Half Marathon Training – Week Three

This last run was – interesting.

First, I rolled out of bed at 6:25 am on Saturday morning, which was already too late. 

My run was slated to start at 7:10, but I knew I’d have to hurry if I wanted to make it downtown on time.  After getting ready, I was finally out the door by 6:40 am.  This would have been enough time to get downtown, except that half of the goddamn roads were closed when I got there. I’m not even kidding.  I learned later that they were setting up for the Gay Pride Parade, but since I did not know this prior to my run, I spent about fifteen minutes maneuvering my way downtown and cursing all the closed streets.

When I finally pulled in the parking lot, I hurriedly parked my truck in a space.  There was a tree overlooking the curb, and I felt my car hit it.  I got out of the car and looked at the bumper, which was resting cozily next to the tree.  “I’ll worry about this later,” I said to myself, and ran off.*

I saw groups of runners running on the sidewalks.  I ran after them, hoping to catch up with my pace group.  “Excuse me,” I asked a woman.  “What pace group is this?”  “We’re the elevens,” she said cheerily.  “We’re doing ten ones.”  I had no idea what the hell that meant, so I ran a little farther up the sidewalk.

I talked with a couple of people, and determined that, if I hurried, I could still catch up with my group.  For a good five minutes, I ran steadily.  And I think I would have caught up with my group, had I not made a fatal flaw.  There was a split later in the run – the marathon runners were doing five miles, and the half-marathoners were going to do three. I followed a group of people I thought were going north, back to the parking lot.  I ran several minutes with them and noticed, with a sinking feeling, that not only were we running back south, but we were running up hills.

This is when I found out I had blindly followed the marathoners.  But they were the 10:15 pace group.  I had been so, so close.

I left the marathoners and ran blindly through the neighborhood by myself for a couple of minutes, before finally meeting up with some stragglers.  They too were marathoners, but they told me which street to turn on to so I could catch up with the half marathoners.  I thanked them and was able to catch up with a slower group. 

I was far, far behind my pace group, and to add insult to injury, my stomach was starting to hurt.  I had not been smart enough to pack Pepto Bismol either.  I’ve learned that on long runs, Pepto Bismol is your best friend.  It’s not a panacea, though. One of the worst runs I’ve ever had was when I was training for my marathon two years ago, on a nine-miler with my group.  Like an idiot, I ignored the fact that I have a historically sensitive stomach when I run, and had decided to eat a “Voodoo” chile hamburger the night before the run.  The next day, during our training run, I was in agony after about two miles.  I took my Pepto Bismol, but my body did an equivalent of throwing it back at me and then flipping me the middle finger.  Even worse, there was not a bathroom anywhere in the vicinity of the trail, unless I wanted to squat behind a bush or something, which, for me, was not an option.   So I walked in pain, falling well behind my group, until my stomach stopped hurting.

Now, I thought about this bad training run and felt a healthy dose of perspective.  Having an upset tummy on the last mile of a short run was far preferable than having an enormous stomachache at the beginning of a long one.

When I finally finished my run, I wasn’t able to find my group anywhere.  I was tired, sweaty, and a little bummed.  But, lesson learned – I’m definitely waking up early for the next training run. 

*There is now a small indentation in my front bumper.  It’s been several years since I’ve done anything really dumb with my car, so there’s that.



One thought on “Half Marathon Training – Week Three

  1. I was worried your bumper fell off, just a dent, that’s not bad. Mine’s cracked, probably from some A’hole in IOwa with a hitch backing into me in a parking lot.

    You got in a run, and it sounds like it was interesting. I have yet to run with a group. It’s on my list. I suppose in a group you can’t listen to music?

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