Oh, You Saucy Little GPS!

Posted on January 12, 2013


Today being Saturday is the day for my distance run.  Last week my training plan gave me a break and dropped me from the previous 13 to a mild 8.  It couldn’t have been better timed, as that was “day one” that I started slipping under the weather with something that was not-the-flu.  I was sick all the way through yesterday but still finished my challenging speedwork training runs, albeit not as effectively as I would have liked.  Nevertheless, let’s talk about today.

Today my training run distance picked back up, and I was staring down a 14 mile outing.  Before takeoff, I had a real moment when I thought that maybe, I really was officially crazy. I awoke with a feeling that the not-the-flu had left the building, but still, I was not at all my strongest.  No time like the present.

My run from home to downtown and back is 12 miles, so I wasn’t sure how and where I’d add the last two.  I looked at google maps and plotted what looked doable and hoped I’d remember which turns to take. I headed out and with a wild hair made a new Pandora station,”Wham!” (It did not disappoint, if that is the mood you are in, and I was.)

I felt fantastic getting out of the gates on my first 6 mile stretch to get downtown.  Somewhere along the way, though, my daggone GPS started doing it’s cloudy day dance and all of my tethering to the geek-data universe unraveled.  I really feel a great sense of disorientation when my speeds aren’t accurate and the miles are ticking by every quarter mile or so.  I’m pretty sure I did NOT run a three minute mile today. I tried desperately not to let it take the wind out of my sails, but I knew it would add a sense of mystery to how much mileage I was putting in my downtown route.

I had a great tour of downtown once I got there, and was still feeling great, even with the added hills.  I came out at the Durham Bulls stadium, as usual, then careened onward to the Farmer’s market, rounded the old Bull’s stadium, and just touched on Duke campus (well, ok, I could see it a block over.) Then I went onward through the Brightleaf District, Main Street, and rounded through the DPAC and Tobacco Campus before hitting the trail home.  It was such a gloriously beautiful day today, and people were out and about everywhere. What a way to sight-see, on fleeted foot. I headed home knowing I had six miles to go but not having any idea at all of how far I’d been.

My mileage updates (every mile on the mile) continued to harrass me with their ridiculously  inaccurate accounts, and I tried to blow it off and keep my head steady for the final finish.  I knew I was starting to slow considerably (by how much? no idea, thanks gps 🙂 ) but kept my head steady and my footing sure.

I pulled out my trusty rolled ziplock tucked in to my hip, and started into my raisin and cashew blend with vigor. I realized that I had left a little late and it was a tad too far from breakfast, which was a small bowl of instant ancient grain oatmeal and a few baked breakfast spuds. And I was running right through my lunch.  I had two bowls of chili (vegan, oil free chili) for an early dinner, and as I did some caloric math calculations, it was not painting an energetic picture.  With three miles to go I actually hit pause and bent at the waist to stretch and finish off my homemade trail mix. I shook my nearly empty water bottle and tried to rally.  Onward, soldier!

I hit another stretch with a mile and a half to go where I actually stopped to walk, a cardinal sin in my personal book. After about 30-45 seconds and internally giving myself a horrible speech about what a big huge sissy I was, I rallied and brought it all the way home.  I was probably trotting along at a 12 minute pace and my face was clearly distraught, but I was going to get this done!

When I passed the finish line, I immediately broke into an involuntary cry. Well, this was a new reaction.  I walked it off and headed inside, where I stabbed an orange open with a butter knife and ate it like a monkey.  I laid out on the couch and drank more water and added a banana, then soaked in a crazily hot bathtub until I could feel my fingers and toes again.

Once I fixed all of the map data on runkeeper, I saw that I accidentally added a whole mile to my run. Whoopsie!  I guess my sneaky-snakey little GPS was trying to tease me and show me a thing or two.  But I got the last laugh,  I get to tell everyone I ran 15 miles today.  I seriously burned off over 1700 calories.

Speaking of calories, I am really excited about the next weigh in, because “cutting the cheese” with my diet has made quick and gratifying results.  can’t wait to show you.

Has anyone hit the wall on a training run lately?  How much do you eat before and during a long run? I am excited about finishing my book, Thrive, by Brendan Brazier, to perfect that nutritional training dilemma. I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Running Out There!