Monday, July 11, 2011

Run fail

I had business this morning near a place that I usually like to run, so after I was done, I went out to put some miles down. By the time that I got there, it was too late in the morning and too hot already but I doubled down on the stupid by trying to add distance on an out-and-back run.

And out-and-back is where you start from one place with a fixed mileage in mind, and run half way, then turn around and come back.

I almost scratched the run due to the heat, but I noticed that about a mile from my start/finish point there was a check point set up for some bike ride and they had water and gator aide that I was pretty sure I could tap on the way back. So with that in mind, and a desire to show those bike riders how it's done, I turned on my motivational music and started running.

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive...

It was hot, but I was running good on the outbound leg. The road I was on was shaded for the most part and it felt good to be out. And the music kept me pumped up and moving.

Come on, baby don't you want to go
Come on, baby don't you want to go
To the same old place, sweet home Chicago...

I'd considered turning back at two miles, depending on how I felt, but I was doing great when I hit the two mile marker, so I just kept going, running in time with the music.

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me...

I was starting to feel it at three miles, but my turn point was so close. I just had to make it. So I started singing aloud along with the music.

They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town,
With political connections to spread his wealth around.
Born into society, a banker's only child,
He had everything a man could want: power, grace, and style....

The last half mile was out of the shade, in direct sunlight. By the turn point, I was soaked in sweat and the heat was sapping me. I started heading back, but I knew that I'd over done it. Still, there was only one way back so I just kept running, focusing on the music, which the MP3 player was pulling up at random.

From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
There was never a leatherneck braver, a Daring Dragoon is he
He’ll halt the bold advance of Napoleon’s attack
There ain’t a French or pirate rogue who don’t... know Jack!

I kept passing bike riders, and I knew that I was going to have to hit their check point and beg a refreshment from their coolers of icy cold drinks. There was no doubt in my mind that they'd have one or two to spare.

It was Della and the Dealer and a dog named Jake
and a cat named Kalamazoo
Left the city in a pickup truck
gonna make some dreams come true...

Finally I hit the point where I just couldn't run any more. I had to stop. I'd actually run further the other night, but it was twenty degrees cooler then. This heat had totally sapped me. But I still had to get back. And my running foot...great for running, but not made for walking. As I plodded on slowly back towards the start point (and the bike people and their icy cold drinks!), it really started to dig into my shin bone. The only way to relieve that was...that's right...back into a running pace. I turned the music up and tried to keep pace with it.

Lido missed the boat
That day he left the shack
But that was all he missed
He ain't comin' back

At a tombstone bar
In a juke-joint car he made a stop
Just long enough
To grab a handle off the top..

I'd run as long as I could--maybe a quarter mile or so--then I'd falter to a walk again, and walk until I'd built up a bit more energy and my shin was hurting, at which point I'd step up to a run again. but that bike checkpoint was up ahead...coolers. Cold drinks. Bike chicks in spandex. Screw the heat! Push it!

Up walked a Baptist preachin' southern funky school teacher
She had a line on something heavy but we couldn't reach her
We told her that we needed something that would get us going
She pulled out all she had and laid it on the counter showing
All I had to do was lay my money down and pick it up
The cops came busting in and then we lit out in a pickup truck...

Finally I rounded a bend and saw the parking lot where the bike check point was. I'd been pushing myself just to get there, figuring that once I'd had a chance to get a cold drink and talk to some cute bike girls, I'd be good for the last mile. But when I rounded the bend, all I saw in the distance was an empty parking lot. They'd moved on. And I was out of energy AND options.

Long as I remember The rain been comin' down.
Clouds of myst'ry pourin' Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, Tryin' to find the sun;
And I wonder, Still I wonder, Who'll stop the rain...

That last walk sucked bad. But I finally got to that last quarter mile and I could see my vehicle in the distance. I had water in there, too. Time to finish strong. There had to be something left. Besides, the shade was gone now and I just wanted out of this sun. So I kicked it into a run for the last quarter and gave it every last thing I had.

Sometimes I wonder what'll become of me
There ain't much left of what I used to be
Her love shone on me just like the morning light
But now here I am alone again tonight

Look out my window, it's still rainin'
Look out my window, it's still rainin'

I got to my ride, pulled out a gallon jug of water, and drank the last half of it left. Then I put my radio on and just went over and sat on a stone wall nearby and listened to Laura Ingraham for a while while the sweat just pored out of me. This was good, because as long as you're still sweating, you're ok. It's when the sweating stops that you've got a heat problem.

After about ten minutes, a gal came running down the road from the other direction, going to another vehicle in the lot. She was smoking hot, too. I just had to chat her up, so I told her that it was too hot to run today. She laughed and said that she had started to run but decided that it was too hot so she was going to go back and do yoga instead. I admitted that I hadn't been bright enough to quit, but hey--I'm back now.

She was actually pretty conversant and friendly and we bantered a bit until I swung myself over the wall and she saw my running leg. She stared at it just a bit too long, and then pretty much stopped talking to me. Aw, hell. On second glance, she was fat anyway. And only fruitbats do yoga.

I went back into town for beer. Beer cures all. And no more running in the heat of day from now on.


  1. She was probably also married - with your luck!

    Sounds like you had some good tunes keeping you company.

    Richard Cory? Wow, haven't heard that in years. From the Wings Over America album? Or S&G?

  2. Smart move... on ALL counts! :-)

  3. Well, there's your problem right there. You run and then drink beer.

    Hell, if you'd do it the other way -- drink beer first -- you won't bother with the running, you'd never have met that attractive-at-first-but-turns-fat-when-she-rejects-you babe, and ... ... [blank mind]

    Where's my beer?

  4. @ The Donald: Simon and Garfunkel all the way. Richard Cory

  5. #1 - Great playlist, made me smile at some of the similarities.

    #2 - in all seriousness, I enjoy reading your running posts as they remind me not to let my own meager disability be an excuse not to run when I can. thanks.

  6. You do have your cell phone with you to call neighbor in case of emergency when you are out in bad weather don't you? Nag nag.

    And she wasn't worth it if your foot makes a difference.

  7. She was probably married or too young anyway.

    What do you mean only fruitballs do yoga. I challenge you to an Ashtanga class.

  8. I remember, 'back-in-the-day', working all-day at the police equipment-uniform store, on my feet,
    then, walking home, and running around the block, then lifting lights weights for a while. In 100+ degrees!
    What a maroon I was!

  9. You're The Man ML. I'd have laid down and died.

  10. 1) What is WRONG with women there? Oh - wait. Yankees. :)

    2) You realize there is this neato invention called a Camelbac, right?

    Don't do that again, man...seriously. You're too good to lose to the dumb ol' sun.

  11. You probably could have guilted the eff outa her if you'd really wanted too.

    All you other guys, stuff that sour grapes booshwah!