There was once a local cat shelter called Bide-a-Wee. I think that's either Yiddish or Swahili for "Stay a While". We obtained our two animals from there, and we also made a couple donations. Then they were sued, or threatened with a lawsuit. It seems that the name they chose was already being used by an "animal welfare" organization in New York. Why in the world someone would care what a little cat shelter is called is beyond me. So now they're simply the Stay a While Cat Shelter.
What does this have to do with running, you ask? I have no idea. I just sort of remembered it when I typed the title of this post. But Been a While does indeed have something to do with running. How, you ask?
1) It had been a while since I ran with Dave Gajewski. In fact, I can't really remember our last run together. It's probably been several months. He called me yesterday, and I joined him for a 20-miler this morning. It was good to catch up with him - to hear how his family is doing and how his (still) young kids are progressing in school and preschool.
2) It had been a while since I did 20 miles. Oh, I suppose you could say that I've done some treadmill twenties, but we really shouldn't count those. Today's twenty went fairly well, thank you. We averaged about 8:30 per mile, although the first ten were somewhat faster than the second ten.
3) It had been a while since I'd run the "Dave's Loop" ten-mile route. At least that's what I call it. The course begins and ends at Dave's house in Broadview Heights, traversing some hills, neighborhoods and semi-rural roads. I used to drive over for early morning runs once a week or so, but as I say, it'd been a while. Today we did two of these loops in 83 and 86 minutes, respectively. We've run them faster - and I'm sure Dave could have done so today - but this really wasn't too bad at all.
4) It's been a while since running has caused me pain of any kind. Astute readers of this blog will note that this is not the first time I've mentioned this. Since it's a somewhat important topic from my perspective, I herewith bring it up again. While I'm trying to improve my speed and strength, I most certainly do not want to get myself back on that injury bandwagon. So I am trying very hard not to do anything too stupid. That means, mostly, not racing for a while, not increasing my mileage too much, and not going too crazy with speedwork. That said, I do want to begin running some short road races. That said, I may yet consider the Hinckley Buzzard 25K/50K trail run. Then again, maybe not.
5) It had been a long while since I experienced a runner's high. You don't hear too much about this any more - I think people are slightly embarrassed to discuss it. But here is an interesting Wikipedia entry about endorphins. My experiences with runner's highs have been slight, and muted. But I've had them nonetheless. They always come after a long and hard effort, and are always unexpected. Today I was driving home and thinking about how grand my life is, when it occurred to me that I almost never think about how grand my life is.
Now... back to reality.
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