Monday, June 13, 2011

#338: 11 miles?

Really? It looks more like 10 on the map, but my Nike+ says 11, and it's almost always short, not long. Whichever one it was, 10 or 11, it's the farthest I've run so far. So what is it like for a Fat Man to run 10-11 miles?

I started out at 6:45. I knew it would be a long run, and I wanted to beat the heat. The early morning air was cool, probably in the mid 60s.I brought my sunglasses, but didn't need them so soon, so I put them on top of my head. The streets were so quiet. I scared some rabbits and squirrels as I trotted along, and they skittered away from the sidewalk, just in case I was a predator. From time to time, I would pass another runner. "Good Morning." "Good Morning." There is a special kinship among early morning runners. Ordinarily, I'm pretty wary about approaching strangers alone on the street, especially women. I imagine myself to be pretty big and scary looking to someone who doesn't know what a teddy bear I am. So I tend to give a lot of room to folks. But when I'm running, people seem to understand that I'm not out for trouble. It's as if we know one another. I am coming to like runners more and more.

The first mile and a half, I felt some early morning twinges. My left calf has been warming up slowly, especially high up, toward the back of my knee. It doesn't hurt, it just takes a little while longer to loosen up than the rest of my legs. It usually takes between 1 and 2 miles for me to feel like I'm firing on all cylinders. Once I did, I became conscious of my pace and really tried to keep things slow. I was headed out into uncharted waters for me. I didn't want to run out of gas after 7 or 8 miles and have to call Mrs P to come pick me up.

There were a lot of crows out yesterday morning. They called vigorously as I ran by. I never noticed how much crow's calls sound like derisive laughter before. I swear, a couple of times I thought they were making fun of me. It sort of spurred me on.

The first 3 miles are a gradual climb through shady suburban streets. Newspapers lay waiting in driveways for their sleeping readers to make coffee and pad out to pick them up. My breath and footsteps worked peacefully together to form the soundtrack for my run. I've stopped wearing my iPod when I run. The sounds of the world are becoming too good to miss.

When the road turned toward the east, I started squinting, and reached for my sunglasses. Since they had been resting on the top of my hot, sweaty head, they were badly fogged when I slipped them down. I tried running with them that way for a bit, hoping that they would clear up on their own, but eventually wound up pulling them off and wiping them down with the front of my tee shirt. After that, they were fine.

After a brief little downhill stretch, miles 4-6 are the steepest climb of the run. This is also the stretch where there are no sidewalks. I kept my head up, my eye on traffic, and my feet on the white line. Most people gave plenty of room, and I returned a thankful wave. Some other drivers made a point of not veering an inch as they sped past me. I murmured something insulting about their parents, and trotted on.

Once you reach the top of this hill, the rest of the route is a long, gentle downhill slope, with a few little rises thrown in, just to keep you honest.This was also the part of the run where I started to feel tired. Not gasping for air tired. More like heavy-legged tired. I started to notice soreness in the front of my left groin, at the abductor muscles that help pull your leg forward after a stride. I wasn't sure what could be causing this soreness, unless it was the fact that my legs now felt as if they weighed 400 pounds apiece. I started to cringe a little every time my watch would beep to tell me that my 30 second walking interval was over and it was time to run again. By mile 8, my cringing had degenerated into a quiet curse every two-and-a half minutes. No wonder the crows thought I was so funny.

At what should have been mile 9, I crossed the last busy street and checked my sport band to confirm the mileage. It said I had gone more than 10 miles. That was insane. In the first place, I mapped this route out carefully. In the second place, that was 2 miles farther than I had ever run before. And I was still a mile from home. I had a sinking feeling that if I stopped running now, I would probably sit down in the grass and go to sleep. Although it was a lovely morning, the side of a busy street was not the place I wanted to power-nap. I pressed on and made it home. I had been running for two-and-a-half hours. Made it home just in time to shower and go to church. Then I took a long nap.

I have to be honest with you. I don't really believe it was 11 miles. My wrist gizmo has about a 10% margin of error, and on a long run, an extra mile is definitely possible. On the other hand, I don't really want to measure it out again. Worst case? I ONLY ran 10 miles. That's still a very long way for a Fat Man. I'll take it.

