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Sunday, July 17, 2011


Much like JD on Scrubs, I really could have used an operatic mistake-preventing friend this morning.

I would have just used him as an alarm clock.

We went down to Zilker last night to watch Footloose, which was quite enjoyable, but it meant that I was in bed a little bit later than I normally would want to be with an 8-mile run planned in the morning. I didn't expect it to be a big problem, but when the alarm went off, I turned it off without a second thought. It was way too early, and I was way too comfortable to get out of bed and start exhausting myself.

When I did actually get out of bed, I had a big bowl of applesauce in preparation for the run. Since I haven't made it to the grocery just yet to replenish my baby food supply, I figured this was the next best thing. Nutritionally, I was good to go. Mentally, not so much. I just couldn't get myself motivated, and every minute I spent thinking about how I didn't want to run in the heat, it got hotter outside. Just when I thought I might be ready to face the weather, something interesting came on television, and my shiny object-addled mind lost what drive it had as I immersed myself in several hours of behind-the-scenes Harry Potter specials.

This had two effects on me. As I watched the actors run around on set, I began to feel lazy and decided that I was going to do something active. Given the time of day, I figured that it was probably too hot to run, so instead I would do tomorrow's cross training today, and delay today's long run until the morning. Effect number two - when I actually got around to working out, I had the stupid theme song in my head the entire time.

As the last few minutes of the special were winding down, I got dressed for a bike session at the gym. Finishing this process, I made the snap decision to run instead. The last thing that I wanted to do was get behind in my running, even just a few miles, and it will make my Monday morning much easier to bike first thing instead of running.

So, off I went, and the heat was, to no one's surprise, painful. The first two miles were faster than I intended them to be. In fact, I've really got to work on starting more slowly on these long runs. As I crossed Town Lake, the heat started to creep into my brain. My resolve started slipping, and then it jumped straight off the cliff. I went from "no walking" to "only walk for a second" to "at least don't sit down" to "eventually I'll start running again." That last step hit around the halfway point.

Really, today's long run became two four-mile runs, one that was pretty strong, and the other that was a little slower. I took along an energy gel, which I took at the break between these two runs, but it didn't help as much as I would have hoped. It was like the sun had sapped any energy from the packet before it even hit my stomach. So, Jeff Galloway came to my rescue once again.

At first, I tried to do a fairly difficult version of the Galloway run-walk-run system, running for 8 minutes and walking for one. This did not work. The first mile of my restart was fine, but my entire walk was in the direct sunlight on top of the Congress Avenue bridge. My next run section lasted on a minute or two before I had to walk once more. So, I decided to try a more reasonable schedule. Three on, one off. And that took me all the way home, where I climbed in the shower before I'd even gotten out of my running clothes.

So what was my mistake? Well, truly there were a couple, but the big one was turning off the alarm. I'm glad that I completed the run today instead of waiting until tomorrow, but the whole thing would have gone much better if I had gotten up when I was supposed to. With no impending workout hanging over my head, I would have been able to enjoy my day to a much fuller extent, and I probably would not have been the weak, sweaty mess that I was. Well, you live and learn.

And you get up on time.

Sunday's Run:
98 Degrees / Sunny
8.11 Miles
1 Hour, 4 Minutes, 32 Seconds

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