It’s only a 13.1 mile race you know – Run Report

Posted on July 11, 2010

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We’ve been so pumped about cramming as much into this Iceland trip (because really, I mean when am I going back to Iceland? and will it happen before the volcano blows the whole country into the water?) that I just realized yesterday that we may have not left enough time to get workouts in leading up to the race & afterward. Minor oversight.

So since I seem to have started long runs forever ago, I was hitting 10/11 miles a while ago and have kept building to pass 13 miles from here on out. Today was 14 miles. It was 78 degrees according to the digital sign that is on my first mile. Did you know that despite being “summer” it’s only going to be 41-45 degrees in Iceland? I might run nude in Iceland because that cold air on my body would feel so good compared to this furnace we’re living in right now. I’m not committed to that yet, but it’s a thought, and  an especially strong one when you start to hit the later mileage and your brain turns on you a little bit.

One of the major points of contention after last weeks’ run was whether or not I should be walking through water stops. Run coach, Jen Harrison, said I should practice at some point by setting up my own tables with Dixie cups on them so I could practice running without choking & thus sending my HR into the stratosphere. I was picturing how I was going to pay someone to stand at a table and hand me water after water as I run by practicing my hydration intake.

I now can do you one better. About mile 3 I came to a cross street where bikers were being directed by a policeman. It was a triathlon!! At the next street, they’d set up a water stop! I would get to practice for real! So you know how at races they have little paper cups filled with water that you grab as you run by? This little local triathlon had huge plastic cups that look like they should be set up for beer pong, not a water station – regardless, I grabbed one as I went by (am I in the triathlon? sure! I’m just the only person on that street NOT on a bike! water please!)

I really wish I would have run into that water station again – by mile 6 I knew I was sweating A LOT and running directly into a blazing sun. The next few miles went from ‘ah, feel awesome!’ to ‘ugh- must keep running’ and back to awesome again. Around mile 7 and 11 I saw the same guy but at different spots. This guy irritates me because of his easy breezy long loping stride…”he must not be running more than a couple miles & that’s why he’s so comfortable looking”… is how I deal with him. Petty, I know.

Mile 12.5 I missed a turn and decided to make up the missed mileage by ducking through the streets of a neighborhood just down the road. I’ve done it a million times and knew that if I stay to the left, I’d wrap around and end up back where I needed to be. Missed that turn too. Dammit. Now I’m in the back of this neighborhood, having a moment, of “no! I want to stop! now!” then quickly picking up my feet to run faster because there’s clearly no other way to get home. Came through a park to a softball field where a game was getting ready to get going – I’m sure they appreciated the shuffling woman coming through their outfield – hey, they hadn’t started yet, outfield is fair game for runners in their last few miles.

All in all, a successful run – not a fast one, but a completed one – and that makes it a success. Last observance from today’s run:

I’ve realized that it’s become equivalent to seeing a unicorn when most people see someone out running, logging some serious mileage, wet ponytail lapping back and forth. I was waiting to hear a car crash as it passed me after yet another driver leaned across their car over into the passenger seat, staring like they’re seeing a mythical creature that they almost need to pull the car over to get a better look at. Left foot, right foot, at a high rate of speed – it’s call running. It’s no unicorn sighting, so get used to seeing it and stop acting like an idiot when you see us run by.

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