I wish I had some kind of philosophical wrap up here. The truth is, I haven't really digested the whole thing yet. I can't imagine how people can run a marathon. I'm having a little bit of a hard time imagining myself running a half-marathon, but I'm getting closer. The good news is, I no longer have to imagine myself running 10K. I've done it. Several times. The Bluegrass 10,000 isn't going to kill me. That's pretty good to know.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Label Cloud

mrs p Cancer running lifting weights LIVESTRONG at the YMCA treadmill weight nutrition depression God Living Strong at the Y injury YMCA dogs mom walking radiation Weight Lifting cardio friends program theatre body fat long slow run love One for the Five aches elliptical race resistance bands stretching 5K Acting Jeff Galloway chemo doctor family mental health Church Pittsburgh Marathon bluegrass fundraising inspiration patience personal trainer recovery Flying Pig Marathon Jesus Johns Striders Race Report Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon bipolar frustration kentucky knees measurements morning promatx yoga Christmas Marathon Pennsy's Greatest Hits cats clothes heart rate hope lance armstrong life molly poetry rest side effects steelers swimming 10K Actors' Guild of Lexington Blog CT Scan Coach Carrie PET Scan cross training exercise fear feeling good groin healing ice cream livestrong nausea powerlifting run/walk/run stair climber surgery Cancer Fighter Cold Gear Hills Iron Horse Half-marathon Job LSR Mum Nike+ Shamrock Shuffle 3K achilles advent arboretum bmi bodyweight exercises changes charity circuit training cycling dad deadlift diabetes encouragement experts give up goals horses interval training jake kettlebells lean body mass new rules of lifting pacing personal best plateau prayer recumbent bike research shoes sleep strength teeth therapist toe video Blood Easter Endurance Funeral Garmin 405 Homecoming House Insurance Juicing Keeneland Legacy Night PR Pennsyltucky Pittsburgh Relapse Run This Town TRX Training Values aflac arnold ben-gay bench press chafing christian compression shorts dentist dreams faith fat fatigue foreclosure good day half marathon hospitality javarunner john's run/walk shop lou schuler new year nurse pains peg tube powercage progressive resistance. racing rain rapture reboot runners world squat sun block supplements team pennsy tired weather will rogers work #3rightThings 9-11 ACSM AIDS Aquaphor Blessings Bluegrass 10K CSN Cancer Boy Cedar Hill Charles Dickens Class of 82 Classes Colby Road College Compassion Courage Crowdrise Cystoscopy Dee Diet EFM Epiphany Fall Fartlek Fat Man Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Frankfort Gadgets Gramma Grampa Gratitude Grete Waitz Guest HITT HIV Hell Holding Hands Holy Saturday Homer Horse Capital Marathon IVP Ice bath Jacuzzi James Taylor Jesus wept Joe Cross John Izzo Joy KY LaDonna Leg Day Lent Lessons Lexington Little Pennsy Mental hospital Midsummer Night's Run Mindfulness MobileFit Negative Splits Old Frankfort Pike Pilates Podrunner Pre-race Priorities RICE Railrunner 10 Miler Random thoughts Resurrection Reunion Run Bob Run Run Report Run Review Run for the Gold 3K Running Form Running for Sabrina STUPID Shakespeare Skip Brown Speed Spinning Summer Of Speed Sunrise Supersets Tao Te Ching Thank You The Wall Three Right Things Toxic Passenger UK UK basketball Urine Urologist Victory Walk of Shame Warrior Westminster Whole Foods Wind Words Zumba ace bandages addicted agony alwyn cosgrove america anger antibiotic anxiety awake back baseball blood clots blood pressure body glide bonhoeffer books brad calories chinup colonoscopy consistency crazy cycles dentures dip dr. google dumbbells elevation facebook failure farts feet fight for life fitness forgiveness frankenpennsy fun getting started glucosamine glutes goal gremlin grenz grumpy hair hamstrings hiccups high school hot ice incarnation indian food jogging john lennon joint legacy trail liniment lunges machines maker's mark medicine ball meds mercy motivation motley fool music nature neighborhood new balance nike noah numbers pennsyltuckian periodization persistence phlebitis postmodern prison professional boundaries progress psychiatrist pullups pushups quads ramble rememberance renewal road running ronnie coleman rowing safety sauna scan-ziety sexy shopping shorts shower sick sleepless snow socks spandex star trek statistics steam room steroids stiff strained muscle strap strength training supination support surgeon survive swackett swiss balls table technology tempo terry bradshaw testicular torsion text thai food that's fit the five thighs walk breaks warm up water fitness water jogging weak wedding ring wellness wife winter workout writing yardwork