Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Upside of Down

I wasn't so sure about my longer mid-week run this afternoon. I received the thrashing of a lifetime from a personal training session at LA Fitness on Monday, and the soreness didn't kick in until sometime while I was sleeping last night. I woke up this morning and could barely sit up out of bed because my abs felt like they were torn to shreds.

My eating today was also wacky because I haven't taken the time or the effort to restock my kitchen in an appropriate manner. Oatmeal for breakfast, soup for lunch, a handful of Easter jelly beans pre-run (I warned you, I'm not the best eater!) = not nearly enough solid foods in my stomach, making for a queasy, uneasy long run.

I debated about cutting down my miles today and upping them tomorrow, but at the point between Lake Calhoun (5-mile run) and Lake Harriet (8+ mile run), I decided to split off for the long route and risk it.

A quarter of the way around Lake Harriet I knew I made a bad choice. My stomach was gurgling, my abs were struggling, I started feeling hungry, and people were being unusually stupid. It was cooler today and it was especially windy down by the water. I don't know if people were trying to get out of the wind, but they were taking up the trail like there was no one else there, swerving as though they were dodging invisible puddles.

I looked down to keep the wind and blowing sand out of my eyes, and at one point when I was feeling especially shitty, I heard, "Hey, girl!!!" I looked up but had already passed whoever yelled this. I wondered who it could have been and if the greeting was actually for me, and this was a great distraction from how crappy I was feeling.

The only comprehensible thoughts I had: People don't normally cat call on the trails because it's not residential. It's not sketchy, and it's mostly just other runners, bikers, rollerbladers, and walkers. It had to have been for me! Maybe it was someone who read my blog but didn't know my name, hence the "girl" qualifier? Maybe it was someone who just wanted to acknowledge that 55 degrees is the perfect temperature for booty shorts and a t-shirt?! Maybe it was someone I met from a past race who couldn't remember my name?

Looking back, all I saw was a darker-skinned man in a green t-shirt running the opposite way I was.

I continued on. The second half of Lake Harriet was disastrous in terms of how my stomach was holding up. As I neared the end of the trail around Lake Harriet -- and right as I had the restrooms by the bandshell in site and started my bee-line there -- here came the man in the green t-shirt. It was Pablo ... the very first pacer I had during my very first Minneapolis Marathon training run. He slapped me a High 5, asked how it was going (I was not honest, but I was better after recognizing someone!), and kept going. I seriously cannot believe he remembered me.

Pablo must have an affinity for green -- here's the picture (and pretty much the same view I had today) of him pacing the runners back in February.
I stopped at the restrooms, refilled my water bottle at the water fountains, and headed north up toward Lake Calhoun. At the splitting point between the two lakes, I could have turned around and headed home (leaving me with 6.5ish miles), or finish the loop around Lake Calhoun (leaving me with 8.5ish miles). I decided to go the latter route since I had already made it that far.

Also a bad idea.

My stomach immediately started giving me a terrible pain again, and this time my right side was cramping up, too. It was just as windy on Lake Calhoun, the sun hid behind a few clouds, and other than how much my torso was hurting, I couldn't get over how booty shorts were probably not the smartest idea. My legs were bright red from the wind and sand pounding on them.

But, just as Pablo temporarily saved me from my misery, another distraction came! As I neared the kayak rental area with 1.5 miles to go, I heard voices yelling and a bunch of blue things falling from the sky. I ran closer and saw one of my favorite things in the world: free stuff! Turns out a new Columbia store is opening in Uptown tomorrow evening, and as a promo, two Columbia associates were throwing coupons and free hats from the top of an overlook.

Yes, my friends, I got a super nerdy bright turquoise hat that I will seriously never wear other than for the following dorky picture. But hey, it was a good distraction and a nice focus off of my aching body, hurting stomach, and what I thought was a pretty miserable run.
Despite how I was feeling, my splits ended up being pretty normal. Sometimes I can't believe how well my body switches to automatic when I feel like I'm really struggling.

8.6mi splits (1h 16m 54s):
1: 8:51
2: 8:48
3: 9:00
4: 9:03
5: 8:57
6: 9:01
7: 8:57
8: 9:00
.6: 5:14
Air Temp: 54F

1 comment:

  1. hi, thanks for commenting on my blog... now I have another running blog to read and learn the ins and outs of running.

    thanks for the tip on the Amphipod handheld, I think that would be a good solution for me. I will have to check it out.

    thanks again !!