Once upon a time there was a girl who went for her very first run. From then on, she continued to go longer and explore farther from home on different routes through streets, trails, parks, highways (sorry Mom), backroads, and everything in between. Even the local cow pasture (until the property owner started driving toward us and we sprinted away) wasn’t safe from her wandering feet!
This girl went on to start high school, run for her four years, continue running into college, move to the other side of the country to good ‘ole Georgia, and one day find herself on her own during the sticky summer months, wanting to go for a long run – one of her favorite things about running. Back at home in Washington, these long runs would be VERY long and oftentimes last up to 2.5 hours along the winding, single-track, viciously hilly, gravel logging roads at the local state park. Even then, long runs in Georgia were always an adventure …
Week 1: June 26th, 2016
Upon adventuring for a long run in the surrounding neighborhoods, this girl found a cute little woodchipped path, ran along it, and all the while was thinking of other routes to add-on, and what “road math” she could do in her head to complete the total 90 minutes of the long run. BUT THEN! Dehydration hit! Like, the girl started her run with a sip of water and a bad “nature break” omen dehydrated. Now the plan was to find the nearest water fountain, but most likely the nearest home (non-mansion, preferably) to drink from their hose – which has proved to work the best before in similar situations.
** ACTUAL UPDATE POSTED TO XC TEAM FACEBOOK PAGE**
Made it through half of my long run today before asking a woman walking her dog if she had any water. Was busy househunting, writing a short eulogy in my head for a dead squirrel I ran by, thinking about how much i *actually* miss Kennesaw, wondering if anything bad would happen as I followed her to her car, and that when it’s hot you’re supposed to slow down … but any slower and I would be walking? #powerwalk
Somehow made it back without sneaking into someone’s yard and drinking from their hose (even though that’s my go-to for water when desperate), and struggled through 75 minutes instead of 90 #sorry fam
Moral(s) of the story:
– if yesterday was the hottest day on record since 1914, and your ~morning nature break~ is almost brown… then you probably aren’t prepared to do a long run well no matter how early you go *still not cooler than 80 at any time here in HOTlanta*
– always take a running buddy for long runs !!!!!
– HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE (and electrolytes are good too)
– talking to strangers and learning their life story (she used to run, cycles now, lives in VA Highlands, and even though cooking is her passion she doesn’t want to start a catering business) is okay! *as long as they’re not too creepy looking or their dog isn’t mean*
– listen to your body – the wheezing, mumbled complaints, blisters, sore/tight muscles, and spots you might be seeing are signs that maybe today should be an easier day :-)
Week 2: July 3rd, 2016
After surviving a rather busy and whirlwind week thanks to TV appearances at work and out of the ordinary experiences (never a dull moment here!), our dear runner girl was looking forward to a long run in which to enjoy the decent/not uber humid weather and relax! After all, church of the Sunday long run helps to make the rest of the Sabbath a delight. #HisDay Even then, the gods of the long run were not happy and 15 minutes into the run, just as the girl was entering into some single-track, soft surface trail, a root jumped out and ATTACKED HER! BUT THEN! she fell to the ground with a not so flattering “oomph!” and laid there for a few seconds before beginning to cry, recognizing that the pain in her ankle was not going to be the usual “get up and go” sort of fall. Glancing up, a man had been walking by with his young son and their dog, but even as the girl lay on the ground nursing her scraped and bleeding hands and knee, the man continued to tell his son, “Don’t let him chew on his leash – make sure he stands here and hold on tight.” Yes hello sir, a girl is hurt here. Please please help!
Long story short, and to save repeating the pity party of the runner girl for another time, no one helped the girl as she limped the 30 or so minute walk home – whimpering a bit (well this is embarrassing to admit) and immediately calling her mom before ibuprofen and ice/elevation for the hurt ankle … and then more tears. So all in all, week 2 brought a slightly sprained ankle and a frustrated girl. Oh, and the Peachtree 10k was the next day (less than 24 hours away), so maybe not finishing the run was good thing? #debatable
Week 3: July 10th, 2016
WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP! Well, apparently loud alarms at the right time to go off did not work to get the runner girl up that Sunday morning. Figures. Plans were made to run with one of her teammates and drive to the Hooch for some soft surface, runner-filled, early morning long run miles. Unfortunately (sorry Erica), she didn’t wake up at the right time and actually woke up at a very disoriented 9am instead of 7am #oops. Being so, she rushed to get ready to leave and run at the Hooch anyway, calling and texting her forgotten friend (sorry again Erica), crying a bit (see a theme here?!), and getting on her way.
Upon arriving at the WRONG Chattahoochee River park, because apparently that’s a thing (Coacher never told me that there were two, ugh), the girl saw that there were branching trails from the parking lot and decide to give it a try! Because 90 minutes of adventure is never a bad thing, that’s for sure! BUT THEN! The trails turned out to be way too full of roots and it was more of a hike than run … of course it was. So, getting back in the car, KIND bar and water in hand, GPS at the go, the girl returned home. After a good half hour of settled lactic acid in her legs and repetitious pop songs on the radio, the girl muster the energy to run another 30 minutes through the ankle twisting park from Week 2, and after a short temper tantrum (these are common, no worries), FINALLY FINISHED (close to/combined) 90 MINUTES!
The curse of the Sunday long run(s). The past three weeks have been great! … except for the long runs. Unfortunately, Sundays are the days of running that I look forward to the most and these experiences have left me feeling tired, frustrated, and disheartened. This post is a a big thank you to those who have supported me in some of these challenges – listened to me vent, complain, cry (thanks Mom), and all else. This post is also a big sorry to those that I’ve vented, complained, cried (sorry Mom), forgotten (sorry Erica), and let down (sorry teammates). This post, en todo, is a bit of a cry for help! Anyone have any tips on how the break the curse? Anyone want to run with me next Sunday (if I promise to avoid all prior trail incidents, hydrate enough, and wake up on time)?
Here’s to a love-hate relationship with running, the Georgia humidity, Sunday mornings, 5:30am wake-ups during the week, Nalgene water bottles, and this blog.
Here’s to hoping for next week being a better long run.
Until next time,