16 MILER FROM HELL....
i tell my runners that i coach that i've done it all wrong so that they don't have to. today's 16 miler happens to be one of those instances. in a nutshell, IT TOTALLY SUCKED ASS. so get ready to laugh or maybe cry....
i got in last night from a two day shoot in san diego. not too late, but the drive back was in traffic and took us 3.5 hours as opposed to the standard two. upon getting home i was pretty beat and still planned to run today, but i needed 8 hours of sleep first. this delayed my start a little later than i prefer, but a run without good sleep is headed for disaster. then again, so is a run in the heat which is what i was looking at.
i decided to put the miles in at griffith park this time. the bowl is great for a shorter run, but it's only a 5k loop and i go nutty if i have to go around it more than 4 times tops. mind you, i have done a 16 miler and a 20 miler on the treadmill at the gym due to severe rain and smog, but that was torture beyond belief.
i planned to do a repeat of an 8 mile route in the park, pretty flat save a small hill, and easy to hide my gatorade bottles and snacks in the bushes at both far ends. you have to be careful at griffith when you hide your water bottles. for one, i've caught people actually trying to take my water and for two, you don't want anyone thinking you're a terrorist. as i'm putting them out, i'm already thinking "damn it's hot already. man this is gonna suck today" i took a last look at the thermometer in the car. it read 75 degrees. it was only 9:30am and 75 degrees already. why did i do that?? why did i have to look at the temperature?? why do i torture myself like that?? you know you're in trouble if you're already hating life before the run has even begun. as i set out for the first mile, i meditated on why i was freaking out so much:
2. the last time i ran in the park (last year) i set out for a 20 miler which then turned into an 8 miler at which time i quit and proceeded to go home and defer my nyc marathon entry to this year. my first dnf ever.....
3. the last time i ever attempted a 16 miler, i fell in the 2nd mile, twisting my ankle and skidding across the sidewalk, yet i continued for 3 more hours. later at the emergency room, the doctor all but spanked me and told me that i didn't break my ankle when i fell. i broke it by continuing to run for 3 more hours. it's called a "chip fracture." gee thanks.
4. two months later, after a walking cast, acupuncture, and against everyone's advice, i ran marathon #9 in an ankle brace. it didn't suck nearly as bad as today's run, and it was my dream marathon that my runners the previous year had bought me a plane ticket to go run. really, i had a blast, ankle brace or no ankle brace...remember, i do it all wrong so my runners don't have to....
but i'm still running, and i know that if i go far enough, i'll either get over it or i won't, but I WILL NOT STOP BEFORE I FINISH THESE 16 MILES (ok, only if i trip and fall in the next mile or so). i'm thinking this would be a perfect opportunity to get caught up on a few episodes of the get your geek on triathlon podcasts. after all, i just discovered them, and they started a year ago, so i got 40 episodes to catch up on!! so for whatever reason, the episodes were loaded backwards on my shuffle, and the first one to come up has wil griping about her it band injury. um hello??? i'm trying to get 16 miles in here!!! i don't need to hear about it band injuries!! just my luck. ok, i suppose we all have dark training days, like the one i'm having today. so i rewind to another one where the kahuna records a lovely father and son big wave surf session. that one had me outta my head and thinking about the ocean. aaaah, the ocean. i love the ocean. now i'm distracted. i'm slowly coming up to a stride, but not a speed. i'm clocking 11-12 minute miles. would somebody just shoot me??
i'm halfway through and still distracted by the podcasts when i hear monica!! it's my dear old roommate, dante, and he's on a bike. i'd heard through mutual friends that he'd gotten in to cycling and lost a bunch of weight. he looked great. we chatted for a second and said we'd get each other's numbers and go riding soon. things are looking up.....until i get to mile 11.
i'm realizing that i'm out of fluids. no problem, i can find a drinking fountain somewhere. and then, just before mile 13 there's one on the horizon. so of course i gulp down the last of what i have left before i get there only to find out it doesn't work, but at the end of this loop is the travel town train museum. they've gotta have a drinking fountain don't they?
and yess!!! they do. so i fill 'er up and i'm on my way for the last 3 miles. slooooowing down all the way. in the end, about an 11:33 pace. are you kidding me?? ok, maybe not slow to some, but slow for me. i'm aiming for more like a 10:00 to 10:30 pace which could very well be considered slow to a lot of you out there. maybe this just wasn't my day. i'll get 'em next time. i'll have better rest, better hydration, and for sure better thoughts.
on my way home, i snapped out of it. i meditated again on these few important facts:
2. I'M LUCKY TO HAVE HAD A FREE DAY TO RUN 16 MILES.
3. I'M NOT GETTING SHOT AT IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN.
4. like ice cube says: "TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY"
AND FROM THE "BRING IN THE NOISE, BRING IN THE FUNK" DEPARTMENT:
in the end, no blisters, but what is up with this nastiness??
tomorrow, my runners do 18 miles. i will pray that they learn from my debacles and all have a great day.........