Friday, August 12, 2011

"I get tired just driving 20 miles."

Me too, guys.  Me too.

But today I ran 20 miles, all by my lonesome.  Only it wasn't so lonesome--I had a new audiobook and it was quality alone time.  QT with me.  I have no idea how you people feel about reading posts about my long runs but I use this blog as a record for myself too, so I'm going to go ahead and journal it out.

From space this looks so beastly.  Actually, who am I kidding?  It was beastly.

I set my alarm for 4:00 this morning.  My stomach in particular needs a while to get going before it hits the road.  You know that quote about a woman who wakes up in the morning and the devil's all oh, crap?  Well I'm not her.  It takes me a while to build up to vanquishing mode.  I think for the first 20 minutes I'm up, the devil's like meh and then he goes back to watching C-SPAN.  I might be able to do this early morning thing, but it's never gonna be cute.  There will be more whining and ridiculous excuses than a Lindsay Lohan parole hearing.  But it will happen because in my book waking up sucks no matter when you have to do it.  I might as well just do it.

Anyway, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at about 4:15 and I didn't get out the door until 4:45.  I didn't make oatmeal (for shame) so I made myself take a Gu before I left.  When I say made myself I am not pulling your leg.  There was gagging.  I have somehow managed to go from No Prob Bob to zero tolerance when it comes to Gu.  Oh well.  I can't quit you, Gu.  Gu ain't going anywhere, so I make myself take it so I don't--you know--die on the road before any of my family members are conscious.

I had to be done running by 9:00 so my mom could make an appointment.  Today was the result of herculean planning and life/routine rearrangement by E, my mom and Lis.  I have no illusions about this running thing being all about me.  Everybody is making this happen for me and I am totally grateful.

I knew I was going to run my first hour or so in the dark.  For me that's 5 miles.  My original plan was to take off down the boulevard and run over the freeway, but I chickened the frick out.  I did those first five miles in my least favorite way to run--teeny tiny little circles right around my neighborhood, my heart racing because I was sure Rapey McRaperson was also up at 5:00 AM and was lurking in the bushes to get me.  Since I'm five years old and I am afraid of the dark, I ran all the courts.  Boo, boo, boring courts.  I hate doing that because it feels like I'm going nowhere.  But it got done and I didn't get murdered or attacked by any wildebeests, so it's all good.  After the run like you're afraid to go too far away from your home portion was over, I stopped at the house.  Bathroom break, more Gu (more gag).  I ditched my super swanky reflective vest and the head lamp I borrowed from Henry.

The next 10 I ran along the same long route as last week.  Basically an out-and-back to the edge of town (5 each way) with little to look at.  By then I was pretty focused on my book, though, so I zoned quite a bit.  Just like last week, I stopped at McDonalds to fill my water and use the bathroom.  One of my biggest worries with this marathon is all the time I'm going to lose going pee.  I can't sit on my couch for 4 hours without having to go--imagine how thrilled I am about hitting up porta-potties along the course.  Oh well.  I guess this is where you remind me that I don't care about my time, only that I finish.  And we all know if I don't stop to use the facilities I'm going to punch someone in the face and/or have a panic attack, i.e. not finish.  (Related:  No ditching into the bushes.  Ever.  I ain't that kinda girl.)

My plan B was to run back to home after that 10 and head out again for the last five.  But as I approached the turnoff for my normal route, I knew that if I made myself go all the way home there was little to no chance I'd be able to head out for a third leg of this run.  Instead I took my usual course where it met up with the road and just decided to suck it up.  Suck it up, P, that's what I told myself... for about ten minutes straight.

Right as I was about to tell myself you can't handle the truth, I felt the skin between my big toe and second toe start to slip.  Last week's long run was an exercise in bad sock choices--the cotton diddies I wore left me with a ginormous whopper of a blister right in my flip flop spot. (Can you imagine if I had the same confusion over the word thong as some of the women in my family do?  Kinda gives a different image, right?  I'm speaking of my FOOT, people.)  So long story long, the blister tore at mile 15.  Suddenly I was back in high school stuffing my grody feet into pointe shoes and trying not to wince because my whole leg felt like it might fall off.  Seriously, have you had a friction blister?  I've had my share of strange ailments and childbirth experiences and having to keep using a blistered foot ranks at the top of my THIS HURTS list.

The rest of the run was uneventful.  I was much more fatigued than last week, even though I was only running three more miles.  I didn't sleep well last night and that hit during the last hour.  Even though my book was good, I was getting restless and bored.  I needed more walk breaks.  I needed more water.  The blister got easier to ignore after a mile or two, but I know it added to my general disdain for mankind.  That's right.  I was cursing the human race for a few hours.

I made it home in one piece, running the 20 miles in 4 hours and 4 minutes.  I feel good about my time even though it's not going to win me any awards.  I feel even better that I did it.  I feel best about the fact that it's done and I get to eat to fill that amazing exercise void of 2000+ calories that the run generated.

The.  End.


  1. Awesome job... seriously, the blister! OUCH. What socks do you suggest to wear so that doesn't happen?

  2. @Tracy--NO COTTON in the socks at all. I would get them at a running store or online. I like Wright socks the best but I have several other brands. They need to be 100% synthetic. Cotton fibers hold water so after a certain mileage the wet fibers will start to rub and will create blisters.