Saturday, October 07, 2006

"Short" Long Run

Just a “short” long run today—thirteen miles, give or take a few tenths. I’m going to try for 18 or 19 next weekend and if that goes well, I’m signing up for San Antonio. November 12, peeps! Anyone interested in joining me, let me know! It’s not an A race, or even a B race, for me. This is a tourist-class marathon, with all the emphasis on having fun and avoiding injury so as not to jeopardize my training Houston on January 14.

“Marathon Season” is in full swing around here, and I spent the first few miles of this morning’s run dodging thundering herds of training groups, and scooting around stragglers. There was also a track meet of some kind going on along the bayou. The main events were down by the water, but I still had to weave my way through packs of kids doing warm-ups, and crowds of parents and younger siblings coming to the event to watch. I stayed out of everyone’s way as best I could, and it helped that the organizers had marked off their area with little white flags, but it was still a bit of a mess.

But after I got to Memorial Park, things got easier. The park wasn’t stupidly crowded, and once I was back on Memorial Drive, heading toward Chimney Rock, I was blessedly alone. Just me and my thoughts. The construction at 610 and Memorial was about done and I had no problems there, so I was feeling pretty good about it all. But once I had gotten to Chimney Rock and turned onto Woodway to head back inside the loop, I started thinking it a bit odd that there were no other runners out. Usually I see at least a few in this area.

I got to the Loop and had my answer. The whole stupid underpass was blocked with construction. There was no way even a lone pedestrian could get through, because it was clearly a hard-hat area. Great. By this point I really needed a restroom, there was nothing close by, and the quickest route back to the park was blocked.

I think my detour back up to Memorial Drive added an extra quarter mile or more to my scheduled thirteen miles, but I haven’t bothered to do the calculations. It doesn’t much matter, anyway. I finally got back inside the Loop, got to the restroom on the picnic loop side of the park, and couldn’t immediately find toilet paper. This had the potential to be a very serious crisis. But then I found some toilet paper, and all was well.

The track meet was in full swing by the time I got back to the bayou, with tents down by the water and various kinds of carrying-on. Once again, most of the action at the trail level was kids warming up and families coming and going, so I and the other recreational runners didn’t get in the way of anything important. But it really is painful to have to weave and dodge late in a run like that. I wish non-runners had some appreciation of that fact. Maybe they’d be a little more considerate about staying off the smoothest part of the trail if they don’t need to be there, and maybe they’d keep a tighter leash on their dogs.

That was about it for today. Dan said he thought I’d be home sooner, since I told him I was doing only thirteen miles. He knows I can do a half marathon sub-2, especially under nice cool conditions like today. So I had to remind him that the 2.5 hours I was out there included warm-up and cool-down walks, detours, getting my own water, and a rather lengthy pit stop. Not to mention that I wasn’t racing the distance.

There’s just no pleasing some people.

Recent Workouts
Today: 13+ mile run (exact distance unknown)

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