Bad Blogger! No Donut!

I know, I’ve been absolutely terrible at updating the blog — I even had a race I didn’t totally pick apart and talk about yet!  Some times, I can get the miles in, but waxing philosophic more than I already have in the process of running just may not happen. I’ll do my best.

First things first, the Turkey Trot.  I’m sure you’ve already seen the pictures from it on Facebook, but if not, here they are.

You’ll notice my awesome sweatshirt (Darren’s awesome sweatshirt, actually), which I shed (along with the scarf, my coat, and assorted other layers) before actually running.   We started at Hyde Park.  One of the weird parts about the race was the fact that 5kers and the 5 milers started at the same time, which means THOUSANDS of people were crammed at the start. 

The course itself was convoluted, to say the least.  Luckily for everyone, the 1 Milers started earlier than everyone else — but everyone was running essentially the same course, but as I said, the folks for the 5k and 5miles began at the same time.  So, it was absolutely packed, and completely terrifying for me as we crossed shoulder to shoulder on the bridge.  We basically ran down to AIP, and turned right back around at Blvd. of the Allies (this was the first of the water stops).  When we got back to the park (second water stop), that’s where the 5kers left off.  The 5 mile folks ran on – towards Heinz Field, around it, down near the Science Museum and finally turned around.  For some reason, this part of it really felt like it dragged.  I wasn’t the only one to think that.

So, a few notes.  I threw my cups away.  In the garbage.  Like a self-respecting and city-loving human.  I get it — they will sweep up thousands of cups, but still.  The thing that really got me, the first thing I saw someone do is throw a cup of water in one of the volunteers’ face.  Fucking really, people?  I vowed from that second I was at least going to ‘beat that guy.’  Even though I don’t do this to compete.  I decided that guy was a jerk off.  The part that made it worse is that he had on an Amphipod belt — which means he didn’t even NEED the water (I slurped a bunch before the race, but left the water situation to the running gods).  I saw a few more people be rude to the volunteers.  As I was running, I was thanking them, wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving . . .you know, the race was at 9 and they had an early start — they chose to get out of bed and help out so I could run on Thanksgiving day, and I was going to thank them, dammit.  I also noticed ‘that guy’ stayed on the 5 mile course (taking more water at the 5k start, and I did as well).  Then comes in the 2 miles to finish.   Right as we were coming up on the finish, the jackass took the last cup of water!  I needed that water!  And that’s when all he saw of me was my back as I ran across the mats to finish.  The course time said 1:01:20 – real, chip time was 58:37.  I was hoping for my normal 12 minute per mile — and I got 11:43.  GO ME.

It was the coldest run I’ve done to date — the day started out at 31, and I packed like a diva, unable to figure out what I’d need.  The verdict is, 2 long sleeved shirts, one pair of running / compression tights, one running skirt (dignity, people, dignity), and my headband (shed at mile 3.5 and held in my hand for the rest of the time) along with gloves.

This morning, I knew I hadn’t eaten as well as I should have the night before a long run, so I figured I was going to have to carry stuff.  I didn’t feel like running endless loops around Highland Park, but wanted to listen to music, so I chose endless loops around Morningside instead.  Well, they end, but sometimes, they really really feel like they won’t.  The nice thing about the Morningside loop is that it’s about 1mile in, 1 mile back.  Hills at the beginning and the end.  But, I figured I’d need stuff. . . And I thought of my Yoda backpack.

This exact one, except I wasn’t at work (this picture was taken at Cedars-Sinai from when I first took Yoda to work with me).  He’s perfect, and he makes you look just like that moment in Empire Strikes Back . . . Anyway…

It was chilly, but not as cold as the race was — about 37 degrees when I started.  I figured this time I would go with a very light track jacket, long sleeved shirt, running tights, skirt, headband, and gloves.  In Yoda, I packed a couple of Larbars, a baggie of raisins, a good waterbottle, my wallet and some toilet paper.  I really don’t want go into why the toilet paper, but I’ll say I’ll blame the bad chafing on my last long run to my lack of toilet paper.  And poor short design.  So, if I was taking supplies, I might as well be thorough.

So, all packed, I was off.  The first thing I immediately noticed was Yoda’s arms were way too floppy.  I took a hair band, broke it in half, and used it to tie his arms tight around my neck — and it was perfect.   One mile in, I shed the jacket.  I was pouring sweat – toting a Jedi Master on one’s back is some amount of more work (but better than trying to carry all that stuff any other way).  Yoda was extremely warm on my back, so I really just needed the long sleeved shirt.  I popped in Podrunner, and even with two long stops (one to eat, and one to pick up stuff at Rite Aid – specifically, more water and some Gatorade because I was feeling a little funny), I still made 12:21 pace.  The Gatorade did what I suspect I needed — it gave me the elecrolytes that plants crave (ha).  Seriously, I needed some salt — I started the whole journey this AM by downing a liter of fluid.  But it was a great run, and I see Yoda becoming a running companion in the winter months (sorry, in the summer, it’s just not going to happen!).

And by the way – I do this he gave me some kind of kick of confidence.  The hills I went up, I tried to “bound” up them.  And, I’ll say, he got a lot of looks.  Or maybe they were looking at me, leaping up hills with a stuffed animal on my back looking all intense-like (or possibly very, very goofy).

This deserves some consideration. . .

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