"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

So, not quite how I saw things going on Saturday morning. A great run, no doubt. Probably one of my better ones. Here's a running diary of the morning:

5:30: Wide awake ready to be in the car at 5:50, arriving at Minto Brown Island Park at 6 and running by 6:10. Unfortunately, its cloudy and so it's still pitch black.

6:00: Finally starting to get light, so off I go.

6:10: Arrive at park. Park happens to be next to the Willamette river and as I turned off of the main street all I can see is the tops of the trees. A very thick fog engulfs everything else.

6:25: Run begins

Approx 6:50: Make wrong turn around mile 3. Realize it around 1/4 mile later and reverse course.

Approx 6:55-7:30: Make wrong turn after wrong turn. Get completely turned around and lost in the outer reaches of a 900 acre park where everything looks exactly the same (paved path surrounded by large trees occasionally encountering a bridge to cross the numerous marsh/swamp areas). At one point, come to a "T"--which isn't a trail at all, but some back country road. Look both ways, realize that all I can see in both directions is endless road, and choose to turn right. Finally find an entrance back to the park only to continue to get lost, recognize nothing and end up near a landfill. Continue to run, thinking that seeing runners coming the other direction is a positive sign.

Approx 7:30: Finally cross a bridge that I recognize and continue on for the last 3 miles. Pace increases. I feel great, despite not knowing how far or how long I've gone.

7:52: Really increased the pace the last mile or so. Sprinted the last 1/4 mile to the car, turned the kitchen timer off and looked for the nearest oxygen tank

7:55: After walking around for a few minutes, finish off my Gatorade, unlace my shoes to get my car key and go to unlock car to get a dry shirt, new bottle of water and bananas.

7:56: Realize that I'm locked out of my car (apparently I can't lock it from the inside, shut the door and expect to unlock it from the outside with a key later--I know now)

8:00 Approach middle-aged man getting out of his car to inquire about using his cell phone. He says he doesn't have one (I'm really hoping he meant "I don't have one with me" rather than "I don't have one"--otherwise, sir, this is the 21st century, please join it).

8:10 Lady on the other side of the parking lot FINALLY finishes her call and I ask to use her phone. She obliges. I make call.

8:40 Dad shows up with my other set of car keys (and electronic lock thingy). Now sitting there cold, thirsty, and in a wet shirt.

I was planning to run 9 miles. Even after looking at various maps for almost an hour, I still have no idea how exactly I got to where. I know where I came to the road. I know where the landfill is. I know where I got back onto my route. How I got to and from those major landmarks I have no idea and probably couldn't retrace if I had to. But my best guess is that the total run was approx 10.50 miles in 1:26:59. At an 8:23/mile pace, that's consistent with how I felt and what I expected to do, so I think the 10.50 miles is pretty close. Oh, did I mention I had a map of the park with me also? I swear it looked nothing like what I was running through. Maybe I need to lob a complaint over to the City of Salem.

So other than starting late because it was dark, getting lost (repeatedly), having no idea how far I would have to run to make it back to my car, and then locking myself out once I got there, there were a number of positive things to speak of:

First, I tried out the 171 bpm podcast from Podrunner. Awesome. Kept me at the same pace for 56 solid minutes. This was particularly helpful when I was lost. No use in stopping, just keep putting my left foot on the ground on the beat, put my head down (not literally, that would be bad running form) and keep on running. I will continue to use the FREE Podrunner podcasts, but will use mixes with quicker bpm's so as to increase my pace.

Secondly, I stashed a banana in a tree at what would have been the 6 mile mark. Worked out well. No stomach cramps or anything.

Thirdly, carried about 8 ounces of Gatorade with me instead of water. I wasn't sure about this, but the sweet flavor was nice. As to whether it helped anything? I don't know. But I felt good. So I'll say yes.

A rest day today (Sunday) and one tomorrow (see last week's Monday disaster), but back at it again Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.

BTW, the half-marathon in three weeks is no longer intimidating. Now I'm running it not only to finish but to push myself to achieve a certain time as well.


Steve said...

What is this podcast you speak of?

RAJ said...

On the Itunes homepage, just search "Podrunner." I use the exercise for fast-paced workouts, and there's a whole list of different paced mixes.

Courtney said...

I think after all that, my favorite part of the story is you stashing a banana in a tree.