Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long Run Blues

Well, as a result of being stuck at work all day long on Saturday (AKA the most perfect NYC day for a long run ever), I was forced to push my long run to Sunday this past weekend. I knew it was supposed to be rainy and gross out all day, but sometimes you just don't really have a choice, you know? Once I finally got home on Saturday night, I sat down to a dinner of whole wheat penne pasta with home-made pesto (yes, my boyfriend does things like make home-made pesto for me). As I ate, I carefully searched for a few podcasts that would make for appropriate listening material on a rainy Sunday morning long run. All of a sudden, there it was . . . buzzzzz buzzzzz! My blackberry vibrated. With dread, I picked it up, typed in my password and soon thereafter came to the disheartening realization that I would not, in fact, have Sunday off as I had originally thought. No no, I would have to be in by 11:00 a.m. to supervise a couple of contract attorneys who had decided to come in. UGH.

I tried to be positive. "That's okay! It's about time I learn how to get my butt up early and get my long runs over with earlier in the day! Before too long, it will be so hot that I'll have to do it anyway. Might as well start getting into the habit now. Plus, think of all the gear you can buy with the six additional hours of double-time you'll make! Life is great!" I finished my dinner, mixed some gatorade, pulled out the clothing I wanted to wear the next day and set the coffee-maker to come on at the crack of dawn. I looked at the clock and realized it was somehow already approaching 10:30 p.m. It was time to hit the hay. I set the alarm for just before 6:00 a.m. and headed off to bed.

I waited . . . and I waited . . . and I waited for sleep to come to me. But it did not. You see, my body is clearly not used to going to bed so early. It was still in full-on multi-tasking hyper-functional mode. I did my taxes in my head. I made grocery lists for the next six weeks. I named my not-yet-conceived children. In short, I got everything accomplished but sleep itself. Ah well.

Finally, after hours and hours of restlessness, the alarm went off. I sat up and took a listen . . . rain, rain and more rain. Fabulous. I got up, poured a cup of eggnog-flavored coffee (yes, for some reason we still have eggnog-flavored coffee in our apartment) and made a PB & J sandwich. I went downstairs, hopped on the computer and checked accuweather. There was no getting around it; I was going to get wet.

I caught up on some blogs while eating, and then finally realized it was time to get dressed and head out. I was out the door by just after 7:00 a.m. Of course, my BFF, garmin, just HAD to be difficult, and refused to pick up a signal for a good ten minutes. I stood there in the rain just glaring at her, probably really confusing anyone who happened to drive by at that time. FINALLY, she picked up a signal. I reset her, started my podcast and away we went!

Right from the beginning, I could tell that it was not going to be one of my best runs ever. My legs felt heavy, and I just felt like I wasn't on top of my game, so to speak. Plus, I was super nervous about the timing of everything. I had only allowed myself a cushion of about 15 extra minutes, in an effort to get as much "sleep" as possible, and I was nervous that should anything come up, I'd have to either skip part of my run or be late to work.

Still, the run was young and I really had a lot of positives going for me as well. The rain was a blessing in disguise in that it made for some shockingly empty streets and sidewalks. As I'm sure you can imagine, that doesn't happen very often in Brooklyn; so when it does, it is certainly a treat. It was almost eerie . . . no cars, no pedestrians, nothing! I happened to be listening to Phedippidations Epidosde 55 (The Maine Woods of Thoreau), and it just seemed very fitting, for I was about as "one with nature" as you could possibly get in Brooklyn.

After the first fifteen minutes of my run, the rain slowed down to a drizzle. I was already soaked by this time, so in that respect, it didn't much matter how hard it rained . . . but still, it was nice to have a temporary reprieve from the steady downpour. At the 5-mile mark, I stopped to sip some water and eat some sports beans. I also worked on stretching out my hammies, which had started cramping up a bit. I swear, only I would suffer from cramps during the crappiest, rainiest day of the year. So typical! Anyway, I started another loop, and tried to ignore the pulling in the backs of both legs.

At the 7-mile mark, I realized I was starting to go insane. That's right . . . the combination of my cramp-tastic hamstrings and the Chinese Water Torture -like drizzle were literally driving me crazy. I grabbed another sip of water and debated the possibility of cutting the run short and swapping the following week's long run (a fall-back distance of 9-miles) with the current week (supposedly 14-miles). I tried pretty hard to convince myself to keep going, but I just knew . . . I was done.

I finished my loop of the park (all the while cramping up all over the place), checked my garmin as I exited the park (9.02--perfect!) and began walking the 2+ miles home (ugh). Now, considering I was wearing soaking wet shorts and a soaking wet long-sleeve shirt . . . and it was about 48 degrees outside, I was FREEZING. I contemplated jogging home, and actually went so far as to try to do so, but my hammies would seize up so badly every time I tried to run that I eventually gave up, and walked the entire 2.4 miles home. I cannot tell you how happy I was to finally turn onto my street!

I chugged some gatorade, took a HOT shower, drank a cup of coffee, hung out for a bit . . . and then it was off to work. Sigh. Not exactly the best Sunday I've ever had, but I suppose some of them need to be crappy so that you can truly appreciate the good ones!

Anyway, here are my splits from the run:

Mile-1: 9:47
Mile-2: 10:11 (what happened?!)
Mile-3: 9:42
Mile-4: 9:33
Mile-5: 9:40
Mile-6: 9:57
Mile-7: 9:32
Mile-8: 9:36
Mile-9: 9:36

So yeah . . . that adds up to a total of 9.02 miles in a time of 1:27:46 for a pace of 9:44.

No worries . . . I'll rock this coming weekend's long run, I promise!


Anonymous said...

I think you rocked this long run in the way you did. Many others would have decided to just sit this one out and feel grumpy over not having run the whole working Sunday.

The Laminator said...

I think doing nine in the rain is like doing 18 on a nice day, so you have my respect. I've never done more than 5 or 6 miles in the rain kudos to you. I have NO DOUBT you're going to rock next weekend's run.
Hope the hammy feels better too...

Running and living said...

I agree, you rocked the run. Plus, you were smart to stop after 9 miles, given the hammies acting up. Take it easy and I am looking forward to reading about next week's long run. Ana-Maria

EmLit said...

I've gotta agree with everyone else--I think you win just because you had a good attitude, fought some pretty adverse conditions, and came out the other end with a respectable distance! Sorry to hear that work is getting in the way of so many things, that's never fun :(

Alissa said...

wow, I would have been so ticked if I had to work on a beautiful saturday and had to push my run to a less than beautiful day. You have a great attitude. Next week's run will be better. It has to be! Great job on getting it done despite every thing that was going against you.

aron said...

yikes that just sounds horrible :( i know those days. great job for making it through the 9 miles!! i think it was definitely a cut it short kind of day. hopefully you will be blessed with PERFECT weather this weekend and have the most awesome 14 miler :)

Spike said...

nine tough miles are always better 14 easy miles, you did a great job. sometimes work will interfere with running, work is rude like that. oh, and if people look at you after you make mean faces at Garmin, tell them you are waiting for the satellites...they will think you’re crazy.

sRod said...

The rain run is a rite of passage. Now you can't use the "I can't run because it's raining and cold" excuse any more.