15 miles on a Sunday after skipping the previous week’s run and running half of my diet (breakfast + 1 meal per day as high protein low / no carb) left me feeling a little bit nervous, especially considering the earliness needed to start the run in order to catch my beloved Giants fight for their right [to party]. The night before I ate questionable chicken but stayed away from beer which I had previously blamed my belly difficulty on, but I couldn’t resist the dr. pepper which weighed heavily on my mind, and my gut when I woke up.
The unexpected run-ins started early. On my way out to breakfast with the GF we ran into a man I work with who I didn’t expect to see as he doesn’t live in my neighborhood, and he didn’t expect to see us either, heading back to his car at 7:45 on a Sunday morning, you never count on encountering work colleagues, but such is the life of young entertainment folk, or so I’ve heard. We had a brief stop n chat while I sat in my car, which is the piece of shit you imagine, but without all the windows you hope for. I drive a shitty car. My daily round trip commute is 1.95 miles, so I’m fairly safe from judgment as I live quite close to work and in a nice ‘hood and have developed a reputation for being extremely cheap to cover my inability to effectively save or earn money.
We ate a small breakfast but the dinner from the night before wasn’t sitting right, so I left my apartment at 9:45 with a planned slow and easy 150 minute 15 miler and probably catch the 4th quarter of the game that should never have been. That went out the window kind of early as I wasn’t having a good day, energy-wise. I had an FRS energy drink before the run but it wasn’t enough to overcome the low energy absorption that I was going through, and it was unseasonably warm and I refused to run on the shady side of the street because it would mean about a half dozen more traffic lights, and my new shorts had a much smaller pocket so as a result I was only able to carry a clif bar and a honey stinger stoopwafel which is only about 300 calories. That caloric load would have been more than enough had I been able to get running earlier or hold in dinner, but all things considered, it was a bonk recipe.
I ran into a friend while running on the ocean park in Santa Monica. I doffed my cap and seeing his confusion added a friendly “Howdy!” but got nothing in return. I realize now that the last time I saw him I looked like a Geico Caveman and suddenly there was a cancer patient doffing his cap in weird ole Santa Monica (I shaved my head and beard on New Year’s) so he may have just written it off. A couple texts later, and I’ve discovered that’s exactly the case.
I hit the wall hard at 12 miles. I had to stop at 9.8 to use the bathroom, then from mile 10-11.5 I had to run insanely slow because I was either sunblind or about to pass out. I had taken in 2 fills of my handheld – a Nathan quick draw elite 22 oz. but still had the thirst, so I pulled into an emergency room that I frequent as the water fountain is cold and the bathroom is always open. I filled up my bottle a third time and on my way out heard someone say “excuse me,” and panicked, as I had no business using the facilities and do it often enough to have some kind of nickname (I hope it’s Forrest Dump as I’m a runner who consistently disappears into their bathroom for curiously long intervals), so I literally ran out of the emergency room and sprinted about a half mile in case a nurse was following me, the whole while convincing her in an imaginary conversation that I was well within my rights to use the drinking water there as it was an emergency and I was catholic so they should double-lay off but I turned and looked and realized I was alone, then refocused on pace and the painful cramp that exploded out of both of my calves.
Incidentally, and conveniently within the theme of this piece (don’t I know you?), when I heard the “Hey” I turned to see someone who I thought looked a lot like another person I work with, but was too frightened to stick around to see if that was indeed him, and why would a guy who is an engineer at a broadcast network be an intake nurse at an emergency room? So I told him of his doppelganger and it turns out it was him. Completing the triforce. Because everything happens in threes. Accidental spoiler alert, I will not run into anyone else I know for the rest of this post.
I bonked 3 miles from home. Or I should say I bonked 3 miles from the end of my run, which thanks to a miscalculation and a bit of lengthening in order to get to a bathroom I knew would be clean was 4 miles from home. So I toughed it out, made it a point to push extra hard on the last mile and when I could not take a step without seriously fearing a muscle pull, I stopped running and started walking. At least then I could get some text message updates on the game, though I had missed all but the last 3 minutes after spending 2 hours and 39 minutes in the sun, 2 minutes in the emergency room and 10 in a toilet at the Santa Monica ocean park, but we won, so I’m okay with it.
Lessons learned: no more soda on nights before long runs, when stomach is being funny, pack extra fuel after funny tummy evenings, plan runs better, stay in the shade and get out early. This coming weekend I have to get in 17. I’m much more confident about it. And as a bonus, the Giants don’t play until 1pm, so I’m going to have all morning to get the miles in.
Finally one of my favorite running blogs is giving away a pair of Merrell Road Gloves, which I haven’t pre-ordered only because I don’t know how to pre-order them, but I have my cash in a wad waiting for these shoes to hit the store so I can own them and run the shit out of them because I love the trail gloves so much and I desperately want to love these shoes too. So click here and maybe you can win a pair so you don’t have to admit your shoe fantasies to your reader(s) http://www.runningandrambling.com/2012/01/merrell-road-glove-review-and-giveaway.html