult life in, I was reminded of stages in my life, not too long ago, but oh so long ago at the same time.

First, Lafayette Street, would take me to my favorite apartment -- 3923 Park Ave. The one where I ran/walked 3 miles every day often with Mr. Preschool. I didn't know this until recently when I ran into my across-the-street neighbor from that time ...but apparently we had quite a reputation...for kissing on the front lawn. It wasn't really like was like 7 am and we'd just be getting back from the run. We'd sit on the little bank in our front yard and I would do my sit-ups while Mr. Preschool would hold my feet. Then we'd switch. But more often then not, I guess, we'd end up rolling around in the grass kissing. We were newlyweds...what can I say?

Then, Roseneath Ave at the Ashe Monument. We lived at 3409 Hanover...and I had one of my best gardens ever...built from scratch. And we had a really cool neighbor named Bruce.

When I crossed Davis, at the Jefferson Davis Monument I was reminded of 2 apartments. At 109 N. Davis, we rented the bottom floor. We loved the place... the only problem is we had to go into the freezing cold unfinished basement if we wanted a shower. This was the apartment where I lived when I found out my mom had leukemia. This is the apartment where I lived when I got married. And, this was the apartment where I quit smoking. We weren't allowed to smoke inside -- only outside. And it was seeing myself outside on the back porch in the pitch black sick and coughing trying to get a smoke that made me realize I had to quit. I crushed out the cigarette, went back inside and slept for 2 days. When I woke up...I was a non-smoker.

The second apartment was 2339 W. Grace Street. When I lived at this apartment my motorcycle was my only transportation one winter. I remeber going as fast as I cold to get to VCU in the morning...just so I could get it over with. And when it snowed or iced, I didn't go anywhere. This was also the apartment with a band downstairs that seemed to practice all the time. Hans and Ginger lived upstairs in another apartment with their pit bulls. Whenever we ran into them in the hallway we had to pretend like we didn't hear them having wild sex all the time. This is also the apartment where I met Mr. Preschool's parents for the first time. And where we lived when we found my favorite cat, Biko, who always smelled like fire.

Before I knew it we were passing my friend Leigh's apartment facing the Lee Monument where I had my first Thanksgiving without my family in 1992. At the next intersection, we crossed Lombardy/Stuart Circle and I was remineded of the apartment where I fell in love with my husband -- 1604 Grove #6. 1604 was also where I bought my motorcycle and where I spend some of the happiest and unhappiest times of my young adulthood. I was 19 when I moved there and met my future husband. And found that riding my motorcycle was one of the only things that could always distract me from myself.

Then, we passed Johnson Hall, the dorm and my husband's dorm facing Monroe Park. It's funny how it is so much the same and so different all at the same time. Bikes, kids, homeless. Same buildings...and yet new buildings stood where none where before, like Rhodes Hall II.

During this time of reflection, I had run 38.51 minutes straight without really noticing. For me, that is huge since typically I'll stop every 3-4 minutes. I'm not sure what happeded...I guess I was in the zone and between running with Cheryl and reflecting, I was able to continue without walking.

The Chrono recap from my watch is below, mostly for my records... but it is interesting to see how much longer I could run when I was with someone.

R means Run... W means Walk. can see the times I ran with Cheryl and also, when I went it alone. Pretty funny how my running times got shorter and shorter towards the end! But you can also see the big impact having someone to run with had on me!

4.59 R with Cheryl
1.17 W
3.57 R
1.11 W
4.19 R
.57 W
11.28 R with Cheryl
1 W....ran to catch Cheryl
38.51 R Cheryl
1 W
17.54 R Cheryl
1.11 W
3.56 R Cheryl
1 W ....Cheryl went ahead by herself
2.36 R
.26 W
1.54 R
.40 W
1.17 R
.53 W
2.07 R
.33 W
3.26 Run down Staples Mill to Maramarc


Melissa said...

such a nice stroll down memory lane. funny where times brings us. and the thigns we go through in lfe that make us into the people and places we are today. sounds liek you had a lovely jog! thinking helps me keep my mind off the pain! lol. maybe that helped you keep jogging longer than usual! go you! jsut think next saturday will be even better!

Cheryl said...

REALLY enjoyed it Jonah! Cannot wait until we see what the March schedule will bring us! Reaching these goals are really are an amazing athlete! Keep up the good work!

TriGirl 40 said...

Wonderful run - and enjoyed learning more about you - from the motorcycle to the splendor in the grass moments. ;)

carmen said...

what a neat story
thats another reason i love running
through the city
and also the richmond marathon
mine are
2810 monument
3031 park
16 s boulevard
2027 w main
some good times!