Of course, let’s put things in perspective. The plan was for twenty miles but, all week long, I had a little niggling voice in the back of my head saying ‘if it’s too hot, just shorten that to 18 on the fly’. Any time you let a worm like that into your brain, you may as well be realistic and tell yourself twenty probably ain’t happening. And it didn’t.
It didn’t help matters that I took off close to 11 A.M. with the temperature already in the low 80’s. There’s a 6.5 mile loop that brings me back around to my front door. Since I’m good at math, I know that to get to 20 that would be 3 of those loops plus a ½ mile spin inside the neighborhood (something I call my Sweaty Pecs Parade).
Here’s how it went down:
Loop #1 (6.5 miles):
It’s kinda warm out. That third loop is gonna be rough. Fortunately, I’m Superman so I can walk on the sun. No problem. Look at that, I’m back home now for some Gatorade and Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate Gu. Hmm, unusual texture but edible.
Loop #2 (.5 miles):
The Sweaty Pec Parade. Is anyone looking at me from their windows? I can barely keep flexing like this for ½ mile straight. There’s my house again. I should get a new job. Someone like me should really live in a nicer house. With a gardener. Maybe if I didn’t spend so much time running, I could trim those hedges.
Loop #3 (6.5 miles):
It’s pretty damn hot out. 87 degrees now? I always thought this loop had more shade. My moisture wicking pants have stopped moisture wicking. I now have a diaper on. Mrs. Nitmos, I need changing. Oh, well, after this loop just one more to go right? Back home now. Thirteen and a half miles in the book at around a 7:08 pace. I really should have gone slower but, being Superman and all, things like “fatigue” and “dehydration” that affect other humans won’t bother me. More Gatorade. More Orange Roctane Gu. Ah, what the hell, let’s guzzle a cup of water also.
Loop #4 (4.5 miles running; 2 miles walking, staggering, crawling):
Shit its motherfudging HOT out here. Just keep on moving ahead. Screw twenty miles. Why should I do 20 miles in this heat? I’m not Superman. More like Robin though, I like to think, a bit more masculine. Nearing 17 miles, I see a Laundromat with a bathroom. And a sink. And a faucet. And free RUNNING WATER. I run in flinging sweat all over everyone’s freshly cleaned clothes sitting besides the dryers. God damn does Laundromat bathroom water taste friggin’ delicious! They should bottle and sell this shit. I race out telling myself just one more mile though I’m pretty sure the laundromatters heard ‘bowawawahu….jus…milahonanon’ with arms flailing and sweat flying in a six foot radius. I hit 18 miles on the nose. Garmin lingered at 17.99 miles for, I don’t know, roughly 8 minutes before it moved to 18.00. Garmin, all praise be to thee, but you are a sick sonofabitch.
The best part of stopping your twenty mile run at eighteen miles is that it is simply over. You’re done running for the day. The down side, in this case, is that you are now 2 miles from home – and your hydration supplies – and it’s going to take you that much longer to get to them. Oh well, I’ll just enjoy a nice longer recovery walk across the Sahara. Cuz I’m quite sure folks normally like to stroll about the Sahara for miles on end with no water.
To sum up, the two mile walk was the WORST part of the day. Dehydration kicked in like Hydra attacking me in all parts of the legs. Why, oh why, was I not born a camel? I squeezed my brow and attempted to transfigure myself into a two hump camel (Gatorade in one hump, water in the other) to no avail. What a fool! First, I was Superman…then Robin. What I really should have been was one of the Wonder Twins…”Wonder Twin powers, activate! Shape of…a camel!” Just another planning screw up for the day.
By the time I entered my neighborhood, my legs were on fire with each step. I had already found two unattended faucets attached to closed businesses and siphoned some water into my cupped hands. Here is where I settled into the grass and wondered just how long I could lay before Mrs. Nitmos would wonder what happened and come looking for me. Or the wolves would start circling. Either way, it would be over soon.
Instead, I completed the walk home only to find the family had gone out in search of me as I was at least ½ hour overdue with the thermometer tipping 90 degrees. Unfortunately, they had gone the SAME direction as me which found them arriving back at home almost immediately after I got there as well.
My daughter, ever the optimist, had asked Mom “if Dad went to live somewhere else.” Geesh, just a half hour late and I’m already labeled an Abandoning Father by my youngest. No, honey, I’m coming home. But that’s why I drink so much.
As I said, the final numbers look all right, but, frankly, it was all a mirage.
Some folks have asked for a review of Roctane Gu. Here it is in brief. Normally, I only use Gu as my preferred energy food during a run. I have not used ClifShots or any other brand. So, my only basis of comparison is against regular Gu. In that respect, I prefer Roctane to regular Gu. The normal Gu makes me a little tingly in the tummy after popping it and seems to fade quickly for me. Roctane digests easier and I don’t notice a sudden drop in performance after about 20 minutes. It costs twice as much but I think it’s worth it.