One thing I would never recommend to any new runner is that if they have a long run scheduled on the 3rd of July, in Houston, they should NEVER sleep in. And if you should happen to not hear your alarm, you may want to consider heading to the beloved DREADMILL or waiting until the moon is high in the sky before donning those precious running treads.
I, being not the brightest candle on the block, decided that I would merely switch my back to back long runs when I realized I missed my alarm. First, I must say, I don't even recall the alarm sounding. I know it must have, because it's set on my Blackberry and that thing won't let me miss anything! I must have heard it and turned it off without ever really waking up. Amazing still was that I was able to accomplish this without my glasses, which I must have to navigate the ol' Berry.
Saturday is typically the day I run the longer of my back to backs. This week 18 miles is on the schedule. Sunday I had a 10 miler planned, so I switched the two runs and set out on my 10 miles at about 11:30 am. Mind you, this is Houston, the city closest to the sun, and the remnants of Hurricane Alex are keeping things nice and, shall we say, moist. In my estimation, because of the cloud cover, I assumed that I could deal with the humidity since the sun was pretty well tucked away behind many clouds.
As soon as I was ready to go, the clouds parted and the sun came out in its full glory. The scene was set for a nice runner roasting. I planned to take the run slow and easy, with walk breaks every 10 mins so that I could reserve as much energy as possible for the entire run.
The first 2 miles were fairly uneventful with the exception of some loud thunder and dark rain clouds that began to creep into view. I figured I was the only idiot, er, I mean, dedicated, runner out in this mess. But, alas, I was not. This community is filled with idiots, er I mean, dedicated runners. I saw at least 4 other loons dodging the weather and praying the heat didn't kill them.
Mile 3 and 4 were also fairly uneventful, with a water stop of about 3 mins. I drenched myself with water in efforts to keep my core cool. Mile 5 and 6 were on hills, probably not the best route for a day like today. But I managed the hills at a nice easy pace with walk breaks when indicated.
I have several turn off points on this route to get home if needed. I was feeling pretty drained and knowing that I still would have to put 18 miles in tomorrow, I decided I'd cut the 10 miles short, reserving some endurance for Sunday. I figured I'd probably come in with 8.5 - 9 miles and considering the conditions, I was happy with that.
As it turns out, the run was shorter than I had thought, 7.7 miles, but the pace, even with the walk breaks was not too bad; 10:29.
When I arrived at home, my kids asked if I had run through the sprinklers. I looked like I had jumped into a pool and didn't bother to towel off. Dripping wet would be an understatement. It was a miserable afternoon for a run, yet I am glad that I went. I know that each run is an opportunity to either learn or gain strength from. Today was both. I learned that planning walk breaks is helpful under conditions such as today. It allowed me to finish a run and still have energy left to go about my vocation as mom. I also believe that the strength comes by getting out there when I really, really didn't want to. I know that to reach my large goals, I must do more than go through the motions. I must invest myself as completely as possible. Even when I don't feel like it.
So, will I ever sleep through my alarm again? Probably.