Tales of 9 Runs: Insights From a Rough Run, or Lance Realizes He Is Not a Camel

It’s midway between the last run and the next run.  My goal on Saturday was to set out and run 9 miles or somehow run farther than the 8.4 miles that I have recently conquered.  Unfortunately, it did not happen, but I learned some lessons and I’m always up for lessons that don’t entail me losing a limb or my life.  

It had been a hot few days, dipping well into the high 80s and low 90s by some accounts along with some humidity.  Not fun weather by any measure.  I knew this and figured I would work with the weather—aim to run in the morning or later evening to avoid the harsh weather.  Well, I kinda failed at that.  Saturday morning started off in the 70s and raining.  The forecast said that the by 11am, it would be sunny.  I figured if I took off then that I would avoid too much heat and get in my 9 miles.  Not an entirely bad plan.  In the morning I went about my business, doing errands, stuff around the apartment, etc.  I laid down for a little nap around 10:00am (in my defense, I didn’t sleep well and had been up since 6:30am).  I got up at 10:40am and got ready to run.  I threw on my clothes and my kicks and got outside.  I started off ok.  I kept slow pace but I wasn’t looking for records and didn’t want to kill myself too early.  But by the 5 mile mark, I was feeling wiped and worst still, thirsty.

One of the biggest problems I have with most exercising/training is that I feel the more I get into it, the more accessories I need.  When I biked, the longer the bike ride, the more one has to pack:  liquids, spare tire, pump, snack, chain (to lock bike if using bathroom in a rough area).  Similarly with the bike, I’m trying to limit the amount of junk I carry on me because it weighs me down and also throws off my run.  I’ve got the iPod Nano and a GPS wrist watch.  That gives me all I need to know.  But of late, I’ve been carrying energy bites for the longer runs to keep my levels stable.  And I realize that today, I will now have to figure out how to add water as well, beyond the 8 mile mark.  It does make sense, particularly on hot days, but that doesn’t make it easier to figure out how.

Besides that, I also realize I need to pay more attention to my food and liquid intake with relation to runs.  This hasn’t been a problem most of the time because I’m usually running in the afternoon when I’ve been up much of the day and have 2 meals behind me.  For Saturday’s run, I realized I was significantly underfueled.  I had a big meal around 2pm the day before (Friday) and not much afterward.  On Saturday morning, I had a banana, an oatmeal raisin cookie, a cup of coffee and a protein shake.  Cumulatively, this isn’t too bad and had a good mixture to give me energy for the run, but that was at 6:30am, I didn’t start running until 10:50am.  Added to that, I was working off a fair deficit from the previous day.  I also didn’t sufficiently hydrate Saturday morning.  Lesson learned.

I also had a very nice moment with some nice people.  I had hit the 5 mile mark and was aching, so I walked a small strip (actually, I usually walk this—it’s about 1/10 of a mile at the 5 mile mark, just to give the body a momentary break).  As I got to the end, I saw a husband and wife on their front lawn (husband was washing the car, the wife was walking the dog).  I walked over and asked if they didn’t mind if I took a drink from their hose.  They were quite nice and insisted on giving me a bottle of water from their fridge.  It was greatly appreciated and just a very kind gesture on their behalf.

So no breakthroughs in running, despite my claim otherwise.  I had high hopes of reporting of closing in on the 10 mile mark (2/3 mark).  But there’s just over 2 months left and I’m doing well (when properly fueled) at the 8.4 mile mark which is more than half way there.

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