Monday, September 16, 2013

Not Your Average Long Training Run

As I set out on Saturday to do my weekly long run, I planned on 16 miles.  I planned on running a hilly, very hilly route for I am training for the ING NYC Marathon on November 3, 2013, with an estimated 885 ft of elevation and The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon on November 24, 2013, with an estimated elevation gain of 3600 ft.

ING NYC Marathon, November 3, 2013

Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon, November 24, 2013

The route I have chosen for this run has a total elevation gain of 1054 ft.  Not a tremendous amount of elevation for the total run, but half of the elevation comes in a two mile stretch of the course, about half way through the run.

I set out with three goals.  1) NOT to walk up any hill. Accomplished. 2) To stick to a 5 minute run, 1 minute walk for the entire run.  When the five minutes were up, and I was going up hill, I finished the hill and adjusted accordingly.  Goal No. 1 was a priority today, and 3) To average a pace of under 12:30.  Actual pace was 12:20/mile. I've never claimed to be fast!

The run started without consequence. I left the park where we meet with our running club each and every Saturday morning.  We have talent of all levels, so everyone pretty much matches up according to pace and distance planned.

This morning I teamed up with my friends Tabitha, K'Leetha, Jennifer and Janelle, but this didn't last long for we went our own separte routes.  As it turns out Tabitha and Jennifer were running part of the route I was running.  I asked Tabitha if she would do the out and back with me (the one with the monster hills) and she quickly said... NO!.

Somewhere around mile 4, I picked up a bottle of water that K'Leetha had left there for us.  I drank about half of it and planned on dropping the remainder where I could have it after the out and back portion of the route.

I approached the stop sign where I would leave my water, and I dropped it at the base of said sign. So off I went. Ran over the hill to the other side and one mile later I turned around.  The return is a tougher rise so it took a little longer. About half way through the return, I began to think about the bottle of water.  I did not want to consume what I had on my fuel belt because I still had a long way to go.

Some three to four houses before getting to the stop sign and my water, a dog began to bark. Loudly and angrily. He came chasing after me with what appeared to be a fierce determination to get a good bite in. Only thought that came to my mind was that he was going to bite me in the back of my leg, my left leg, where my new tattoo is. That could just not happen.

So I stopped abruptly and waited for the dog. When he reached me, the dog immediately got on his back and started kicking his legs; he wanted me to pet him. So relieved I was that his intentions where not what I had thought, that I did pet him. Big mistake.

Off I went, I continued running. He went with me. Side by side.

Then he took off.  Like a bat out of hell. He headed directly to the stop sign. Yes, the same one where my water bottle was on the ground.  He started sniffing around the post and the water bottle. Then I though... "Oh, NO, he's not". And yes, he did. He raised his right leg and proceeded to claim the water bottle as his own.  Dang!

I laughed for a few moments and continued my run. The dog came along with me. For the next 6 miles or so, I had company. I was getting worried that he would not find his way back home. He was wearing a collar, but no tag. I began to think what I was going to do with him if he continued to run with me to the end.

Two cars stopped and asked if the dog was mine. It appears that he had been roaming the streets for about two weeks.  The second car offered to take him home.  Not being my dog, I did not object. I noticed as the car drove away, that the lady had one of those dog rescue stickers on her car. I was happy she took him.

I continued.  5 minutes running, 1 minute walking. My ankles, as usual, were getting a bit upset. Time to suck it up and keep on moving.

Overall it was a great day. All of the goals I had left with, I had accomplished. Yes, the miles were hard and long. The ankles were in pain, but the spirits were high. The distractions today made it a great one!  What will next week's long run bring?