Saturday, June 22, 2013

Worst. Run. Ever.

Today I set out on what was supposed to be an 18 mile training run.  I hadn't run all week as we have been on vacation, so I figured with the rest I have had, this should be a good run!  I know that my 16 miler a couple of weeks ago was brutal, but I just felt good about this run.  I had all my stuff ready the night before, my fuel belt loaded, my watch and Ipod charged, and my clothes laid out.  I set my alarm to wake me up promptly at 5:30 so I could get out and get this beast of a run over with before it got to hot.

I woke up just a couple of minutes before my alarm went off, so I went ahead, got up and went into the bathroom to quietly change into my run clothes with out waking anyone up.  I got dressed, used the potty, then went out to the kitchen to grab my belt and go.  I stepped outside and noticed it was even a little cool out there!  Bonus!  It took my watch FOREVER to pick up a GPS signal (no surprise here, I hate that POS).

Once I got the GPS signal, I was off.  The music was pumping, the air was on the cool side and I was feeling good!  I made my way out of my neighborhood onto the trails and I was noticing that my pace was all over the place.  I didn't think too much about it as the first mile is basically the warm up and find your groove mile, so I just continued on.  I was excited to be heading north on the trail, I don't get to this section of it very often, and it is so nice!  I noticed that my pace quickly seemed to stabilize and I was having a great run.  No pain, feeling well, having one of those "all is right with the world" moments.  I continued on until I hit Mile 4 and then took in  a Gu and some water, as I have always done every 4 miles.  About Mile 6 I started to get side cramps.  What the heck?  I was plenty hydrated, I had a small breakfast, and had done everything as I normally do before a long run, so I couldn't understand it.  I took in some water just in case.  The cramps got bad in that I tensed up and my breathing was off.  I made a point to try to relax, and focus on good deep breaths and keep moving forward, even if the pace sucked.  Luckily my pace wasn't too out of control, but you could definitely see how the cramps had slowed me down.

I got to about mile 9 and it was a little better but not tons.  I had taken another Gu in at Mile 8, and I don't think it helped or hurt anything.  At about Mile 10 I had to stop.  There was a bench in the shade, so I paused my watch and sat down.  I put my head between my knees, took some deep breaths and felt better. The stomach cramping is SO not typical for me, and I was frustrated trying to figure out what I had or hadn't done that was causing this.  I was feeling better, so I got up, took another short swig of my water and headed out.  I got to the north end of Jensen Pond when the WEIRDEST thing happened.  Some crow from out of nowhere literally came up behind me and attacked me.  It hit me in the back of my head, then grabbed some of my hair with his claws.  I had my music going and was focused on getting to the restroom as the cramps had gotten more urgent, if you know what I mean, and this came out of NOWHERE.  I seriously freaked out.  I screamed starting batting and just RAN to get out of there.  I got to the bathroom in enough time and I noticed immediately that one of the bottles in my fuel belt was gone.  SERIOUSLY?  What else could go wrong?!?

I finished up in the restroom and decided to trace my steps back to find my bottle.  I saw it not more than 50 yards from the bathroom at the scene of the crime where the dumb bird got me.  As I went to pick it up, the bird came back for another stab at me!  He did the same thing, and I was just ticked at this point!  Really?  I grabbed the bottle and got the heck out of there.  I obviously  was not welcome!  I seriously considered ending my run at this point.  I was not mentally in the game any more, but I was feeling somewhat better, and decided I needed to just suck it up and continue on my way.  I headed back down the trail to round the south side of the lake and just when I though things were getting better...think again.

There are tons of ducks and geese around this lake.  They tend to mind their own business and don't bother people.  I have run around them dozens of times with no incident.  I have never been a fan of geese though, it stems back to hanging out at my Grandmother's as a child and they were always in her yard and they were mean, nasty, and dirty.  Well, nothing has changed.  As I turned on this part of the trail, a white goose came at me!  He was hissing and spitting and squawking like nothing I have seen before!  At this point, I just ran faster and was even more ticked and not believing my luck, all in a span of 20 minutes!

I got to the point of the trail where it ends on a farm road that I take home.  I immediately knew I wasn't going to make is as the cramps had returned and I knew that there were no more bathrooms between this point and home.  I looked at my watch.  12.6 miles done.  I decided to call it good and call Ken.  He came and got me and laughed at my luck.  His guess was that all these psycho birds are probably protecting nests and I was apparently up in their business!

I felt bad about cutting this run short.  I have always hated 18 mile runs, I don't know what it is, but they are always hard.  There is something mental about that 18 mile mark in marathon training, as I have done 20 milers that have been way easier than 18.  I kept thinking maybe I should make up the miles later in the day, but honestly, this training program that I am doing has enough 16,18, and 20 milers, that one run cut short in the scheme of things isn't going to make a difference.  I am just going to chalk it up to a bad day and call it good! But I think I will be avoiding that lake in the near future and remember this as one of the most bizarre thing ever to happen on a run!

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