29 Aug

I know Hurricane Irene hit other parts of the Eastern coast hard (the Carolinas, Vermont) but, it completely underwhelmed me. I’ve lived through my fair share of summer thunderstorms, tornadoes, and snowstorms and my first hurricane was nothing more than a windy summer storm.

I love storms, and was oddly looking forward to  my first hurricane. But sadly, not only did the hurricane disappoint, it also forced my long run inside.

This week was extremely long, so when my alarm went off at 5 AM I knew there was no way I was getting up to start my long run. I wanted to sleep. So, I did. I knew I was taking a risk with the weather, but I also knew that I was operating on a serious lack of sleep and needed to catch up at least a little bit, or I would never make it through my 14-miler.

I dragged my lazy butt out of bed around 10 AM. I made breakfast and Leslie and I seriously discussed hitting the trail to run. Being the whiny little baby that I am, I was concerned about rain. On every single channel I get, the talking heads were rambling on about how bad the storm was going to be, how we needed to “batten down the hatches” (I hate that phrase!). So I bailed on our run and decided to do it on the treadmill.

I’m just going to say right now, I’ve made many mistakes in my life, some big, some small. Biggest mistake ever. I hate the treadmill on the best of days and this was not the best of days. A quick recap:

– I was tired

– I hadn’t fueled properly the night before (Brazilian food + alcohol)

– I had barely slept that week

– I barely slept the night before

– I was stressed out of my mind

– I was feeling super ADD

Like a good marathoner-in-training I told myself to suck it up and just go and do the 14 miles. I might not be feeling it, but I knew I needed to do it. It was abysmal. If I never see another treadmill in my life it will be too soon.

The Breakdown

Miles 1-3: sucked. I would start and then want to walk. I would start again and then feel like the pace was too fast. Or the pace was too slow. Or the incline was too steep. Or it wasn’t steep enough. You get the idea, right? My music wasn’t right; my clothes felt weird; I wasn’t wearing enough body glide, etc.

Miles 3-7: not quite as sucky. I got into my music a bit and sort of zoned out for awhile. Until mile 6 and then I was STARVING. I ate some Shot Bloks, and then doubled over with cramps for a mile. So it was back to being a suck-fest.

Mile 7: I got off the treadmill because I needed Gatorade. On any run over 5 miles I ALWAYS drink half-water/half-Gatorade. I did not have my beloved Gatorade on this run and for some reason I was completely fixated on the Gatorade. I was utterly convinced that if I did not get my Gatorade, I would not finish the run. So, I jumped off the treadmill, ran, in a hurricane, to my car, drove to the gas station, bought Gatorade and ice, drove home and got back on the treadmill.

Miles 7-9: These were a little tough. I hopped off the treadmill a few times to stretch. Stopping your long run and getting in the car and then starting up again is not conducive to a successful long run. I ate some more Shot Bloks around mile 9 and felt a little better.

Miles 9-13: I wanted to shoot either myself or the treadmill with a shotgun. Every, single, second of these miles sucked. I more than seriously contemplated getting off the treadmill and just calling it quits. I even justified it to myself. “I’ve already run x miles. I bet most people can’t do that on a treadmill. I don’t really need to do the full 14 miles. I did 14 miles in spirit.” I have no idea how, but somehow I kept going. I think it was magic. Or delusion.

Mile 14: ROCKED! I don’t know why the rest of the run couldn’t have been this way. I felt on top of the world. I was tired but I felt like I could keep running for miles. All I could think was “I’ve run 14 miles b******! Bring it on, because I just ran 14 miles!” If you had asked me to do a Batman or Spiderman impersonation right then I would have done it. And it probably would have ended injury, but these things happen.

The Aftermath

I finished around 630 PM, took an ice bath and ate a million pretzels. And cereal. And ice cream. And then this happened:

There was absolutely nothing to do. My options were drink champagne in celebration of my 14-miler, or watch every, single channel discuss Hurricane Irene. Can you guess which route I chose?

Eventually, I fell asleep. On Sunday morning I awoke to… bright blue freaking skies! I had run 14 miles on the treadmill for NO REASON. I won’t lie, I behaved like a petulant child and kicked a table and threw some clothes around the room. Mother nature and I are not getting along right now. Maybe one day, we’ll get along again, but that day is not today.


Feelings on Hurricane Irene? Anyone else think the media 0verreacted just a wee bit?

Fellow long-runners: I’m into unprecedented mileage, how do I keep my sanity?


7 Responses to “Underwhelmed”

  1. Katie August 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    14 miles on a treadmill = consummate ROCKSTAR status. that is all.

    • feetoffancy August 30, 2011 at 9:15 am #

      I think it qualifies me for a strait-jacket, but I like Rockstar better, so I’m going to roll with that one!!

  2. Michelle August 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I was horribly disappointed when there was little rain or wind in my area. Although I’m not on the coast, everyone in my area was hurricane ready. And then all we got was a lot of rain. Boo.

    But you are seriously an inspiration. While I was on my treadmill yesterday all I could think was, “If Jenny can do 14 miles then I can suck it up and do 6!” And I did (but it was an absolute pain in the rear). As for keeping your sanity during even longer runs, I suggest finding a great running companion that can keep your mind off the mileage. Even if they are only there for half the run, it will definitely help to keep you motivated. Or keep your music on random so you never get too bored.

    • feetoffancy August 30, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      I have a shuffle that I always keep on random when I run. That used to be plenty, but with double-digit mileage I tend to get bored. Maybe audiobooks will help?

      I used to love to run on my own, and I often still do, but you are so right- longer runs are much easier if someone is with you, even if only for part of the run.

      And I think 6 miles might actually be easier than 14. At certain point you just go numb.

  3. Coach Brian August 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    It makes for good TV and keeps people watching when they get all hysterical. “Stay inside! Don’t do what I’m doing! You should definitely not be out here right now! I’m risking my life to let you know what the storm looks like so you don’t have to!”

    It does get pretty old. That’s not say say you shouldn’t be smart and keep your eyes on the radar, but if you can see the heavy rain bands are 2 hours away, you can get your run in. If it’s pouring and/or blowing like a motherf*cker then don’t go outside. Because then if you get hit by a falling tree, it’s your own damned fault.

    In the uncharted mileage territory, all I can say is take it slowly as you forge your way into new ground. Keep going out (or in) there and doing it. It will get easier. Anything over 10 miles is much, much easier with a group, though.

    • feetoffancy August 30, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      It must be some rite of passage to have reporters stand outside in floodwaters and hurricane winds yelling about how “oh, the storm is really picking up now, as you can see by the fact that I’m being blown sideways and standing in knee-deep water.”

      I wish I had followed your advice this weekend, then I would have been able to run outside and all would have been well in the world.

      Thanks for the advice on the unchartered territory. Take it slowly seems to be the best way to handle it. At this point it’s mostly a mental game anyway. I know my legs can handle it, I’m not quite so certain about my brain…

  4. katie September 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    double ugh, that many miles on a treadmill! and it made me laugh, you racing to the store for gatorade. crazy!

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