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Friday, October 5, 2012

It Ain't Always Glamorous

It is always a thrill to complete a long training run.  Notice I said, “complete”.  The actually running part can vary greatly.  I’ve had miserable 14 mile long runs as well as brilliant 20 milers.  I wish I could tell you the exact formula, but it will, in some ways, always remain a mystery.

The goal is to minimize the bad ones and maximize the good ones.  This can be done through preparation.  Eating well, getting plenty of rest and mental attitude can go a long way.  It is probably best to treat them as you would treat a race.  By doing this you can dial in the right combination of food, water, equipment, etc.

I did just that this past Saturday.  With rain predicted I had a plan.  As long as it was reasonably light, I’d head out and take 5 to 10 mile loops and return to the house if things got bad or I just needed to change into something dryer (socks, shoes or whatever).

At the outset, there was just a light mist.  A bit humid, but generally I felt like the weather would hold off and I would enjoy the first hour or two.   At mile 7 I was fairly dry and had a decision to make.  Should I head toward the house or turn away and go toward my goal of 20 miles without a pit stop for dry clothes?  After insuring that my feet were dry, I went for it.  I could always back track if the heavier rain started.

I wear a fuel belt for extended training runs and my routes go by a water source every 3 to 5 miles.  I had packed enough Clif Shot Blocks & GU to support the full effort because I knew this would be a possibility.

About now you are expecting disaster to set it.  Heavy rain, lightning or something to make this decision completely stupid.

Well, nothing dramatic happened.  It rained harder at times, but never more that a light rain.  It wasn’t until the late miles did I get a little bit of a chill from being so damp.  This run went excellent.  I had slowed my pace a little from the beginning and decided to forget the planned race pace miles from 12-17.  I kept expecting to feel a cramp or some form of pain…but nothing, nada.

It was a glorious long run.  It proved that I should be able to get through San Antonio alive.  It proved that I can be really nuts.  The look on people’s faces as they drove by me was very telling…”you think we should give the poor guy a lift?”  I really had fun.

After throwing down a heavy breakfast, I headed for the shower.  As the water ran down my back and over my backside, I felt a sudden burn in the undercarriage.  Oh no, what…what?  It seems three hours with soggy pants can cause a problem.  For lack of a better term…I had diaper rash.  Bummer.  I’ve had this before.  Occasionally post race after an extended drive home.  This time it was just unexpected.

I needed Desitin.  My kids are now all in their teens and the need for this important product had long since past.  So I headed for my local grocery store and hit the baby isle.  Next, on to the beer isle.  Might as well cure this from the inside and out.  There is a funny product I noticed next to the Desitin.  Butt Paste…huh.  Not overly subtle, but interesting and appropriate I suppose.  I went with the known product, but snapped this photo.  Next time you’re in need of a backside rash cure…give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace