Eighteen Miles- Owned! In the Bad-Ass Time of “Oh Who Gives a Crap”

For those of you following my running journeys, yes all three of you, you know that my marathon training schedule called for my first 18-miler ever this past Sunday. I was a little nervous, but after kicking 17-mile butt last weekend, I must say I was a little more excited than nervous.

Knowing that the run would take me at least 3.5 hours (Go Turtles!), I set my alarm for before the sun woke up so I could finish before sunset, drank some coffee, psyched myself up and got ready to go.

I drove out to a new park this time. (Yes, driving to go run somewhere sounds nuts, but I am not running up and down 18 miles of hills around my house.) The park has a nice flat 1.5 mile loop of a course around the edges of big park complex. One of the cool things about this park is that it also has a little prairie dog complex, so watching the little furry (ahem, click here if you are particularly brave or feisty or bored) creatures run around and play is a fun distraction to pounding the pavement.

I felt like I had my own cheering squad when they would pop their heads out to watch me run by. (Not my actual cheering prairie dogs, but close.)

The day started out beautifully. It was cool and cloudy and in the low 60′s with a slight breeze. This is like running weather nirvana. I couldn’t have planned it better. That is until my GPS signal dropped.

I was a good 4 miles or so in. I know that’s a long ways to some folks, but on my long runs that’s really just when I’m starting to feel warmed up and good to go. Then I look down at my Garmin watch and see the words that no OCD technologically dependent, number loving runner ever wants to see, “Satellite Signal Lost.” Huh? What? Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

You should have seen me. I literally stopped in my tracks, looked up at the open, though cloudy, sky and said, “seriously?” I was momentarily stuck in a state of indecision. I kept waiting for a prairie dog to ask me if I was lost. I tried to reset the watch and the GPS signals. Nada. I guess cloudy days are a runner’s nirvana, but not a Garmin’s nirvana. The signal wasn’t coming back. I seriously thought about going home and finishing the 14 on my treadmill. Yeah, I’m that hooked on my running stats. Which is funny, because I don’t stress about my blog stats or numbers, maybe because those are out of my control. Running stats are all up to me. Crap. “Should I stay or should go now,” played on my mp3 player (no, not really, but on the soundtrack in my mind, totally.) The evil cake voice was back saying, “go home, go to bed, stop and pick up a coffee cake on your way and eat cake in bed, you know you want to.”

That’s when the sun slid out from behind a cloud, the heavens parted, and I heard an angel’s voice say, “screw the time, just run. Get that ass moving! NOW!!!” (What? Your angels don’t talk to you that way?)

So, off I run. My signal came back later for about five miles, then went out again. So I can account for nine of the miles (faster pace than last week, yay! Must have been my drill sergeant angel.)  I did my best to keep track of the laps for the other nine miles with the old-fashioned stop-watch option, but honestly? I don’t know, and I’m not overly stressed about it. I know I ran 18. I may have even run 19.5. When I was trying to figure it out and merge my maps and tally my times and all that jazz, I texted my friend A. (She is my “running/ accountability buddy”) I told her I was trying to figure out my numbers and I was really frustrated and mad at the satellites and on and on. And this is her actual response:

“I don’t give a fuck about your timing. No offense. You are a fucking monster. Great job. Congratulations. I can’t even.”

And that’s when it hit me. It just didn’t matter. What mattered is I had a goal of eighteen miles, and I accomplished that goal. And I am a fucking monster. Case closed.

Truth be known, the GPS going out was probably a good thing. It gave me something else to think about, it let me feel the breeze and focus on the gorgeous day, it took some of the pressure off, and it made me watch the prairie dogs a little more closely. I’m thinking of just leaving it at home this Sunday when I go out for my 13 (or 14.5 or whatever the heck I end up doing). But I will try to take my camera- I want ya’ll to see those cheering prairie dogs. I swear they’re saying, “Look at that Turtle run! She’s a fucking monster!”

Photo Source: NPS.gov

***

I also downloaded and listened to some new tunes this run that I found on jog.fm in the 150-160 bpm range. Here are five for your listening (and work-out) pleasure. Enjoy, and happy running!

1- Bloc Party, “Flux”

“If your right hand is causing you pain
Cut it off cut it off
If your colors have started to run
Let them all run, run away from you”

2- Butthole Surfers, “Pepper”

(yeah, I know, crazy band name, but the band and the song are awesome.)

“I don’t mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows
I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes
Cinnamon and sugary and softly spoken lies
You never know just how you look through other people’s eyes…”

3- The Game, “Dreams, The Original Version”

“On my iPod I’m listening to “Gin and Juice,” but I drink water cuz it got the most minerals, and I hope I’m not offending Snoop, cuz Beef is stupid…” 

4- Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”

(I had no idea this would be such a great song to run to; I thought it would be a little slow, but the beat is perfect and the lyrics just take my mind far away- they’re beautiful!)

