Friday, February 11, 2011
I’m apparently not there yet.
Last weekend Patty and I took a very welcome trip to visit some friends in Hollywood, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. Among (many) other things, I was delighted to be able to run in shorts and a tank top, with actual traction. And I did run. I had two leisurely 6-milers to do on either side of a much-anticipated 18-miler. I couldn’t wait, but I’d have been wise to slow things down a bit – and I don’t mean in the early parts of the run.
No, I behaved myself just fine that way. I warmed up the first mile – 8:15 – and then settled into my 7:50/mi pace and carried on as planned: Hold temptation at bay early, hold fatigue at bay late. But it didn’t work that way. I never really fatigued in the classic sense, but I started slowing after 14 miles with the all-too-familiar sensation of the fuel-gauge needle veering suddenly and determinedly toward E. It’s an awful feeling, not least because it doesn’t feel awful enough. Heart rate: steady. Legs: Fresh enough, but just not moving. It’s very frustrating.
And it wasn’t supposed to be happening. I’d been carrying a belt full of bottles and emptying them on schedule. I wasn’t drinking my usual stuff, true. I left that at home, figuring I’d rather find a running or cycling shop in Florida than have a heart-to-heart discussion with TSA at the airport about the unlabeled powder in my luggage. But there were no such shops terribly close to our friends’ house, and they had a garage refrigerator full of Gatorade. No problem. I’ve run on Gatorade plenty of times. The grocery-store stuff is a little sugary, but if you cut it 50/50 with water, it works well enough.
Except when it doesn’t. Then you finish your run ticking off mid- to upper 8-minute miles and are even grateful when you get stopped by an open drawbridge.
Back at the ranch, I did what I should have taken time to do before the run. I dug the bottles out of the recycling bin and took a closer look at the labels.
Who knew they made a low-calorie Gatorade?
Huge, HUGE thanks to the readers who have pledged donations to Patty’s and my rappel-down-the-tall-building dope-on-a-rope effort. You have no idea how good that makes us feel. Hopefully you’ll have a better idea soon, when I hand-draw you the thank-you notes that are on my to-do list (behind getting the Frazz strips out on time and maybe juuuuuuust a few items after finally getting a blog entry out there). You guys really are the best.
Posted by Jef Mallett at 3:15 PM