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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Accidental Half

Monday was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and warm with a nice breeze. I got out of work about 3 pm and Mike had to work late, so I had some time to kill. I thought since I missed my long run a couple days prior that I would sub the quick 2 miler on my plan with a long run in the country. Mike had been talking about a new route he wanted to try that was a modification of one of our biking routes. If you go straight at Rockport and cut back into town, it was a 7 mile loop. If you went out a little further and picked up the bike trail you end up by Fisher Creek trailhead and it's 10 miles. In my head, I thought I had a pretty firm grip on where the routes went and where to turn on them. my plan was to go for the 10 miler, but if I felt like I couldn't do it, I would just cut in and do the 7 mile loop when I got to that point. I loaded up my fuel belt with 4 bottles of Powerade Zero and a bag of Clif Blocks. I took off into the country at a comfortable pace, not worrying about going fast because I was going long.

I've noticed lately I have had a really hard time getting going the first couple miles, so I just roll with it. i run a while, then walk a few hundred feet, then run some more. No big whoop, and it seems to pass after I have 2 or 3 miles under my belt.

The first thing I noticed is how frigging hilly this route is. I bike this all the time and know they are rollers, but on foot it feels like constant mountain climbing and descents with very few flats. I got a few miles into the run and got onto Rockport Road. As I crested the first hill, I noticed a dog running towards me from the house across the street, a big brindle colored Pit Bull, barking at me from his yard aggressively. I hollered "Stop! Go Home!" This brought him out into the road, barking and growling at me. Shit. I try to remember dog spray when I am in the country. Not today. All I had to defend myself was my wits (not much of weapon) and a squirt bottle of powerade. I squirted some at him. I think I heard him laugh at me. I started yelling as loud as I could towards the house "Come and Call your F'ing Dog!!!" over and over and ordering him to stop and go home. He kept trying to get behind me so I was walking backwards down the street so I could see him. As he stepped out into the road again, still growling, a car came over the hill and stopped in front of the dog, next to me. He heard me yelling and started honking his horn at the dog, which finally turned the dog towards his house. I shouted a thank you and ran away hell bent for election.

As it came to decision time for the route length, I decided I had almost enough drink left for a 10 miler (slightly at risk for being a little dry but not bad), so I took a right up Hayner Road and right into a headwind. I ran and ran for a couple miles (didn't realize until this time that country "blocks" are all almost exactly 1 mile long...)I passed a couple turns and headed towards the corner that would take me around it and to where the bike trail starts right by the poop plant. As I neared this corner I started doing some math in my head....... no way was this going to be a 10 miler - try more like 14....... crap. Realizing that I was somehow way off course and way undersupplied with fluids and nibbles, I slowed way down to conserve energy. As I ran and pondered, I decided to run slowly to the 10 mile mark, then walk home from that point, with finding a place to refill my bottles as a priority. I was certain that there was a bubbler along the bike trail somewhere. Ya know what? I was wrong. I got to the 10 mile mark, which was a real struggle. After that, I pretty much walked the rest of the way. I was way far out of water and there were NO options to refill. No big deal, I wouldn't really need it if I walked the rest of the way. Problem was I was only at the Fisher creek trail head, estimated quickly as about 4 miles out from home yet.

I saw a shortcut up the onramp to the Crosby bridge, so I headed over the railroad tracks and across the marshy boggy spots to take the detour. I just wanted to get home. My long run was pushing 3 hours, no one knew what I was doing, and I still had a long way yo go. I had my cell phone, but was just too stubborn to call. I reasoned with myself - your legs don't hurt THAT bad, you are closer than you think, it's just a couple miles, Come on cowgirl up you've got a marathon in a little more then a month. by the time I was a mile or so from home, I was visualizing the straightest line to my house, cutting through back yards and any which way to save steps. Ended up with just under 13 miles, just short of a half-marathon. By accident. With nowhere near the supplies I needed. Stoo-pid!

I walked into the house and looked at Mike's mad face. I introduced myself to him as the stupidest person alive today.

As he looked at my Garmin map, he said "I see where you went wrong - you forgot to turn left where I told you to." Well, no shit.

That evening, my legs cramped up. my knee (in particular my left IT band) was killing me. Tuesday, I could barely walk and stairs were definitely out. What an idiot.

Monday's lessons:

1) Uh yeah. Double up on the liquids you bring. Especially if you don't have a place to refill them if they are empty.

2) Perhaps if you are visualizing a map in your head, you should consult an ACTUAL visual image of said map. Then you know you are discussing the specifics of the same map.

3) If you realize you have gone horribly wrong somehow, quit being a martyr already and call for a ride. Seriously.

4) Dog Spray is like American Express. Never leave home without it.

Today the knee felt better so I opted for a short recovery run. It was slow and I still have some knee twinges, but overall not too bad, just slow.

Saturday is the crazylegs 8K. Fun Race - I hope I'm feeling up to it!


Dan Seifring said...

Hope your knee is feeling better and you have no problems in you 8K. It was a nice run.

I am a dog lover but hate people that do not control there dogs.

Anonymous said...

Nice little unexpected half marathon there! I'm glad you're okay...with the dog situation (I hate that too) and the not enough fuel situation.

I did that on a bike ride once but luckily found a school water hose to refill my bottles. The water was warm and gross, but I was thankful to have it!

Way to cowgirl up!

Hope you're feeling up for the crazylegs...wasn't that your first race?

Kim said...

Oh my feel your pain... I am the world's most directionally challenged individual.. I would have ended up in Iowa or something - glad you made it home without any dog bites and not too worse for wear...

SUB6 said...

OOOOOPS!!! ... Well done for surviving the run :)

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