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5ksandcabernets: My run turned into a tour of South Austin.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

My run turned into a tour of South Austin.

In all my newfound enthusiasm for running slow(er) and taking it easy on long runs, I forgot (or no one told me) about the biggest rule:

If you don't know the route, don't run so slow where you lose sight of your running group altogether _ you might get lost.

That happened to me this morning. We had a 14-miler on the schedule (I know, 14 miles on a weekday. I told you, Team Roguers are fanatical about running). I set a pace alarm on my Garmin 305 that would beep at me if my instant pace dipped below 8:15 m/mile. (This pace, according to Jack Daniels Running Formula and many others, is the fastest "slow-pace" I should hold for long and medium-long runs.)

I saw two of the people I usually run with, Lex (A 3:14 marathoner) and Cat (A 3:22 marathoner) and told them I'd be running behind them. "Yeah," Cat said, "That's what you always say."

But this time I meant it. When everybody took off, I just walked behind them and gradually got into a jog. I did this because I knew if I took off with them, we'd been in the low 8s right out of the box.

So, I was basically the last runner to make it out of the Barton Springs swimming pool parking lot. About half a mile in, I caught up with Sadie and Renee and basically stayed with them for the next half mile or so before passing them.

At this point, the group ahead of me is getting further and further ahead of me, but I can make out two guys in the back (Jon, Keith) and I say to myself just keep them in your sights because I couldn't read the trip ticket because it was still dark outside.

My problem, however, is that I tend to zone out when I'm running. At one point, I could see Jon and Keith. Then, my Garmin started beeping at me, so I slowed down, then I looked up and Jon and Keith were gone. The whole group was gone.


By now, it's light outside, so I get the map out and start the turn-by-turn directions. I'm doing ok, following the map step for step. Only problem is, the MAP WAS WRONG. Several times, I zigged when I should have zagged. I'd realize "this can't be the way," then I'd double back or cut down another street to get where I thought I should have been. From Mile 3.5 to 8, I basically ran through the streets of South Austin by myself.

Finally, I ran into some runners who were running the other way. I knew this was an out and back course, so I figured I was headed in the right direction. Then I ran into Julia and Ann Marie. Surely, they knew where to go. I followed them. But they wound up taking me down a street I'd already knew was wrong.

Ack. By now, its been nearly an hour since I've had water. I'm feeling a little desperate, but at least I'm not alone. Turns out, there were a lot of people who followed the map and wound up taking wrong turns. Finally we get to a neighborhood where Julia's daughter works and we are on our way.

At one point, I stopped my Garmin while I waited for a green light while crossing 290 and forgot to turn it back on for a little more than a mile, so I wound up doing a little more than 14 miles in a little more than 2 hours. During the last two miles, I was feeling pretty good and decided to go ahead and run it in. I turned off the pace alarm on my Garmin because I was sick of it beeping at me because I was going to fast and did the last mile in under 8 minutes.

When I got back to Barton Springs, I got teased a little by some of the guys, like Chuck and the coach, Steve. OK, they teased me a lot. But you just have to laugh at yourself in that situation.

I've got a 16-miler Saturday and will continue to take it easy, but this time, I won't run so slow that I get lost.



Anonymous Jess said...

It's so scary getting lost. Glad it worked out ok.

I tried this "slow running" thing today. I'm going to see if it helps me.

June 18, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Sadie J said...

You took the hazing and ribbing from the guys at the pool very well, btw. My comment was...'hey, it's not his fault that he can read and followed the directions that were given.' Good job out there today and great attitude. There will be a time when you know the trip ticket is wrong and you are right, but until then good on you for hanging in there.

June 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

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