The lightning finally calmed itself down this morning, so I put on my resurrected Novara Buzz hydration backpack, with the replacement Platypus bladder, and headed out the door for my longest run ever. Imagine Mr Movie announcer voice echoing that last portion – LONGEST RUN EVERRRRRRRRRR. The temperature was a good 10 degrees cooler than what I have been used to on any morning run in the past month. After nearly breaking a 31-year-old hot as blazing hell heat record, we were actually blessed us with a 75 degree morning! Unheard of! Lately I have felt more like a human torch, than a regular road runner.
The whole way downtown felt really refreshing. The rainfall was light, and never turned into a heavy rainstorm. As I made my way around town, I had to stop myself from focusing on, “I’m about to run 15 miles”, and instead think about, “Okay let’s run to the park” and then “Okay now lets run to the Houston Street bridge.” If I broke things up into smaller bites, it wouldn’t mess with my head and make me feel so overwhelmed at the task at hand.
As I ran around Lake Cliff Park, I noticed a man walking two dogs coming towards me. One was a black terrier mutt looking pup, and the other one was a small red pit bull. The man waved and said, “Good morning!” so I slowed down and asked him if I could pet his pit bull. He said that it would be fine, and that she was a sweet girl. She waddled over to me, and wagged her tail. She was probably 50 pounds, and just as docile as can be. I then noticed that one side of her face had some considerable scaring, and signs of some older and pretty massive stitching that was once there. The owner explained to me that his daughter rescued this girl when she was a young pup, and that she had been thrown in the pit and used as a bait dog. You could tell that the poor thing had been severely injured. He said that he has had her for the past few years, that she is the best dog in the world, and that he adores her. I thanked him for being such a good pit bull dad, pet the sweet girl and her friend, and went on my way.
As I ran further I just kept thinking about the hell that little girl had endured, and that she showed such happiness, sweetness, and joy. There was no sign of bitterness, or self-pity. She lives in the moment, and loves her life. Thinking about that little tidbit made the cramping that was starting set in my calf seem to vanish.
After my usual pit stop at 7-11, for extra Gatorade and a potty break, I continued on my way downtown. I stopped and made a little video update.
I cruised on up past American Airlines Center, and headed up the Katy Trail. Apparently there was a race and fun run going on, and the trail had quite a few people there, in spite of the rain. Making my way through the crowd of finishers, that were coming my way, I noticed a woman running WHILE CARRYING AN UMBRELLA! I have never seen this before, but you know I would think that would add some additional unwanted drag and resistance while running.
I also spotted a makeshift memorial that was put up for Lauren Huddleston, who was killed while running on the Katy Trail in 2010. She blindly turned into the path of a racing cyclist who hit her. He and a friend were racing their tri-bikes down the trail at a speed that was deemed unsafe. She sustained serious head trauma, and died as a result. Poor girl was only 28 years old.
At my halfway point my legs felt a little beat up. I took in gels and Gu-Chomps every 30 minutes, but I was still feeling fatigued. I did take a salt tablet to help curtail cramping.
Unfortunately my Gymboss device took in moisture from the drizzling rain, and would not power up. I just bit the bullet and kept running.
On the way back I stopped to stretch in front of the House of Blues. I happened to look up at the marquee, and saw miss Deborah Vial’s show date posted up. August 20th is going to be a great show!
About the 13th mile my run became more and more of a walk/run; also my GPS started having issues and stopped keeping up with my distance. I had no idea how far I was going at that point, but I could only assume since I changed my route to a more out and back, that I would get in my full mileage. It was just a little frustrating to not hear any updates or see any movement on that map! As far as the run/walk ratio, it was hard to tell; I just would pick landmarks to start running or start walking. I probably walked more of the last two miles, but I finished it all with a good run.
I made it home finally, and was met at the curb by my neighbor, who seems to be out at the end of all my long runs. He likes to keep up with how far I go, and then tell his whole family about it. It’s sweet actually. His big brother though doesn’t understand what it is I am running from or running after. Heh!’
So there you go – 15 miles done! I broke it off in small chunks in my head, and made it! As for my hydration backpack set up; it worked like a charm!!! My back did not get over heated and I had plenty of sports drink to get me through my run! Yay!