17 miles were on tap on Saturday. I’m not a fan of the long run. Everyone knows that. I tend to have insomnia the night before, I can’t get nutrition right, I want to give up. All. The. Time.
On Friday, my coach tells me I need to send him my nutrition for the day. I had oatmeal. Not enough? NO. He sends me to a carnicería in my local town, and I order a burrito the size of a baby’s head. Filled with rice and chicken, and all kinds of peppers and onions. Topped with a mountain of cheese (which I mostly scraped off). For dinner I had waffles and a Gatorade. And this, my friends, is my new nutrition plan pre-race. The burrito held me in good stead for ALL of the 17 miles. I was neither hungry, nor overly full. I felt amazing on that note.
We started out at 6am around the trail near the house, which gives me 3 miles before I have to cross the freeway. We went on to the Green Bridge, and were on tap for a fabulous run. At mile 6, I ate 2 shot blocks, and felt great. Mile 7 or 8, we made a wrong turn, heading east away from Hwy 99, on the Salida exit. Not knowing where we were, we turned and headed North to go by Modesto Christian School.
Dueling Banjoe’s on my iPod.
We found a canal. Figured it would take us to the freeway. Not so much.
At mile 10, we had to cross the canal, on a 1 foot wide cement block. I had a touch of vertigo, so had to sit down and take a SUCCEED caplet, which I had planned on anyway. Kim says, “oh, here’s a farm”. It’s beautiful. It’s shady, and we are running in almond orchards.
Out of nowhere, a pit bull comes charging at us. CHARGING. BARKING. We stop. Uh. Oh. We freeze. We start pointing at the dog, and yelling, “NO, NO, NO” And I am saying Go lay DOWN! NO NO NO! And the dog keeps barking. And, all of a sudden, he turns, and runs away. Kim says, WE SPEAK DOG! She reminds me of the article in Runner’s World a few months ago. We were so proud of ourselves. The drama was not over though.
We can see the start of the green bridge. Almost taste it. But, in order to get to it, we must cross a disked up corn field. We start running in ankle deep dirt, across the field, by the farmer and his tractor. We crawl through a fence a mile later, and empty our shoes. Back on the trail we go.
She has to go home early. I’m at mile 12. I take out 2 more shot blocks, and start to eat, and another dog approaches. Charges at me. I didn’t know what to do, so I started feeding him shot blocks. He kept coming back. He was thirsty. We finally run into town, over the overpass and to the Fire Station, because this dog needed water. I have him run in with me. I find a bottle, fill it, and feed him like a baby. He is dehydrated. I call him PACO.
I knew he would stay with me. But, he got what he needed and took off.
I started out the trail with exhaustion. The rest of the 4 mile trek was uneventful. Stop, run, walk, run, walk. Finally, I get to mile 17, a block from my house.
It was fun. I speak dog. But, my quads are angry, my friends. A trail run was not on tap that day. I ran 4 recovery junk miles, but I’m still sore.
Six weeks until The Marine Corps Marathon.
- Off leash dog incident (magnoliavoice.com)