Training Widget

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Seven Sans Coffee/Keep Your Effing Dog Away From the Water Fountain

I ran a seven miler this morning and the only good thing I can say about it is that I survived. It was supposed to be a tempo run with five miles at 8:54 pace, with one mile of warm up and cool down on each end. I anticipated this would be a tough workout, but I did not anticipate not being able to complete the miles at the prescribed pace. I had kind of been looking forward to it. I like a challenge, we've been having super running weather, and Thursdays are preschool days (so I get some me time). I thought all of that would combine for a splendid running experience. Being that I have delusions of returning to my previous sub-two hour half marathon form (and I thought I was on track), I really thought this was manageable.

SPLITS- THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (I'll let you figure out which is which)
Mile 1 9:59--A great start... perfect pace for a warm up mile
Mile 2 8:56--Certainly close enough
Mile 3 8:59-- Again, close enough
Mile 4 9:38-- WHAT THE FUDGE??? (see WATER STOPS below)
Mile 5 9:28--I dunno. There was no water stop involved, so I have no excuse
Mile 6 10:58--Utter despair and complete defeat (again, see WATER STOPS below)
Mile 7 12:35-- Yes, it was a cool down, but COME. ON.

We've got a great little trail about a mile from our house that's a two mile loop. It's paved, shaded, and has just enough pedestrian traffic to make one feel plenty safe to run alone in the woods. And, there's a water fountain (big time bonus in my book). The only problem with this little slice o' running heaven is that it's in a bit of a valley (i.e. pretty much a downhill trek to get there *yea* and pretty much a straight uphill trek to get home *BOO*). My plan was to run the mile there as a warm up, run twice around for four of my five tempo miles, head towards home for the final mile of the tempo portion; then putz around for a cool-down mile near the house. Pair these notes with the splits, and it's fairly easy to see where the wheels came off on this particular run. The last tempo mile was straight uphill. Flippin' genius, Anne. Seeeeeeeriously. How do you spell idiot?? That would be A-N-N-E.

I don't speak for all runners, but my 'runner's best friend' is hands down a water fountain. It's just a fact that this game dehydrates a person. If you're fortunate enough to run where there's a fountain, you don't have to break out the camel back (which is super handy, but a complete pain in the keester to clean) or a bottle of water. YEA for water fountains! Today, however, the water fountain caused me two problems. Number one was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Number two... judge for yourself.
1. My garmin watch has this handy dandy auto stop feature that stops timing when you stop moving. For some reason, when I made my first water stop during mile four, the clock rolled on. It's annoying, but ultimately provides me with a pretty stinkin' good excuse for failing to run mile four in the goal time of 8:54.

2. Somewhere either in the late part of mile five or the early part of mile six, the despair and defeat of this run were firmly entrenched in my psyche. I was tired, I wasn't meeting my goal times, and I was oh so thirsty. Alas, my beloved water fountain was near. Despite the negative energy now surrounding the run, I was confident that I would take a good, healthy water break and finish strong. Not at goal pace, but strong.
I come around the corner and there's a woman with two dogs. She's taking a drink. No problemo. I can wait my turn, and the extra rest while waiting seems like a gift from above. Then, after she refreshes herself, she picks up the little pooch and proceeds to let him/her take a drink from the water fountain. When I told my husband this story, he responded with "Are you serious?". I responded with, "How could I make that up?".

Being the facebook junkie that I am, I immediately came changed my status to: OK... I know you dog people are goofy about your dogs, and that's cool. I don't get it, but it's cool. Still, I must cry foul if you lift your pooch to the water fountain for a drink while my stinky, sweaty, thirsty self is standing right behind you waiting for a drink.
Honestly, in the immediate moments following, I thought, maybe I'm being too hard on the dog people of the world. Maybe I'm freaking out over nothing. However, the responses have indicated that's not the case.

I wish I could tell you that I just skipped the water and came home for my liquid refreshment. But folks, I was in a bad way, and, have I mentioned, I was thirsty?? Really, really thiiiiiiirrrrrsty! I let the water run for a good 15 seconds and took a hit. Gross gross gross gross gross GROSS!

After this, I gave up. Just completely and totally gave up. In my running life, it rarely happens, but it sure as heck did today. "Don't give up" is something we preach pretty consistently to our kids; and ultimately I'm just glad they weren't around to see me doing just that.

Now that I'm a few hours out from this epic fail experience, I am gaining some perspective. I'm definitely thankful for my dailymile support community on such days. How did I ever live without them??!! I'm also choosing to focus on miles two, three, and four as victories... they were a little off, but once water time is subtracted and you factor in some hills, they were ultimately quality miles.

I'm also giving myself a little wiggle room because this week is just crazy busy. All good things, but I didn't get home until after midnight on Tuesday, and was up past 11 yesterday night. By my standards, that's two pretty short nights. And, the two beers I enjoyed while sitting on the porch last night were likely (definitely) ill-advised. Lesson learned.

And lastly, I'm experimenting with drinking less coffee. I already drink half-caff, but drinking it at all just holds less appeal for me now that the weather has warmed. I skipped it this morning thinking that it would pay a dividend of me not feeling the need to pee the entire time I was out running. In reality, I probably needed the fuel. I am going to continue experimenting with this, so look for more coffee related posts in the future.

I'm spending the rest of today/this evening re-hydrating, re-fueling, and getting ready for tomorrow's 10 miler. It's the last long training run before the Minneapolis half. Woohoo!! Just for the record, I'm not giving up on running it in under two hours. We shall see...

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