Sunday, January 08, 2006


I ran 18 miles on Friday. It was a long and uncomfortable experience.

First, I could still tell that my legs were not fully recovered from running 15 miles on Monday. Even fairly early on in the run, I could feel them complaining just a bit, although I still managed to keep up an acceptable pace (around 26 1/2 minutes for one 3-mile loop; then 27 and 27 1/2 for two more). I think I might have been able to do 21 if my legs had been completely rested, but they weren't. So I am definitely not doing any more major running between now and next week. My legs need to rest. I can't believe I thought I'd do 21 tomorrow.

Second . . . I had a bit of a scare when I finally finished and staggered down a little slope towards my car. I was looking forward to putting on some warm clothes, eating some food, drinking some water, and stretching out my muscles. But . . . I realized I couldn't find my car key!

I had ended up wearing pants with no pockets when I ran, so I had no where to put my car key. No problem; I did what I usually do in those situations: I took my car key off my key ring and slid it between my sports bra and my left side, under my left arm. That's usually what I do with things like IDs. I usually can't feel it and it stays there, pressed against me by the sports bra fabric.

Well, in the middle of the run I stopped to get a bottle of water out of my car. So I pulled my gloves off, got the key from under my sports bra, and opened up my car. When I started running again, I decided to put the key on my right-hand side (which I have never done before--I always do this item-stashing trick with my right hand into the left-hand side of my sports bra) because I was afraid that my left-hand side was chafing a bit. So I figured I'd distribute minor chafing instead of exacerbating the left-hand side and creating major chafing there.

But, as I said before, when I finally finished my run and felt for the key, it wasn't there. I felt all the way around the back and sides of my sports bra and couldn't feel it. I concluded that I must have dropped it on the trail. Oh, no!

Lesson #1 learned: always leave enough daylight after a run so you can look for your lost keys if necessary.

There was nothing to do but start walking and looking for the key. I figured that I would walk all the way down to the golf course clubhouse/country club thing they have at Memorial Park, and if I hadn't found the key by then I would look for a phone so I could call GPG and have him come and get me. As I walked, very slowly (not a good sort of walk to stretch out muscles that have just ran 18 miles), I wondered if there might be a way for me to call up the Chairpeople in Japan to find out if there was a spare key for my car somewhere. I also wondered if there was a locksmith still working on a Friday evening!

I had walked about a quarter mile, scanning the ground, when I felt some cold sweat slide down my chest. I reached up to blot it away, basically, with my t-shirt and sports bra. And guest what I felt then?

The key. It had worked its way around to the front of my sports bra from the right-hand side and was essentially stuck in the hem of the sports bra in my non-existent cleavage. What a relief!

Lesson #2 learned: Just wear pants with pockets, gosh darn it to heck.

Two days after, my legs are still pretty tired. Yesterday I was definitely walking the walk of the gimpy. And going down stairs was pretty excruciating. I expect today it will still be a bit difficult going down stairs.

In fact, I may drive up to Austin to do various housekeeping things tomorrow or later this week, and I have thought about taking most of my things back to my apartment then. That way I won't have to make multiple trips up and down 3 flights of stairs right after the marathon. Because that would just hurt.

Ugh. I really had hoped to get 21 in before the marathon, but I've run out of time. I hope the real thing isn't too painful!


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