Monday, 28 December 2009

one crappy run

I never had one of these before. A crappy run, that is.  Well, my lesson learned is this. Do Not Open the mail before heading off on a planned long run. 

I was walking out the door with my sports drink in my fanny pack, listening to my fully-loaded iPod. I picked up the mail from the slot and saw an envelope I didn't recognise. I opened it. The envelope contained a rather large bill that I thought I had paid last year.  I stuffed it into my desk and headed back out the door. I was so upset about the bill I forgot to say good-bye to my family sitting in the living room playing music.  A block away, I thought about turning back to say goodbye, but kept going.

Planning a run that will take me more than three hours takes practice. Yesterday I mapped out a route and felt much better about the run. It's difficult to go out that long along the North Sea in the winter.  There are very few shops and no water. I realised the bike route I ride regularly could get me most of the 27k. But what about replenishing my water supply?  I can carry two water bottles in my fanny pack (1.6l) or a Camelbak.  I feel like a camel though....

I solved the water supply problem by breaking the planned run into two parts. One up and back on the beach with Odie, then drop him home, re-fill and head back out.  You can see the problem already, I am sure.  It's the cautionary mantra of ultra-marathoners: "Beware of the chair."

Well, I got going. Odie was happy. I tried getting my Garmin to go too.  I stood around a bit, waiting for it to pick up the satellites. Then I started the workout - which used a distance-based warm-up as the first interval.  Because the watch wasn't tracking distance, the workout never progressed.  My attention focused on the stupid watch, occasionally getting anxious and irritated about the bill. 

I don't usually enjoy the first 15 to 20 minutes of any run. As usual, my legs felt too heavy.  I felt guilty for skipping my mid-week runs - giving myself no slack about the week before Christmas, the ice fields that have surrounded the house, and my trying to finish up work and buy gifts and be festive, etc.  Real athletes train anyway. I have four months before the marathon, and already I feel behind and ill-equipped.  I can run 21k without batting an eye, but today I felt like a rank beginner.    I'm mildly curious about where that expression comes from. After finishing here, I will go read here and here, thanks to a quick Google search.  If you read the links, don't blame me for your A.D.D.

The GPS signal remained too low for my watch.  Or my watch was just stupid. It required a soft reset later in the afternoon, so maybe it wasn't the satellites' fault.  I was listening to Femi Kuti, Beng Beng Beng and trying to remember how to run before I became Garmin-Stupid.  I took the buds out of my ears, screwed around with my watch, gave up, and looked for a landmark for an out-and-back.  I picked a spot that yielded a little over 8k round-trip from my house.   In hind-sight, I should have just stayed out longer.

Another factor that made the run crappy was that I was too hot. I had three layers, including my new wool Icebreaker from New Zealand.  I've been wearing this jacket since it arrived under the Christmas tree.  If you looked at the jacket link, I do not look like that model. My ears are smaller.

Once I got home, I got cold. And the ambivalence I feel about long weekend runs set in. I like spending time with my kids. I also like sleeping in. Of course I could get up earlier, finish my run before the kids rally, and have more time with them. But I don't get up early. I stay up too late and then oversleep.   Like last night and this morning.

So with the failure of my gear, I don't know my pace. I have a good idea of my distance thanks to a google pedometer map.   Still willing to click? Here's my route. 

I made lunch for everyone. Then they dashed out of the house to go skiing - indoor Dutch skiing. Don't feel jealous.  

Then the final blow - my next love assaulted me. Being home alone.   I decided to blow off the rest of the planned run and just chalk this one up to One Crappy Run.  I sorted kids' clothes, posted a couple of the good items on eBay (I have to pay that bill somehow....).  And baked Christmas cookies.  Photo above. Gluten-free. Meringue and almond meal. Very tasty.  Let me know if you want the recipe.

I wrote an unapologetic report to my coach.  I have to admit to myself I'm ambivalent about LSD.  I hinted at this problem I am having with the very idea of four-hour runs. I want to do the M in 5.5 hours. But do I need to run a half-m or more every other weekend to do that?  I don't know.  He's got a lot of experience. But I put his training plan in "old school."  I'm going to think about it some more.  And eat some more Christmas cookies. 

My promise to myself - do both my mid-week runs, with some drills to help me run faster.  Get back to the gym to lift.  Fill out my blueprint for success in 2010.  Build a solid financial foundation.

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