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It's Our Turn: Random thoughts running through my head

OK, all set. I’m wearing my running watch, tunes going, ear buds on. I think I’ll run a 10K (6.2 miles) today. Got to keep training for the half-marathon in San Jose in a few weeks. Hit the GPS on my watch. Go!...Ugh, why are the first few blocks always so hard? Legs are elephant heavy, left hammy is twinging, breathing is off, already tired. Maybe I’ll just do a 5K…At least it’s a beautiful day out, not so blasted hot like it’s been. Bright blue sky. Just a smattering of clouds, light breeze. Perfect…Here’s that hill. Gotta get used to it. There are a lot worse inclines in some races. Don’t know how San Jose will be…Ah, there’s the trail ahead. Must be at the one-mile mark. This Central Lakes Trail is such an asset. It’s amazing more people aren’t on it. It’s scenic, well-maintained, you don’t have to worry about getting hit by crazy drivers, and it’s less noisy than the roads. We’re really lucky to have it…OK, starting to feel better now, getting into a rhythm. I can do a 10K today…Remember to look up, not just stare at my feet. Keep the posture, focus on breathing…Hope I’m ready for San Jose. What if I feel completely shot after just a couple miles? No, I’ve been running three, four, five times a week for six months now. Is that too much? Will my legs be too tired? When should I start tapering my training? I’ll have to Google that…OK, I must be getting close to the 5K mark but don’t look at the watch yet. Keep the suspense going…Oh-oh, here come a couple of walkers. Don’t slouch, don’t look tired. Pick up the pace. Friendly wave. “Hello!” OK, they’re past. Now I can be tired again…Good tunes on Pandora. Classic rock. Stones. Sympathy for the Devil. That must have gotten boring, singing the “doo-ta-doo” part for the entire song while Mick was asking people to guess his name…Man, it is beautiful out. Look at the setting sun reflecting off the lake. A few boats out fishing. Didn’t fish at all this summer. Too busy running, I guess…More people coming. On bikes this time. Straighten up. “Hello!” Who was that? They called me Al and they looked vaguely familiar. Can’t run with glasses on. Maybe I should look into getting that Lasik surgery…Another good tune. Credence. Why does that guy keep getting stuck in Lodi?...OK, I must be getting close to the halfway point to turn around and head back. But it’s so nice out. Muscles aren’t tight anymore. Tired, but it’s a good tired. Maybe I can do 10 miles. That would be my long run for the week, which would help for San Jose…All right, Garfield is up ahead. Check the watch. Yes! I’m at six miles. I should be able to do 12 today, my longest run this year. Turn around. Keep it up. Watch the breathing. Straighten up…I should press this mile a bit, see if I can get a negative split on my time. Pick up the pace. But not too fast. Need to save some energy for the end…OK, that’s enough. Go back to my regular pace. That’s better. Get into a rhythm. One foot after the other; that’s all it is. Forget about feeling tired. Burn off some stress. Think about work. Wow, I have a lot of things to do before going to San Jose…Credence on Pandora. Didn’t they just play one from them? They’re wondering if I’ve ever seen the rain. Didn’t they sing another song about rain? Wondering who will stop it? Oh well, good stuff to run to…More people coming. Oh, the heck with it. I’m a sweaty mess right now anyway. No reason to fake it. I’ll just keep chugging slowly along. “Hello.” Darn it, they also called me Al. Couldn’t see who they were. Too much sweat running in my eyes…OK, nearly there. Take a look. Eleven miles! And my time is decent, an hour and 33 minutes. Just one more mile to go. I can do this. And then I just have to run one more mile in San Jose and avoid the medical tent. Let’s see, what can I think about for this last mile. Hey, I know. How about an idea for a column...

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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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