Friday morning I ran 20 miles. In the old days I saved my long runs for Saturday morning, but lately I’ve been on childcare duty Saturday mornings so I’ve pushed them to Friday. I got up with Cyndi at 5:00 AM, and left around 5:30. Cyndi had to get up to teach Body Pump at Gold’s Gym, making it easier for me get my body out of bed. I needed to get started early so I could finish before the temperature hit 80*F.
I had been laying awake in bed for about thirty minutes going over my gear list for the run. I’ve been running now for over 32 years, more than 35,000 miles, and I have a pretty good handle on what I need to carry with me on a long run. It isn’t much: (a) Preemptive band-aids, moleskin, and Advil; (b) Interval timer; (c) Garmin 405 GPS watch; (d) iPod; (e) Camelback; (f) Sunglasses; (g) Handheld digital recorder; (h) Money; (i) ID; and (k) Shorts, shirt, socks, shoes. Anything else has to earn its way into my kit.
This time I didn’t take any energy gel blocks or GU or electrolyte chews or any of that. I did take some Jolly Ranchers, but I ended up eating those only out of obligation since I had them. I couldn’t tell if they helped in any way. So far, in my experiment of one, energy and electrolyte supplements haven’t made a noticeable difference nor have they been worth the effort. Maybe it’s because I am moving so slow? But I am open to being proved wrong about the subject, I will keep reading the articles in running magazines. I need all the help I can get.
I do, however, enjoy wearing my new Garmin 405 GPS watch on long runs. It is great fun after the run charting my route and studying the data and printing a map. My actual distance from Friday was 20.86 – how would I have known that without my cool watch? I also carry a clip-on interval timer that I bought from Jeff Galloway so I can do my run-walks. It helps keep me on pace, on task, and I don’t have to look at my watch until the run is completely over.
There is a potential vulnerability
with carrying a GPS watch, however. A few weeks ago during a 10-miler, about
8.5 miles in, as I was turning north under the overpass at
The toughest part of my run is the
first mile. My legs are stiff, my shins are sore, and none of me wants to move.
But I’ve learned if I keep going all of those pains will fade and I will be OK.
It is sort of like hiking the
The only time I was really tempted
to quit and turn around and walk back home was about 8 miles into the run when
I was passing
At the 7-11 at Thomason and
Afterwards, after a shower and after lying on the floor of my closet to recover, I enjoyed my traditional post-run vanilla milkshake. What a great reward. I savored it down to the last slurp because I’d earned it.
My friend and fellow
My bum left knee felt fine and my right foot with goofy toes was fine and never bothered me at all. I haven’t had any problems with blisters on my toes since I started wearing Injinji socks. I may lose a toenail or two, but I am used to that.
So you may be wondering why I bother to write all this stuff down? I do it partly because running is the root of my writing. The first pieces I wrote as an adult were for a running club newsletter.
But I also write it down so you can join me on this journey. I am trying to live up to Habakkuk 2:2, Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.” I hope you have stories of your own, and I hope you’ll share them with me.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
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