This is the song that never ends...: My roses really smell like boo-boo.

This is the song that never ends...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

My roses really smell like boo-boo.

Oh the horrors of a long run.

The day started out pretty uneventful: woke up around 6:00-ish, listened to the alarm clock for an ungodly amount of time (snooze, sleep, alarm, snooze, sleep, alarm...), finally got out of bed at 8:00-ish, had some coffee and Smart Start cereal because I hear that's what they'll be serving for brekky at the 'thon---I'll have to double-check that, then at 9:45a went on my merry, little way after a satisfying bathroom pit-stop.

I decided to hit the road today as opposed to the trail because I haven't done a good asphalt long run in quite some time. All was well for the first 9-ish miles. Mr. Phitlee had told me about his longest run that led him to a car dealership. He talked about that long run the way an old man reminisces about a great event in their life. His eyes sparkle a little bit and there’s a smidge of pain written on his face. Imagine my surprise when I saw that dealership at the halfway mark which is about 7.5 miles out. (???-he told me that it was a 20 miler….hmmph). Anyway, I was on cloud nine---practically skipping as I turned around. I felt good, a little tired, but still energetic. I had only been running about 80 minutes or so, so I still felt like I had some gas in the tank. I honestly thought that if this is what it felt like, then the marathon is going to be a piece of cake.
My shit did not stank at that very moment.


Around 9-point-something miles, things got a bit ugly. I felt a rock under the tongue of my shoe and it was starting to rub funny. I knew I would have to pick it out, but whenever I stop on a run, my lower back starts to ache really bad and I have a tough time gearing up for the rest of the run-nevermind the fact that I was running on a pretty hilly stretch of road. After I worked out the little bugger, my hips and legs turned to stone and running was becoming a real pain in the neck. I tried to keep the pace up as hard as I could, but the hills were proving to be a bit much so I had to…...sigh......walk for a while. I looked like an idiot with my water-bottle pack, gels, painful expression on my face and a gait that would make you wince.

I tried the walk, jog, walk-funny, walk, jog, walk-funny for quite a while and when I was about 2 miles from home, I just gave up on the ‘jog’ part. It was getting pointless because after the jog, I was feeling so shitty and recovery time was taking way too long. At this point, it was about 12:50p and I remembered the note that I left on the door for Mr. Phit stating the approximate time I should be back (I put the road that I was running down and the guesstimate of time---should anything go awry, he would be able to scoop me up). I was wondering if I’d see his car racing up and battling with myself as to whether I’d accept a ride or ask for another bottle of water instead. It was huuuuuumid and balmy in a terrible way and the bottle of H20 that I brought along was being rationed in a way that did not match my sweating.

When I finally got to our driveway, his garage door was slowly coming up and I saw him with a fresh bottle of icy water-keys in hand. Apparently, he was getting ready to send out the one-man search party since I’d been gone pretty long. I actually anticipated being out for about 3 hours (90 minutes out, 90 minutes back) and it turned out to be 3 hours, 20 minutes for 15.39 miles (25.6k for you Canadians out there).

When I got settled inside, my stomach was doing some interesting things. I decided to take a quick shower and that turned out to be a HUGE mistake. I was still too overheated and nauseous and thought I was going to puke right then and there so I had to jump out and sit for a second, sopping wet, just to get my bearings. I left the soap in my hair, bundled up into my robe and towel and went straight to the bedroom to lie down. I felt like poo for about 2-3 hrs and then, magically, all was well-again and I was starving.

Lessons learned? I’m not sure. Here are my guideposts for a better 15-miler:

1. At least 3 runs during the week that are in the 4-6 mile range.
2. Keep nutrition at the BFL standards-extra carbs for free-day longs.
3. Run as early as possible to avoid the wicked, satanic, horrendous, mid-day heat.
4. Stash another bottle of iced water in a bush somewhere along my route.
5. Be mindful to take it slow in the beginning so I don’t conk out in the end.
6. Skip the caffeine-laced energy gels because they obviously make me delusional.


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