Thursday, August 27, 2009

What happens when you spoil a child and then take away her favorite plaything? Well after the wailing and kicking and screaming fit are over with, that's when you realize that you've spoiled the child in the first place. But of course it's too late by this point. I have become that spoiled child. Heather, my running partner has become that luxury that I don't want to give up and have become accustomed to having on my long runs. She's the reason I don't have to take anti depressant drugs or pay for expensive therapy on some guys couch. She makes me laugh and forget the miles. And as I found out this week, she's saving me a lot of money on buying a gun that my husband insists that I need to pack on me if I'm going alone in the pitch black of early morning or late at night. Can you imagine?

Heather had her knees worked on this week and was banned from doing the 20 miler. I don't know who had it worse, her NOT being able to run or me knowing that I'd have to do it alone. I woke up at the bright and early hour of 4 a.m. to eat, looked outside at the pitch black that it was and went back to bed. I was just too nervous (scared) to run in the outer part of the city where no one would hear my screams for help. Waiting until it was light wasn't any better because I figured by the time I'd finish it would be 1000 degrees and I didn't want to do it. I'd already told Heather that she'd be just fine not doing the 20 miler, that it was only one week and she'd be fine, so talking myself out of the run should have been just as easy. I went school shopping with the kids, canned some peaches and was miserable the whole time having that run in the back of my mind. Finally at 6:45 my husband shoved me out the door and made me run it. I was miserable and was going to be until I did it. It was 93 degrees.
The first hour was hot but o.k. I made sure to drink every mile and aside from thinking that the lining of my nostrils were going to burn up and start bleeding (you know, like in the movies right before someone dies...) from running past the very ripe sewage treatment plant, things were good. The sun was going down and it was cooling off. At about mile 10 I realized that I was in the same dark predicament that I was in earlier that morning. I was alone and it was DARK. As in no moon, pitch black dark. Janz had come to bring me my headlamp and more water and mosquito repellant but had forgotten my hat. My plan was to head to the track and run some laps so that I didn't have to get further away from home. I got there and started to run only to get myself all freaked out there. I was the only one there. It was so dark that I couldn't see the bleachers or if someone was hiding on the side. Plus we have some construction going on at our high school and I was nervous about that. Then a car pulled over to the side of the road, turned off its lights and just sat there. I ran a couple more laps and then stopped to get a drink. I decided that I was just too nervous to stay there so I got out my phone to call my husband to tell him I was leaving and as soon as I pulled open my phone the car turned on its lights and pulled away. That didn't help me at all. After I met my husband again and he insisted I get and stay on a well lit road or come home, I headed up to Main Street and ran up and down that a couple of times. By this point I was done mentally as well as physically. Only my calf was really bothering me. So I only completed 18 and 1/2 miles. I took a nice ice bath, drank a recovery drink and went to bed. Kuddos to all of you out there who are brave enough to do it alone. I'm just glad Heather's back in the game and I won't have to do anymore longs runs alone. This summer training is tricky.

Monday: 5 mile bike ride with the trailer. Have I mentioned that this should count for double. Really it should.
Tuesday: 3 mile recovery run. Calves are still very sore.
Wednesday: 8 mile speed workout
Friday: 18 1/2 mile run. Calves are really sore.
Saturday: 4 mile bike ride


Michael said...

Geez Jen, that's a scary story. As a man I can't really relate, but I sympathize with all women who have to experience this kind of fear day in and day out. I had one incident with a jerk (yup, a guy) who became angry with me for running into his car. He failed to see it from my perspective.. he ran into me! Be careful Jen. It's ok to skip a run once and a awhile. Be safe, be safe, be safe! Mike

Mel said...

I know you didn't intend for this to be funny but I was kind of giggling inside;) I knew we should have got together... I could have at least run part of it with you but I didn't think you would appreciate starting early. I really love those dark early morning runs. Too bad we have to worry about the creeps... it takes all the fun out of it. Keep up all the good work. I'm so impressed with how hard you are training.

Tall Girl Running said...

Dontcha love crunch time for marathon training? Makes you do things no sane person would ever do.

You know I think you rock, right?

Heather said...

I won't leave you stranded ever again! You are the only reason that I do all this insane running and there is no way I could stand myself for a 20 mile run. Thanks for listening to all my complaining and life stories. You aren't the only one feeling spoiled! The 1/2 was awesome--we're getting so close!