Last night after work, I geared up for my 7-mile run. But in the time between getting home from work and walking out of the garage with pooches and Travis in tow, the skies changed from cloudy to stormy. Refusing to be scared by rain, we headed out anyway. A minute later, big lightning bolts streaked across the sky. Hmmm…
We revised our south-bound 4 mile run to a north-bound 1.5 mile run since the skies looked less menacing that way. For the entire run, lightning and thunder boomed at us from the east. Less than .25 mile from home, it started raining and the wind picked up.
Plan B was going to the gym. I convinced Travis to come along and as we pulled out of the driveway, it looked like the storm might have already passed. (Sadly, it only rained for about 15 minutes. Colorado is so dry this year!) But we figured we might as well just stick with the gym.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I seriously have not been back to the gym since my near brush with death by brussel sprouts in February. Ever since then, I have associated the gym with thick, warm air that smothers me until I can’t breathe. Not appealing for a 5.5 mile run.
But I sucked it up (because I realized I was being ridiculous). When we got there, one treadmill was open so I decided to snag one while I had the chance.
I set the incline to 1.0, the speed to 5.6 (10:42/mile), and tried to read my magazine, which was unfortunately near impossible. I could only read the ads, which, as compelling and persuasive as they are, didn’t do the trick in helping me zone out.
So I watched the people on the bikes in front of me, scanned the TVs for something interesting (the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune was ‘Fork of the Road Runner’…what the heck is that?), and went back to my magazine.
I tried to be patient and let plenty of time (and miles) go by before I looked at the distance (which was conveniently hidden by my magazine). When my stomach started to hurt, I thought maybe it was time to take my mid-run gel. So I moved my magazine and saw…
I made a deal with myself that I at least had to make it to 2.5 so that I could get off and run an even 3 around the track to finish. I made it to 2.76 then the blasted treadmill went into cool-down mode. I restarted it for another .24, then jumped off and did 2.5 around the track.
You know how your legs feel after you’ve been running on a treadmill – like you’re just zooming everywhere, even when you’re walking? Well, that lasted for 2 laps (.2 mile). Then my legs alternated between feeling GREAT and speedy, and then feeling like I was trudging through a swamp. It was quite strange actually.
When all was said and done, though, I ran 7.05 miles in 1:13:50 – an average of 10:28/mile.
I’ll take it.
The Eugene Marathon is this weekend. If I had stuck to my original plan of running that race, this would be THE weekend! But alas, I still have 2 months to go until my race. Good luck to all of those running Eugene! May the running force be with you.
Instead of doing that race this weekend, I’ll be revisiting the course for the bane of my racing existence (this race).
Not only will this be my longest run of this training cycle, it will be the longest run of my life at 15 miles.
This is what the course looks like:
The lowest point is 5483 and the highest point is 5965 – a gain/loss of 485 feet. That race (the Ralston Creek Half) made me realize that I was not prepared to run any sort of hilly race. Since then, I have done 5-6 long-ish runs with 300-400 feet of elevation gain – since the Mayor’s Marathon gains 300 feet over 15 miles, I want to be prepared. And what better way to prepare than get my a$$ handed to me? (Pardon the language, but ‘getting my butt handed to me’ didn’t have the same ring to it.)
So unless I wuss out between now and 7 am, I am planning to run an easy 2 mile warm-up (while I still can) and then run an unofficial hilly half marathon to see if I can beat my February time of 2:38:24. I’ll report back this weekend if I don’t dissolve from sitting in an Epsom salt bath too long.
Do you have anything challenging or exciting planned for the weekend?