Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stupid Human Tricks

My half marathon count-down reminds me that I have less than 2 months to go. It's time to get serious and ramp up my mileage.

A little background. Bandit has become my running buddy for short (2-3mi) runs. Sometimes, I take him for a 2-3 mile loop, bring him in, and head out again on my own for longer distances. He's a great running companion, so I take him with me most of the time that I head out. As a result, he knows running clothes when he sees them. He also knows the sound of the Garmin turning on is the signal that it is about time to head out the door.

I was planning 9 miles on a route that didn't include my dog-friendly 2-3mile loop. I got ready, put my cell phone in one pocket, grabbed two gels, put on my Garmin and he started getting excited. He wasn't coming with me and didn't take it well. I tried to convince him that I wasn't leaving him forever and that he didn't need to wake up the whole house (and neighborhood) barking at the window when I left. I was so involved in trying to settle him down and leave without him escaping out the door with me, that I performed Stupid Human Trick #1 and left one very important thing at home. Read on...

My run/walk thing has been working pretty well for me, so that is what I intended to do - taking walk breaks at every mile. I figured that miles 3 and 6 would be good places for nutrition/hydration and I could take longer breaks there if needed.

Miles 1 and 2 pretty much went as planned.

I got to mile 3, and grabbed a gel out of my pocket. Yummy. Then wanted to wash it down with some water. realized I had left it at home. I had planned to wear my camelbak, but with all the hubabaloo with the dog, I forgot to grab it on my way out.

I could have (okay, should have) turned back, but instead, I performed Stupid Human Trick #2 - and decided to keep going. It's the middle of the summer and I live in the freaking desert. 9 miles is a long way to go without water. I have no idea what I was thinking.

At mile 4.5, I wasn't feeling so good, but it was time to turn around and head back. I was having trouble doing the math in my head to figure out when to take my next gel (this isn't rocket science, but I was getting a little fuzzy headed). I started walking every half mile and tried to work things out in my head.

At some point, I was doing a more walking than running. I was trying to figure out where the nearest water fountain might be and if it would be closer than home. It was really hard to think straight, so I kept heading towards home.

Mile 6 arrived and I took my second gel. I tried to convince myself that it counted as hydration. Myself wasn't convinced.

Mile 7 arrived and I no longer wanted to train for a half marathon. I figured that I was too stupid and should throw in the towel before I injured myself in some permanent way. I was just about to call home and give up.

Then off in the distance I saw a figure that looked surprisingly similar to my husband on a bike. I shook my head in disbelief. And he was waving at me and carrying ice water. Apparently, he had taken Bandit out for a run expecting to catch up with me for my last mile. When I didn't show up and didn't show up, he came out looking for me. I guzzled it down, thanked him, grumbled something about only an idiot would head out for 9 miles without hydration. He asked if I was okay or if he should get the car. I thought about it for a bit and decided that I was okay and wanted to finish what I started.

When it was all said and done, I had travelled 9.15miles by foot (my average pace was too slow to refer to it as a 'run', so we'll use the term 'by foot')

I spent a lot of time doubting myself today, but I've decided to try this exact route again next week. I'm pretty sure that I won't forget my camelbak this time.


  1. My 90 lb. dog doew exactly the same thing! In the morning, I have my clothes and things in the garage and chenge in there then leave. Stupid human trick #2. My husband does wonder why my pajamas are in the garage though. chalk it up to a learning experience and you did get some miles in the books.

  2. What a thoughtful thing of your husband to do :)
    You will kick that trail's backside next time you do it!

  3. Lisa, thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind words. I'm glad that you didn't hurt yourself running without the water. 9 miles without hydration, wow!!!

    Your hubby sounds like my wife, she looks after me really great too.

    Stop back in any time.

  4. That's way cool that your husband met you on the way in with water.

    I know the hydration feeling - summer stinks. Be careful out there - water's a lot more valuable than gel packs.

    Maybe you could get one of those barrels that go around St. Bernard's necks in the Alps and fill it with water . . .

  5. One time I decided to ride 45 miles in a remote hilly area in the pouring rain and more than halfway out, my husband came driving to pick me up. That's what they're there for. And can you repost a picture of Bandit sometime? He sounds like a great running partner.

  6. I am so glad that you are all right. Don't ever head out without water again! I second Ibtepa, kudos to hubby for coming to get you, and with ICE water too!

    Don't let this discourage you. We all have our on and off days. I am sure you will do super the next time you do this route. I can just picture you sneaking out the door away from Bandit... ;-)

  7. Glad it was just an unpleasant learning experience and not a medical emergency. Sometimes it takes one time of forgetting to insure we never forget something again!

    Glad your hubby headed out to check on you.

    Our dogs get all excited when hubby's running sneakers come out of the closet. They love running with their pack leader.

  8. What a wonderful husband. I am glad you are OK.

    I did that once on a 10 mile run. At about 7 miles, I saw some guys unloading bikes and I KNEW they had water, so I stopped and asked them for a sip. They said "no". Luckily, there was a gas station at about mile 8. I stopped there and drank and drank and drank.

  9. Whew! Husbands to the rescue. What would we do without them?

  10. Phew! I think I would have gone back :-) With the Garmin, you could still easily calculate an out and back. What a wonderful hubby you have!!

  11. To echo everyone else...what a great guy!

    I am impressed that your dog runs with you. I am always amazed when I see people running with their dogs! Koz would want to stop every two seconds to smell something!

    I get my MRI results back tomorrow! I hope it is all good... going to the tri yesterday was really emotional...thanks for all your support!

    Take Care

  12. OMG your husband is sooo cute!! Mine would've had even thought of coming to my aid *rolls eyes* Awwhhh you're a lucky lady ;D ;D

  13. This sounds like one of those, "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" moments. I am glad that you made it back safely and that your husband brought you some water. I gotta kick out of your "freaking desert" reference as well.

  14. Thank goodness you didn't dehydrate entirely. And thank goodness for your wonderful husband! Blessings come in all sorts of disguises. When I first started running, I used to take my OLD (14) dog out for a "walk" but then we would run--out 1 mile, back 1 mile. When I started wanting to go farther, the dog wasn't going one inch farther than the two miles. As soon as we got to the driveway, she'd plop down and wouldn't budge for anything. Too funny.

  15. Man I am sorry about your run. I am really shaking my fist at the summer fist right now. Hang in there, next week will be so much better!!

  16. Hubby to the rescue! See, we are good for something afterall. ;-)

    Don't worry too much about it. If you do this long enough, everyone does something like it. I did a trail run that I thought was about 5 miles in the dead of summer last year and only took a small Camelbak with me. After five miles, I was at the top of a mountain with no water and a long way to go to the car. Four miles later, I wasn't even sure what my name was as I collapsed in my car, cranked the AC and gladly paid a rediculous $4 for two luke warm bottles of water from the vending maching at the entrance to the park. I was feeling pretty stupid at that point, too. Just learn from it and go out and attack your next run. You will feel better, I promise.