That was an…interesting…run

Posted: July 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

This morning I did something I have yet to do – complete my long run of the week on a standard road/sidewalk route. Normally I choose to run on the local Greenway running trail for my long runs.

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I adore running the greenway trail. I have always used it for my long runs due to it being relatively flat for the Atlanta area, full of other runners/bikers for motivation, and free of cars or traffic. I completed my tempo run there earlier this week, so I decided to switch it up a bit for my long run this morning. I don’t want to do the majority of my runs on the same route – both for boredom’s sake and the sake of challenging my body with variety. My half marathon won’t be on a nice little greenway path, so I need to embrace the road routes for my longer distances. So, to the sidewalk I went to tackle my 7 miles.

Running in the Atlanta area means a roller coaster ride. Up hills. Down hills. Up more hills. Down more hills. These aren’t little baby hills either. They may not be extremely steep but they trudge upwards for pretty much forever. Hills that last for half a mile don’t make a happy Tina.

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I didn’t sleep too well last night. My butt felt sore. I knew I would encounter my hills nemeses (apparently the plural of nemesis – who knew?). All of that equated to me beginning my run in a very negative mindset. “This run is going to be long and painful and I don’t want to do it”. After trudging up the first hill (3/4 mile long for the record), I noticed my posture was all slumped and my grumbling was doing nothing for this run. So – I donned the fake it til you make it approach. I pulled my shoulders back, fixed my running posture, and told myself I would dominate the run.

It worked! I got in a groove and started feeling good about the run. Running the road didn’t torture me after all. Okay, having to pay attention to cars so much and stop for a few stoplights got annoying, but I could do this. Plus, one intersection stop came at the perfect time to down my Gu packet. Right across from here -

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Tease!!!! I just pretended my espresso Gu tasted like a scrumdiddlyumptious donut and a nice latte. If a donut to go could have made it three miles, a pit stop would likely have occurred. Instead, I got myself moving to tackle the last three miles. I convinced myself to keep that positive attitude going. I had my rocking new running playlist to help me through. Or…not. The iPhone goes caput. Nooooooo!!!! And just as the new Katy Perry song that provides me with a second wind started playing.

I can run without music – on shorter runs. On runs where the heat and humidity haven’t zapped my energy into oblivion, leaving me needing my music. Obviously, that was not today. Today I needed my music. What was a girl to do? Distract herself by crafting this blog post in her head. But, you know what? God has a sense of humor. He’ll make sure you have plenty to talk about in that blog post you’re crafting.

Not a minute later I hit an uphill portion…infested with some sort of bugs. Grasshoppers? Beetles? I don’t know what they were but I do know they were out to torture me. So many bugs! Making this terrible buzzing/eeeee-ing sound (which I could hear loud and clear thanks to my music dying) and jumping/flying up as I would pass. Right. Into. My legs. I don’t do bugs. I really don’t do bugs hitting my legs and flying at me. I viably looked like a fool running up that hill as I would leap into the air, flapping my arms, with each bug attack. All twelve of them. The number I reached after I started finally counting. I don’t think I have run uphill so fast in my life. On the bright side, I guess I fit in some intervals and plyometrics with my run today? ;)

At that point, I was beyond ready to finish this run. I’m out of water. I’m hot. I’m cranky. Screw the positive attitude thing. 2 miles to go. 1 mile to go. Then, oh sweet baby Jesus I made it.

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I took my time walking around to cool off and downing my .5 liter water bottle (full of lukewarm water from the car’s heat - blech) in three gulps, so I wouldn’t have to top off my run with a visit to the hospital where I parked. Finally I got in my car to head home. You have to love the irony that Katy Perry’s song immediately came on the radio.

After that, I needed a drink. Make that two.

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How double fisting should be done. Spinach is better in a wineglass, after all!

  • What’s one of the craziest things to happen to you on a run / during a workout? Those bugs were out to get me I swear!
  • Do you prefer running trails or road routes or switching it up?

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35 Comments to “That was an…interesting…run”
  1. GREAT picture – love the green monster in your wine glass! Awesome 7-mile run – I truly can’t imagine running for over an hour, much less that fast – you’re on fire!