“If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
And illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs 
If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark”

5- Eminem, “Lose Yourself”

(I can’t believe I haven’t listed this one yet! A tried and true, this one sent me sailing stumbling through the final lap of my 18 (or 19.5, whatever). Plus, I love that he is Sober and Proud.)

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment 
You own it, you better never let it go 
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow 
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better…”

6- BONUS!- The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” 

(I didn’t actually run to this one yet, but couldn’t resist adding it in. Sounds like the beat could work for walking (during the main verses) or for running (during the chorus). I’ll try it out this weekend.)

“Should I stay or should I go now? 
Should I stay or should I go now? 
If I go there will be trouble 
And if I stay it will be double”

44 thoughts on “Eighteen Miles- Owned! In the Bad-Ass Time of “Oh Who Gives a Crap”

  1. byebyebeer

    Oh my god hahaha that is the best text message ever! I can imagine the same incredulous reaction to the lost signal, the same “now what?” and I like to think the same go-with-the-flow solution. And running with prairie dogs sounds amazing! Monster, though, that part is the best, haha.

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Isn’t that awesome? I thought about editing out the f bombs, but I don’t think it would have the same impact, ha. Plus that is just Her. She sure snapped me back to reality. It actually pissed me off for a second, like “wait! whatdoyoumean you don’t care about my time?!” but then I was like, aw man, you’re so right! IT DOESN’T MATTER! I’M A MONSTER! I’m so glad I didn’t quit that run. It seems the best runs are the ones you want to give up at some point, but don’t. Like you EARNED them…. Thanks for being one of my three! Love ya.

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      1. byebyebeer

        Funny how that message could be taken any number of ways. But not knowing your friend, I just see someone in awe of your awesomeness. You done good.

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  2. a.maltais

    Wow… 18 miles. That is incredible. I’ve always seen these runners do these amazing things and wondered how. How are you doing it?
    Awesome job! And hilarious post :)
    p.s. I don’t typically go for all Eminem’s music, but “Lose Yourself” is one of my all-time favs!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Hey girl! I know right?! I have to pinch myself sometimes, because in my mind I’m still that fluffy little kid trying to suck in air after running, barely, 60 seconds. I marvel at what the human body can do. Talk about miracles.

      If you were seriously inquiring about how I am doing it though, just time and dedication to a running program and sticking with it even on the days I’d rather stay in bed and eat coffee cake. I started with the couch-to-5k (3.1 miles) a few years back. It basically takes anyone from couch potato extraordinaire to running a 5k in 9 weeks. c25k.com is a great place to start- it will link you to the cool runnings actual training plan and has a ton of info there.

      From there, I moved into 10Ks, then half-marathons, then a full on marathon training plan. I took some time off in the middle there when my drinking got bad, but picking the training back up has been an excellent way to get back in shape and keep the drinking in my past.

      “Not Afraid” by Eminem is a great song too with a really positive message about life after addiction.

      So happy you commented! I’ve been loving your blog!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      PFFT. There is no way I’m getting into an AWESOME contest with you, because you would kick my AWESOME ass.

      BUT(T)… I graciously accept your compliment and say HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY! You’re awesome too!

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  3. cleo

    Oh wow I know that feeling. I too have felt I am “running for my garmin” and therefore if the garmin does not knowamd appreciate that I am running whats the point? How fucking stupid is that???? Well done on getting over that garmin OCD moment and running for YOU! And well done, well done well done on 18/19 or 20 miles – or whatever!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      “Running for my Garmin” You are absolutely right. Here I am looking for love and validation from my Garmin to tell me that I am kicking ass and taking names, when I don’t need a stupid Garmin at all to tell me that.

      I have you guys!

      LOL, I know, I know, I have myself. It really was fun to run without it. It’s funny how things work out in the “long run.” (haha.) xoxo I’m glad to see you friend!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Haha, happy to help you out Al! I’m running 5 here in a few, so you just relax and kick back today and pop open a fake beer and watch some telly and eat some cake for me too… Wait, skip the beer and eat some extra cake instead… ;)

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  4. Carrie Rubin

    Wow–I’m so impressed with people like you who can run long distance. I love to exercise, but I get bored easily, so jogging isn’t my favorite way to work out (I do exercise videos). When I go on vacation and running is my only exercise option, it’s like pulling teeth to reach 4 or 5 miles.

