Ten times around the block, nice and green

My neighborhood doesn’t have fancy houses, sidewalks or corner stores. It’s a subdivision built in the 1960s, with lots of Cape Cods, ranches and other single-story houses.

But if you love trees, like I do, it’s a great place to live. There are thousands of trees in our little neighborhood, providing lots of shade and beauty.

So for the days I can’t get to the trails, I don’t mind running a few miles around the neighborhood.

Today, I decided I would take that to a new level. I would run 10 miles through my neighborhood, on a one-mile road loop that runs past my house.

Yep, today’s workout was 10 times around the block.

That means I would run 10 times past my house, 10 times past my neighbor’s barking dogs, 10 times past the beautiful gardens up the street, 10 times past the junky house around the corner, 10 times through the shaded areas, 10 times through the exposed areas, 10 times back around the corner to my house.

I would see what the neighbors were up to. And they would see what I was up to. Ten times.

I knew the repetition might play on my mind. The sixth or seventh time I ran past my house, I thought I probably would hear a little voice in my head that said: “This is crazy. Let’s stop. There’s the house. Let’s get some breakfast.”

To deal with that, I gave myself another challenge. I would try to push my speed a little faster on each lap. That would make it interesting.

If I were a few years younger, and had bionic legs, I could try to break the speed limit.

No, this wouldn’t be a speed workout, nothing drastic. I would still run a marathon pace. But I would start easy and push myself, little by little, a strategy that has always worked for me in races.

That was the plan. And off I went, bright and early, trotting down the driveway, hitting the street. I would run clockwise, making lots of right turns.

When I hit my neighbor’s mailbox, I started my watch. I figured the mailbox would be the lap marker for the next 10 miles.

My neighbor's mailbox.

The weather was perfect: low 50s, overcast, light breeze, no rain. The streets was still wet, here and there, from an overnight storm.

It was a quiet morning. I mostly had the place to myself. There were only a few other people out, some walking dogs, some gardening, some sitting on their porches.

I left my camera at home. My plan was to run 10 laps without the bother of carrying a camera. Afterward, I would do a few cooldown laps on my bicycle andd take pictures then. And that’s what I did.

So without further ado, here are my lap times:

Mile 1 — 8:50

Mile 2 — 8:36

Mile 3 — 8:24

Mile 4 — 8:20

Mile 5 — 8:24

(stop for two minutes for raisins and water)

Mile  6 — 8:26

Mile 7 — 8:05

Mile 8 — 8:01

Mile 9 — 7:58

Mile 10 — 7:38

All done! I can stop.

OK Trail Boy, you're done.

My total running time was 1:22:44. That worked out to an average pace of 8:16 a mile.

I was surprised I never heard a little voice telling me to quit. Maybe the distance wasn’t long enough. After all, I’m tapering, and today’s distance was pretty short compared to last Saturday’s 23 miles.

I was glad to see that I could keep pushing the speed for most of the laps. I felt strong throughout. I’m ready to go do a half-marathon! Oh wait, I’m signed up for a marathon. Well, we’ll see how strong I feel in the final miles of that, won’t we?

The neighborhood is filled with thousands of tall, stately trees. It's one of the greenest places I lived.

Part of the loop is slightly uphill...

...and part of it is slightly downhill.

This is one of the prettiest yards in the neighborhood: Karl's lawn and flower garden.

And there's Karl planting some ivy.

Of course, every neighborhood has a junkheap property like this.

This is the Trail Boy house. My run is over. I feel good!

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3 Responses to “Ten times around the block, nice and green”

  1. Well done! Good trick by going faster each lap to motivate yourself. And going by the house is always nice for bio breaks. :-)

  2. nice house I want to visit someday! and good job on the run!

  3. Why are you surprised you didn’t hear the little voice telling you to stop? You made that little voice your bitch a long time ago.

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