  2. marcia says:

    Great run and way to push it!
    Hmmm….I normally train on the roads, but I want to give a stab at trials. I did a trail run today and 90% of the 10 miles was on rugged terrain- streams, sticks and roots. Loved it. :-)

    • Tina says:

      I don’t think I could do real trails. I would break something no doubt. I like our “trail” of paved and boardwalks. LOL

  3. I’m a roads girl all the way! I love having the freedom to turn left or right whenever I want. I always feel so trapped on trails. And since I tend to run super early in the morning, I can actually run ON the road and avoid sidewalks.

    I’d totally have pit-stopped into the donut shop. Have you ever heard of the Krispy Kreme run?!

  4. Ohhhhhhhh bugs fly into me when I bike. It’s REALLY unsettling. Though, I have to say, it’s nothing compared to the time that the building fire alarm went off during an early morning swim workout in January. It was about 18 degrees out. I’ll let you figure out how that ended.

    And the time I was swimming outdoors in early October and it started snowing…

    • Tina says:

      I think the only thing I can say to this comment is – EEEEK!!! Fire alarm, evacuation, cold, wet, winter. Not fun sounding at all!

  5. Chelsea says:

    I like to switch it up :) Typically it matters what time I wake up though haha. If I wake up too late I’m not going outside in this Texas heat past 10am to run, no way jose.

    Man I did 6 miles in the EXACT same time you did 7 miles. I’ll get there one day *sigh* haha :)

  6. Lee says:

    Good job tackling the hills..and the bugs!

    I like to switch it up. I usually run just outside in my neighborhood because in order to get to any sort of trail, I have to drive. But sometimes, when it’s cooler out, I get the urge.

    • Tina says:

      I have to drive every time I run. We live off a very windy road with no sidewalks and blind curves and fast drivers. It’s annoying to always have to drive somewhere to run.

  7. Becca says:

    I saw that you did your training run on the streets of Atlanta. Good for you.. I still can’t bring myself to leave the shade and greenness of my running trail. I live in metro Atlanta and am always looking for a place new place to run. Where is this Greenway running trail if you don’t mind me asking?

  8. Maria says:

    Wow – you rocked that run!

    I wish my area had some sort of running trail. I run along my apartment’s neighborhood right now and it’s so small that I have to make loops and dodge cars backing up. But whatever gets you out there, right? :)

    Nice work!

  9. Mrs. Fish says:

    Where I live now has lots of sidewalks and very close to a walking/running trail, so I usually stick close to home. When I trained for my marathon, we did our long runs in Cincinnati on the course. I saw lots of *interesting* things downtown at 7:00 am in the morning. :)

  10. Bari says:

    I run the same basic paved trail system, but as my miles increase, I’ll start running with a running group. I ran out of water & sport beans on my run today – called hubs for a water drop!

    As for the strangest thing? The past couple weeks, what seems like millions of tiny toads have hatched & have been hopping across the trail. They are unavoidable & I hate to think of how many haven’t made it. Eww.

  11. I once came across two teenagers about to go at it in the park during one of my runs. I just pretended I didn’t notice them and kept running. I no longer do evening runs in that particular park lol….

  12. When I run on the trail by my house I see people peeing in the woods — men/women/kids, doesn’t matter. There are porta potties every couple miles or so, but I still see plenty of people out in nature. It grosses me out because it doesn’t look like they’re trying to hide at all!

    Great job on your run!

  13. Woo! Rockstar! This weather’s killing my running mood…

    The craziest thing to ever have happened while on a run was back just before my race in April. I looked over at the cliff across the river from where I was running, and thought I saw a ball falling down the cliff. Nope. Not a ball. A BOY. He was about 12 years old, tumbled down this rocky cliff (I live in the Blue Ridge mountains), and landed on his arm…right on the train tracks. I have never felt so completely helpless!!!

    I prefer greenways, and luckily, our running trails are paved like roads!

  14. I was attacked by a fly on my run this morning. There is seriously nothing more annoying than bugs when you’re trying to run, particularly those that INSIST on buzzing around your head. I went from calm to exploding with rage in like 30 seconds, plus I, too, certainly looked like a fool waving my arms all around my head. Ugh.

