Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Run Too Far

As I always do, I carefully mapped a running route for today. I needed to take a couple of checks to the bank, so it had to be a route that would put me at the bank at or near 9:00. No problem, since I do this fairly regularly.

The run went okay at first. I did a loop around campus then headed out along the bayou, where I saw a flock of brown ducks—the first ducks I’ve ever seen on this bayou. Later, as I neared the end of the bayou portion of the run, I saw another duck, much larger, and with black and gray coloring. This duck was alone, but the egrets and cormorants didn’t seem bothered by its presence.

I finished the bayou section of my route and headed toward Rice University. From there, I went to my bank and got there a little too early. With ten minutes to kill, I refilled my water bottle at Whole Foods and went for a stroll around the block. Then I deposited my checks and headed toward River Oaks.

No sooner was I in River Oaks when I realized I needed a restroom. There wouldn’t be another one on my planned route for at least five miles, so I detoured to a church that I knew would be open. It took me off my route, so I figured I would make up the difference near the end of my run, cutting straight across Hermann Park instead of going around. By my mental calculations (made under the influence of heat and humidity) it would all work out about the same.

So when I got home much later than I expected, I chalked it up to the time spent waiting for the bank to open and having to make a pit stop. Also, there were a couple times I got a side stitch and had to walk. (I have no idea what that was about, since I don’t usually get stitches or cramps any more.) Anyway, everything added up in my mind, so I went on about the business of getting ready to have lunch with Dan.

Then tonight I got online to check my route and confirm my numbers. Twenty-two miles. Damn. That explains a few things.

I may start cutting back my Saturday mileage a little now that we’re in the worst of summer. It can be pretty hot by the time I finish, and the last two miles are in direct sunlight. There’s no safe alternative route home, either. But there’s another part of me that wants to just keep after this thing, since I’m pretty well acclimated and I hate building mileage. Maintaining is just so much easier.

I think this is the sort of thing only a runner can understand, but I try to keep my distance mileage high because I'm lazy. Too lazy to drop back and then go through the suffering of re-building.

Well, tomorrow is cooking day. I don't have anything new in my plans, but I could come up with something between now and then. Also, I made some more granola bars tonight. A certain spouse keeps eating them. I guess that's the sign of a good recipe when you can't keep the food around for long!


the Bag Lady said...

OMG, the Bag lady couldn't even WALK 22 miles in the heat y'all have down there, let alone run! You are amazing!

Glenna said...

Ooof. What little exercise I'm getting at this point has to be very early a.m. outdoors (which I prefer) or inside on the treadmill in the basement with the fan on it. Looking forward to seeing what you're going to cook next!

RoadBunner said...

You need a Garmin! Seriously, awesome job. I know what you mean about building up. It's so disheartening when you let things slide. I lose endurance very quickly. One bad month and I have to start back at 2-3 miles again. Of course, I don't "maintain" at 20 milers! At least I know who to call if I need someone to run a marathon for me in a pinch :)

Glenna said...

LOL! Somebunny is indeed a cord chewer. Snip! Snicker snack! Zzzt! Five telephone cords (you'd think I could remember). Dear departed Bunnyman was a cord chewer too, so I still have fish tank tubing around all the more important cords, but I still lose the occasional little lamp cord. They should give a punch card at the lamp shop for frequent customers.

MizFit said...

thought provoking remark about the 'lazy' for this nonrealrunner.

Im the same way with my weights!


Vickie said...

I tend to agree with you on the maintain fitness rather than starting over. I have been there done that once too many times. It is much easier to run even a couple of slow miles than to stop and try to start over weeks later. Provided of course there isn't any life threatening or debilitating injury or illness to prevent running/biking/whatever. I keep telling Don after his achilles rupture since he is having trouble getting motivated after being off so long that all he needs to do is put one foot in front of the other every day for a while, even if only for 20 min. at a time and it will come back.