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adapting to my surroundings

7 lessons from my 7 mile pace run:

1) Running makes me happy. Just do it.

The run almost didn’t happen at all. I suffered another round of Garmin failure in the car and almost ran out of fuel in the middle of Crystal City (should more appropriately be called Cement City). But I thought of Boston, thought of how depressed a lack of exercise makes me, and motivated my way back to my standby parking spot at the Iwo Jima Memorial. I am glad I did.

2) Listening to my body (and the DC weather) trumps Mr. Higdon’s training schedule.

I wanted to do 10 miles. But the realfeel on accuweather.com says 90 degrees and I couldn’t find a water fountain. When I left the house this morning it could actually be described as “cool”…but shit changed between 8 am and 1pm. After 7 miles at marathon pace I was starting to black out a little and could feel sickness welling up inside me. I think if I had gone for the extra three miles: this would have been me.

3) Running in DC, in August, necessitates water, lots of water.

95% of the runners I saw on the canal trail were carrying a water bottle or fuel belt. The remaining 5% was me. There are valuable lessons to be learned here.

4) Pace runs are meant to be at pace, not faster than it.

I was well under my marathon goal pace. I need to hit an 8:23 (8:25 if I get desperate for that magical + :59 seconds that the BQ time allows). I was at an 8:10. But I only did 7 and it was a hard 7. I think a lot of the difficulty had to do with the lack of H20 and the heat, but it could be hot in Chicago (if it’s anything like 2007, even hotter than today). That extra :13 seconds a mile could have made me feel a lot better. (probably not, but it makes me feel more hopeful about the BQ if I tell myself that).

5) Electrolytes + replacement carbs=orgasmically delicious.

The coconut water and watermelon chunks I had after the run tasted better than anything I’ve ever consumed in my life. I am going to stockpile them in my new apartment.

6) Do not take a Fuse Pilates Class before a pace run.

This morning I did a Fuse Pilates class immediately preceding the run. Fuse Pilates involves having the students pick 3 body parts to work at the beginning of class. One of this morning’s body parts was hips. My hips already hate me. Fatiguing them right before a run didn’t help the situation. Now they hate me more.

7) Starbucks gives you free ice water, especially if you are swimming in sweat and look near death.

I walked 1.25 miles back to my car to cool down. At one point I was going so slow that my Garmin went into autopause mode. Autopase is the function that makes the watch stop clocking when it no longer senses movement. Hopefully that makes you appreciate the lack of my body’s ability to function following this run. I stumbled into a Starbucks at about mile .5 and they just started hosing the water into the largest cup they could find.

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