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.
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”