    I’ve never run on a trail before, mostly due to lack of availability. Well, scratch that. I’ve run part of the Lakefront Trail in Chicago. At home though I always run on the road because there’s nowhere else to go. I run a different route almost every day, though. Gotta keep my muscles on their toes!

  15. For the record – that new Katy Perry song is totally pumping me up too! But as lame as it sounds, nothing can get me moving fast like the Glee soundtrack!

    Last weekend as I was running to the GG Bridge, I noticed a creature scamper past me that – I swear – was a guinea pig/rat hybrid. I screamed. I froze. Then people stared at me and I just kept running. It was SO GROSS!

    I prefer 50/50 of street trails – streets make it harder to get bored, but trails give you that quiet, peaceful, de-stress run!

  16. switching it up is such a huge motivation! i have trails that i really love to run on but the runs that the route is changed always go by faster and are more enjoyable :)

  17. I prefer running routes. Road route running isn’t really possible in New York city, unless you want to contest with (understandably) annoyed pedestrians on the sidewalk. I would like to switch things up though. Always keeps things interesting!

  18. Ela says:

    Oh, I much prefer out on the trails. I hadn’t even thought of other runners being around as motivation: that’s a great take on it.

    Interesting to know that Atlanta is hilly. Homer is too, where I live. I’ve been starting to bike more, but basically to go anywhere in town you have to go up either a long, steepish hill or very steep hills! At least you get to go down again too…

    I’m only bothered by biting bugs, but those ones sound kinda psyching too…

    • Tina says:

      The hills are insane! At least they should make the relatively flat course for my half marathon feel nicer. LOL

  19. Sarah says:

    It is beautiful in a wine glass!!

    I took my helmet off after a bike ride last week and two ladybugs fell out of my hair. I wanted to grab them and get a photo but I was outside a coffee shop so tried to act cool. Well, as cool as you can with bugs coming out of your head:)

  20. Helen says:

    Oh my I hate bugs as well! I haven’t had any crazy adventures in the work out department, but I do have an annoying one. Several months back the gym I work out at had one of the pipes bust over the basketball courts. So the entire faciliy was evacuated by the fire alarm because it was one of those “fire pipes” (not sure what you call them)….I had only been working out for a total of maybe 10 minutes. Very annoying!

  21. Jane says:

    I need to get a Garmin or some sort of iphone app so that running outside is a feasible option. I’m just not sure how to tell how long I am running otherwise! Any other suggestions? Way to power through your run, and you are so right, a smoothie in a wine glass is so much better! Happy 4th!

    • Tina says:

      I know I have heard of websites where you can track your distances. I think one is called Map My Run. You would have to plan your route before you head out, but it should give you a detailed mileage. Then you could just time yourself to still be able to get an average pace. That’s how I would do it if I didn’t have a Garmin. :)

      I also know there are cheaper apps like Nike + or something you can use.

  22. Sarah says:

    I like to switch my runs up. I get bored easily doing out and back routes so running half trail and half road keeps things interesting for me.

  23. Colleen says:

    Ha love your double fisting!! I always run trails at home because we have a ton nearby, but at school I have to stick to the road. I definitely prefer trails!

    The craziest thing that’s happened to me on a run is the time I saw a few of my friends driving and stopped to chat with them and ended up ditching my run and joining them for an ice cream trip!

  24. Katie H says:

    Yikes! The bugs would have freaked me out- I can’t handle that kind of stuff! Way to stick with it :)

  25. I’m a total trail girl. All 3 of my half marathons were trails, but unfortunately, 2 in Georgia had elevation so steep, we used our hands to climb. But I’ve done it twice and it was tougher than the trail half in Colorado. I’m like you. I can’t remember the last time I did a long run on the road. I’m fortunate to live close to trails, so I take full advantage of them.

  26. Kara says:

    Great job finishing that run! I hate running on long straight roads, it makes it feel like I’m running place and not getting ANYWHERE.

    Long slow hills are much worse than steep short hills. On my run on Sat, I ran up one incline that lasted for a full mile. Uncool!

    Bugs are the worst, I always load on Off “Active” before I head out. One time I ran into a swarm of biting black flies and that helps me never forget the bug spray!

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