Today was my scheduled long run day. Originally, I’d planned to get out early to beat some of the heat but a lousy night of sleep thwarted those plans. (Hot bedroom + noisy fan + stupid dog that likes to cuddle even though it makes him hot so he has to jump off the bed and then fifteen minutes later will ask for permission to come back up and I can’t even get mad because that’s what I’ve trained him to do = bad night’s sleep.) There, I feel better now…
I had a 1 hour and 45 minute run on my schedule, which prior to the forecast, I was planning to turn into a ten-miler, just to get my distance up. But with the hot weather, I knew I was going to be moving slower so I stuck with the time-based workout. I broke out my DeSoto Coolwings, to give them a test run and see if they would help enough to make them worth bring to a race. I also prepared two bottles of ice water, one for my running belt and one for T to bring me at the half-way point, so I could keep well-hydrated.
I’d decided to keep it simple and run down to the Springwater Corridor and then take that out to Oaks Park, turn around and run back, then along the river until my time was up. I arranged to have T meet me at the Oaks Park turnaround (figuring that would be roughly at the one hour mark) and then pick me up 45 minutes later, so I didn’t have to deal with running back home (which is a drag because of numerous stop lights and isn’t particularly nice to run on a hot day… ) The plan was good. I grabbed my trusty i-pod and headed out the door.
As I approached the waterfront, I passed a Team in Training race which initially worried me, but then turned out to be not on my route. (Whew!) But as I got onto the Springwater path, I noticed there were a great deal more walkers than usual, wearing the same t-shirts… and signs… crap. It’s a charity walking event.
Now, before I go any further, let me just preface my next statements with this disclaimer: I fully support the idea of people getting out and exercising, especially if their doing so raises money for such worthy causes as funding research for Lymphoma and Cystic Fibrosis. I love that people who don’t ordinarily exercise are drawn to such causes. I’m all for it. HOWEVER, why is it that the participants of said events who are being so charitable in their motivation are downright selfish in their actual behavior at said event. This is a busy multi-use path with cyclists of all kinds, other walkers, runners, etc. Yet everywhere you looked were the charity-event people ambling along 4 and 5 abreast taking absolutely no notice that there were other people trying to use the path around them. It got really old, really fast.
It’s not like this is a narrow path either, it can easily accommodate up to four “lanes” of traffic. When the weather is nice, you can expect there to be a lot of people out there and usually it works out just fine. The faster runners and cyclists pass the slower runners and cyclists. Occasionally, there’s some douchebag trying to hammer through everyone, but for the most part everyone shares the space and is generally courteous. So, it was somewhat ironic that the big fly in the ointment was a CHARITY FUND RAISING EVENT.
Okay, I feel better now. 😀
Once I made it to Oaks Park, most of the traffic had cleared and I just had to deal with the fact that it was hot. The CoolWings had long since dried out and so were not really doing much for me (on the plus side, I don’t think they were hurting anything and they block the sun exposure, which I like.) I walked for a little bit to the turnaround and T met me with the ice-water bottle and a second cold water bottle to pour on my CoolWings and myself. Heaven. I stretched for a few minutes and whined at T about the charity people (he’s heard that rant before, so he just nodded and smiled until I was done and then sent me on my way… )
Heading back didn’t feel as bad as I expected and I was able to find my “zone-out” pace. There’s a long-run pace that I find I can just sort of trot along without really feeling the effort too badly where the time and miles go by surprisingly quickly. I have no idea how fast this pace actually is, I just know it when I find it. (Another reason the earlier congestion was so irritating to me – when I do have to alter my pace faster and slower it’s really hard for me to resist the walk breaks… ) Before I knew it, I was heading back onto the waterfront with only ten minutes left. I had planned to meet T at this creepy Vera Katz bronze statue along the Esplanade and for a little while it looked like that would time out with my 45 minutes, but as I got closer it was clear that I would be a few minutes short. I decided to see how I was feeling at that point and if I could run to the statue I would and otherwise I’d walk it in. Sadly, mental toughness lost that battle and the walking commenced when the time was up. I managed approx. 9 miles in that time – about an 11:30 pace, which given all of the walk breaks I was pretty pleased with. T had a bottle of iced Gatorade (the new Tiger Woods kind, no less!) waiting for me, which officially made him my hero and then he drove me back home, having picked up a bag of ice for my much needed ice-bath.
I’ve mentioned these in the past, so I thought I’d document the ritual with photos (don’t worry, they are all G-rated… ) First, I drag my bag of ice and usually at least 2 beverages and run some cold water in the tub:
(Yes, that’s a Diet Coke next to the Gatorade bottle) Then I usually stand in the cold water and swear for a few minutes, working the courage to sit down in the cold water. Then some more swearing and I sit down. Once I’m in, then I’ll add the ice…
At this point, T usually comes up to bother me, so I had him take a picture of me (warning him that I would be photoshopping anything inappropriate out of the shot, so don’t even bother… ) Note: usually I’m wearing a sweatshirt and a hat, but it was still warm upstairs so the long-sleeved t-shirt was perfect…
Of course, along with T come the dogs who think of the ice bath as their own personal giant water dish…
I took the camera from T to get a couple of pics of Smokey Joe fishing ice cubes out of the bath:
What can I say, the dog loves ice cubes. (Actually, as a lab he loves any food-related product… )
After the ice-bath, it was a hurried shower and then I had to get ready to go to work. We were planning to go down to Salem tomorrow, but given how hot our apartment was last night, we decided that we’d head down after work this evening. I managed to pack up my cycling stuff (long ride tomorrow) and a change of clothes, get ready and make it to work within the confines of acceptable lateness. (Given that there really isn’t anybody here until at least an hour after I arrive, it isn’t too big a deal.) Usually working on Saturday is a bummer, but when you are sitting in air-conditioned splendor while your better half swelters in our apartment, it’s pretty tolerable.
Happy Saturday, everyone!