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Astrud Gilberto, The Girl from Ipanema

Running with The Girl from Ipanema

Sunday Long Run with The Girl from Ipanema

I missed running with the club this week, but ran with The Girl from Ipanema somehow.

The City of Melrose held their annual Victorian Fair this Sunday. All the local merchants and civic organizations have booths on Main Street and The Melrose Running Club had a booth also. We’ve been doing this since before I joined the club.

Melrose Running Club, Victorian Fair 2023

My job this year was to get our pop-up tent popped and our table set up. If I ran with the group I wouldn’t have been able to be there by 8:30. But after my job was done, I was free to go for my run.

My Solo Run

Since I was running solo this week I decided to run a simple course that I knew had a water fountain.

I headed north on Main Street and took a right onto The Fellsway towards Saugus.

It was a muggy overcast day but the temperature was in the low 70s. Not so bad.

As I ran along I had to pay attention to traffic, cyclists and people walking on the sidewalk – some with dogs.

That’s a lot to pay attention to but inevitably my mind began to wander. When you run alone your mind can wander like being in a semi-awake dream state. Bouncing from one thought to another and sometimes back again. No purpose or order.

But it is a semi-dream state and the mind has to snap to attention when traffic or pedestrians approach.

Running with The Girl from Ipanema

As my thoughts bounced about my wandering mind and snapped back to reality and back to my running dream state, I noticed that the refrain between thoughts and reality was the song The Girl from Ipanema.

Unfortunately I wasn’t running with a Brazilian goddess who made every one go “ahh” as she ran by. I didn’t even have the image of a woman in my mind.

Even when I became conscious of my mind going back to this song over and over again, I couldn’t stop it. And I didn’t know the words.

I tried to think of the words and I managed to remember a few lines. But only the lines to the bit of the song my wandering mind kept returning to.

Sunday Long Run 10, Fall 2023, The Girl from Ipanema

My main goal for this run was getting in a distance that would be challenging but not over do it. I wasn’t sure if my planned run was 8 or 12 miles, but I thought of several ways to manage the distance.

The breeze on my skin and a song on my mind

At the parking lot of Breakheart Reservation I was at 3.3 something miles and felt up to running the hills.

I stopped to use the water fountain at the visitor’s center, just as I had planned. The water was cool and wet.

After a brief stop I headed counter-clockwise into the park. The path has a few rolling hills and is a great run.

I could hear the birds and people speaking in several languages as I passed them. The woods were wet from the evening rain and I could smell the pine trees and fallen leaves. The rain amplifies the scents of the forest and can take you away from what ever you desire to leave behind.

I thought about how easy it is to run alone. I can go slow, fly down a hill or charge up one. I didn’t have to worry about slowing anyone down or running them into the ground! I just ran by feel.

The breeze through the tress brought scents that sent my mind wandering and cooled my skin. The song that kept creeping into my thoughts brought a joy to think of that girl on that beach.

My imagination ran wild as I ran a Sunday Long Run that was a joy to experience.

I was totally free. I was in the moment.

Oh those hills!

Nothing clears the mind so quickly as a hill!

As I approached the Wakefield Voke the path rose as a taste of what was to come. I knew that shortly after making the left-hand turn to head back, the hills would begin. Still I pushed a bit harder than I needed to get to the turn.

On this run I had been running the hills. I rose up on my toes, paid attention to the swing of my arms, and breathed intentionally. I was running a routine and working it.

When I wasn’t singing a song or drifting away on a breeze I was minding my cadence and gait on those hills. Trying to not get carried away and go too fast.

Running hills is hard to do, but I really like it. It’s like eating hot peppers.

On the last downhill I ran the down-hill routine. I opened my gait, pretended I was running on egg shells and focused on controlling my form.

I stopped at the Visitor’s Center for some more water and headed back to Melrose.

Finishing The Girl from Ipanema Run

Shortly after leaving the parking lot I hit six miles. My legs were a little tired from running those hills but I realized that my knee didn’t hurt!

All that time running the hills my left knee didn’t hurt. I was so focused on technique, my knee was totally out of my mind.

As I ran down The Fellsway I paid attention to see if I had simply been distracted. But my knee was fine all the way back.

I also noticed that my shirt was drenched in sweat. And it was so heavy that it hung a bit off of my back and swung back and forth with each step.

For most of the run, sweat had been dripping from the brim of my hat. Often I fling sweat from my finger tips as I swing my arms. Not sure why that wasn’t happening today. But, sweating is good!

The last three miles were harder than the first three, but I had worked the run and gotten the most I could out of it.

As I finished, my legs were tired, my knee was fine and everything just felt right., pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0




2 responses to “Running with The Girl from Ipanema”

  1. Catrina Avatar

    Yay for a pain-free run! So glad that your knee is holding up, Andy!
    Isn’t it nice when you’re in that dream-like state during a longish run?
    Sometimes songs come to my mind too and just like you, I can’t remember the words. But then the brain circles around that song and with a bit of luck, the words come back.

    Nice that you can get a drink now and then. Saves you from carrying it while running. No matter how light those hydrovests are, I still rather run without them!

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      They are often called “ear worms”.
      Those little bits of a song that get stuck in your ear and you can’t make them go away!
      I had forgotten that until someone mentioned it to me after reading the post.
      The song from the Disney movie Elsa is one “Let it go”. Here in the US there is a kids show with a song that repeats the line “baby sharks..”
      You have to hear it. But you don’t want to!