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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Saturday, May 05, 2007

'Not sure if this is a good or a bad sign

This morning I embarked on my Saturday four-mile run at 9:07, half an hour later than I usually leave with my friend Lynsi, who, after knee trouble following our run a week ago, thought she should rest this weekend. Instead of riding to the lakes as we usually do, I decided to do a loop directly from home.

By the time I finished the run, I was pretty exhausted--and subsequently disheartened about my preparedness for not only tomorrow's 10-miler, but next week's race. To add insult to injury, when I finished the loop, my cell phone read 10:06--a 14.5 mile pace! I knew the last few miles had seemed really long and that I hadn't been a speed demon, but didn't think I'd been that slow.

I was relieved to discover, when I finally turned my computer on, that instead of running this 4-mile loop, I had accidentally run this 6-mile loop. Yes, that's how directionally challenged I am; I had to ask the Internet what Bryant (or anyone else with a built-in mental map) could have told me easily.

It's also evidence that running makes one (me, anyway) not only crazy but stupid. Last year I remember stashing water and nutrition at carefully-calculated strategic points along the trail, only to attempt the math later as I was running and discover that I could barely add, let alone subtract (or, heaven forbid, divide) in my head after just a few trail miles. My first 26.2 mile run--the Lincoln Marathon--turned me into a babbling, circumambulating simpleton in the single-minded pursuit of calories (though the circumambulating, at least, was thankfully a transitory effect!). My conversational skills also suffer when I'm training (let alone running!); perhaps it's less my need to explain why I would want to do so much running, or talk about why it's "interesting," but rather the mass death of brain cells.

One could perhaps argue that training does improve me in some way; after all, I was applying to M.A. programs while training for my first marathon, and to PhD programs while training for my second, and got positions in both cases. These could certainly be happy accidents or unrelated, but I've also made it this far through grad school (knock on wood...) with neither massive breakdowns nor psychotropic pharmaceuticals--just the gradual, gentle death of brain cells to pavement-pounding (which is at least better for my liver--and midsection!--than other methods for accomplishing the same).

Best of all, races are a great excuse to travel--I leave for California on Thursday! Now, if only my 20-page paper slips by as easily as those extra two miles this morning, I'll be in great shape.


Ellen said...

Remember how Karen and I were going to abandon you at M & N Sandwich shop as collateral after the Lincoln marathon?

Daniel said...

My mother and I are running the Lincoln Half, tomorrow morning. Steve from Something Else prayed this morning for the marathoners and also for those that don't understand the motivation to run such distances, like himself.

George Orwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
some poems don't rhyme said...

you are going to be in great shape regardless. i need to find a physical conquest. i need to treat my body better.

hey, how does one purchase a cd of your rock-star-brother's music? i checked out his myspace page way back when you blogged about it and i love his music. wishlist whisper is one of my favorites.

Voth said...

My comments were showing up as being from George Orwell, and I'm not quite sure what was up with that. In any case, it is me. My blog is set to private right now due to, well, privacy issues. If you send me your email address to sdanun at yahoo dot com, I'll add you to the list of preferred readers.


utenzi said...

You're tougher than I was. Any time I'd go slower than a 10 minute pace my knees would ache. My comfort zone was a 7:30 - 8 minute/mile but my conditioning rarely allowed me to keep it. Legs and lungs just couldn't cooperate.