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      I used to be strictly videos and Wii too, I’m not sure what happened? Maybe “Jillian’s 30 Day Shred” happened, I was never quite the same after that butt-kicking. I have some yoga videos I’ve been wanting to try… One day.

      I too bore easily, that’s why I nearly always run with music. But I try to look at the runs as quiet meditation time too. They’re a great way for me to stay in the moment and process all the kooky thoughts in my head.

      Getting to 4 is all up-hill for me. That’s usually the toughest part of a run for me. After that, I’m (usually) in the zone. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds!

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  5. Carrie

    You are nails!! Sooo impressive. Read this just as I was talking myself out of a teeny weeny 4 mile run tomorrow. That told me! I am in awe of the blogging sober communities challenges and achievements. What a determined bunch you are.. Savingmylifeandsoul Carrie :-)

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Hey hey hey Carrie! Girl, there are no teeny weeny 4 milers. Those are the hardest ones! I don’t ever feel in the groove until at least 3 or 4 miles, so don’t downplay those runs at all.

      But don’t skip ‘em either. Get your butt out there and get running. Or else I’ll sic my drill sergeant angel on you. (You don’t want that.)

      I am in awe too of this awesome blogging community- those of us who are sober, who are trying to get sober, and those of us who aren’t afraid to be associated with us weirdo sober heads. Haha. They are definitely helping *me* save my life and soul.

      I’m glad you commented! If you blog, leave a comment with your blog address so we can check you out.

      Go kick four mile ass-phalt tomorrow!!!

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  6. El Guapo

    Wow – that’s a hell of an introduction to you!
    Way to go!!!

    After you’re banging out 18 milers with no problem, switch the music to Rage Against The Machine. It will knock 10 – 15 minutes off your time, easy.

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Haha, well after reading your bungee jumping and skydiving escapades, I’m glad I had a slightly bad-ass entry up.

      Great idea about the Rage Against The Machine! I have “Testify” and “Killing in the Name of” but if you can recommend any with a fast head-banging beat, I’ll need them for the last 6.2 of my marathon the first week of Nov.

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      1. El Guapo

        Here’s two you might like (let me know if you don’t)
        Dire Straits – Solid Rock – That one is the epitome of rock n roll to me.
        The Pogues – Bottle of Smoke (great fast song about a horse coming in)

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        1. runningonsober Post author

          I confess those are both new to me (yay!), but I love Dire Straits and have heard lots of talk about The Pogues. I’ll add ‘em and rock out on Sunday’s 13-miler! Mucho mucho mucho gracias!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Thank- you! I’d like to think they were smiling proudly at me, not laughing at me running around and around and around in circles. Wait, I just described what they do all day too!

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  7. 8yearslater

    Woooooo! 18 miles! You ARE a monster! A machine! That’s so great. I love the whole prairie dog component of the story. They are just so damn cute and curious.

    Keep the running updates coming. Very inspiring.

    XO

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Thanks so much Me! A machine, yep, LOL. The little prairie dogs were hilarious. Someone had thrown out fruit for them, either tomatoes or peaches, I couldn’t tell, and one prairie dog was trying to move one around that was bigger than it was. It really was a fun distraction.

      I have a rest day today, but 8 on Sat and 13 on Sun, so it won’t be too bad this week. (Can you believe I just said that about 13 miles? Um, no, me neither!)

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  8. Drunky Drunk Girl

    crazy! i can’t imagine running that far more than once. :) love reading about the process. i hope to get my booty moving again soon, once i can rid myself of this back/hamstring pain. can’t wait to see how your 20-er goes! congrats!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      Many thanks! I know you’re ready to be back out there, but you’re smart to take the time to fully recover. I can’t wait to see how my 20 goes either. I have a step back weekend this weekend, but next weekend is my 20. I’ll keep ya posted. Thanks so much for cheering me on!!

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  9. Pingback: Friday Foolishness – From Here To There Edition | Guapola

  10. Nicole Marie

    Amazing! Great job; it’s such an awesome feeling to run so far. When I hit 10 during the half, I got a little teary eyed. And I know how you feel about being obsessed with your running stats; I use the Nike + app on my iPhone and I always go running with it. I love to see that total number roll over after I finish a long run!

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    1. runningonsober Post author

      That 10 mile mark is a big one! And it’s a tough one for me too- something switches in my head and tells me I should be exhausted at 10 and to just go home to eat and sleep (I talk about it here: http://runningonsober.com/2012/09/10/guess-who-ran-17-miles-yesterday/ ). So much of running is mental and just pushing through those blocks and doubts.

      I’m really glad to meet you! Looking forward to swapping running tales with ya!

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  11. Pingback: Holy Crap I’m Running a Marathon. (Will You Inspire Me, Please?) | Running On Sober

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