Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Twilight Zone

Random Road Run: Temperature 88 degrees, (Feels like temperature was 94 degrees); Splits 8:57; 9:21; 9:26; 9:30; 9:21; 9:33; 9:35; 11:07; 9:41; 2:17; 1:28:48 total for 9 1/4 miles; 9:35 per mile pace.

I haven't run since Wednesday. I'm not being a slacker, at least by my standards. In my opinion, a slacker is someone who decides not to run for an unacceptable reason, such as the moon and the stars weren't properly aligned. I took the last two days off for two reasons. First, my daughter's away on vacation, so I wanted to surprise her by completing as many important tasks as possible that are left to do in the condo she bought, before she returns today. With help from my father in-law and brother in-law, we have accomplished just that. My daughter is a kindergarten teacher who is stressing about getting her classroom ready next week for her morning and afternoon "juice faces." She's also stressing about being able to move into her condo before school starts on September 1st. Living in her condo will cut her commute time and distance in half. Her condo is now in "live-in" condition, or will be by the end of this weekend. I guess to qualify as being able to be in "live-in" condition means the tile floors in both bathrooms need to be completed before she moves in, huh?! I've learned a great deal of DIY stuff these past two months, including how to drink beer and improperly hang doors. Overall though, things went well due to not drinking beer and repairing and replacing items.
Second reason: My run on Wednesday was difficult. It started well, actually VERY well, and ended with me having to stop 3/4 of a mile short of my goal of 10 miles. My training schedule had me running anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes. I decided to go for a "long one" as Jeff Galloway calls it instead, knowing that I wouldn't be running the two days afterward. I was prepared, having drank ample fluids plus carrying gels and water with me. I even ate a yummy tasting PowerBar "Berry Blast" flavored bar with its 43 carbs. (NOTE: I didn't receive compensation from them to say this). Even though it was a "feels like" temperature of 94, I was feeling fine and running quicker and with less effort than I had anticipated, but about mile six or so started to feel myself fade. I think the long, gradual incline of a road without shade called "Mountain Road" had slowly worn me down. (Perhaps the name "Mountain Road" should have clued me in not to run it that day). After Mountain Road I started running on the Farmington Canal Linear Trail (see pic on the right), hoping that it's shade and flatness would rescue me. I also knew I could refill both of my water bottles, since my 40 oz. of water was nearly gone. At about mile 7 3/4, I stopped at the water fountain, filled my bottles, and evaluated my situation. On the positive side, I only had 2 1/4 miles to go, two full water bottles, a flat trail ahead to the finish, and one gel left to consume if needed. On the negative side, I was starting to experience what I call the "Twilight Zone," where my perception of reality was getting clouded; my legs were feeling like stone, and I was sweating more than usual. Certainly the bad was outweighing the good at that point. However, stupidity won over logic, since I certainly didn't want to walk the final 2 1/4 miles to my car. That was going to take too long, and I also wasn't a quitter. At least the trail was busy, and if I happened to pass out, I was wearing my runner's ID with my name, address, and phone number...LOL. So onward I went...

getting spacier and slower as I went. I reached the end of the trail, checked my Garmin (9.05 miles), looked at my car parked there, with its cool air conditioner waiting for me, and turned around and started running AWAY from my car. Only another 3/4 of a mile to reach 10 miles. I definitely wasn't thinking straight. Relief was available, and I had run away from it. I'd like to say that I sucked it up and completed the last .95 of a mile, but I can't. I was out of energy by mile 9.15....shot, burned out, wasted, trashed, exhausted (or pick your own adjective) beyond belief, and drenched in sweat, I still had enough common sense to call it quits. Passing out and bashing my head on the asphalt trail didn't appeal to me at that time. So I turned around, toughed out the last 1/10 of a mile, and called it a day. I lived to run another day, and I'm damn proud that I did! P.S. I started my "makeover." My blog will have a new look in the upcoming days, so stay tuned.


Meg Runs said...

Nice blog change! Hey, your daughter is a kindergartent teacher? Very cool and it is so nice that all of you helped get her condo ready. Such support!
Stay away from the twilight zone, it's a scary place!

Anonymous said...

What a great thing to do for your daughter. That just rocks. Sorry the run got to you; glad you made it!

Kelly said...

I may take you up on that offer- I'm pretty sick of wedding stuff, although the food is good!

You are seriously the nicest dad ever! As a K teacher myself, I can't imagine moving right now- its such a stressful time. She is really really going to appreciate that. Very good reason to not run!

lindsay said...

i like the new look!

very cool of you to surprise your daughter with all that work. tiling and such IS a ton of work, but not the worst of home projects. sounds like a tough run but glad you made it back safely. perhaps outta cut back on the pre-run booze? :)

Irish Cream said...

You are seriously the best dad ever! That is SUCH a nice surprise for your daughter!

I've been in the twilight zone a few times myself . . . not a good place to be! I'm glad you survived the last bits of that run!