As I was packing up my desk today I decide I would go on a long run tonight. (A long run for me is 4 miles). I had done the four mile route last week and enjoyed it and thought I’d do it again.
By the time I got home I decided that I would do a long, hard run. I felt I needed it. So I decided to try to cover the four miles in 45 minutes. Which, for me, is super fast. I knew when I set that goal it wasn’t terribly realistic. But why not shoot for it? So often you find you can do amazing things you didn’t think you could. So fine. The game was on. Four miles in 45 minutes.
Heather and I left a note for Dad and took off.
Heather is a great running buddy. She (almost) always run at my pace and she cheers me on as I go. But she usually poops once on every route. No problem really. We have those cute little bag holders attached to her leash. So usually, it’s super handy to stop quickly pick it up and move on. The other unusual thing about Heather is that she pretty much always poos very near a poop station.
A poop station is one of those garbage can and bag dispenser combinations you see at dog parks. My neighborhood has a million of them. They can be found almost every half block which is great! You don’t have to carry poop too far in my neighborhood!
But even when we’re outside the neighborhood Heather has this knack for pooing near a trash receptacle of some sort. Good Dog!
So as we were heading out of the neighborhood I had no poop concerns at all. Then Heather decides to stop and poo. In a place she’s never used before. Go figure!
I was still walking for my warm up so I didn’t have to lose much time picking it up. But my warm up time was about over and I would have to start running. I didn’t want to run with a bag of poo in my hand as it’ll swing back and forth and bounce against my arm. Ew! Not to mention how it’d look to be running down the street with a bag of poop!
What will people think? That I stole it and am now running away? That someone is chasing me to get the poop??
“Hey yoooooou! Give me back my POOOOOOP!!!!!!!!!!!”
Besides, I wasn’t even one mile into the run yet. I really did not want to be carrying this poop for three more miles!
Luckily, we hadn’t officially left the neighborhood yet. So I knew I would find a poop station nearby. I looked up to the corner which is the official end of the neighborhood. No station. So I looked behind me to make sure I hadn’t passed one. Didn’t see a thing.
Oh well, I think there is one near the bus stop around the corner and we’d be running right past it anyway. So warm up was over. I started running. Heather’s leash in my left hand; Heather’s poop in my right.
When we turned up at the corner, I looked toward the bus stop and I didn’t see a station! Oh, I forgot, it’s not at the bus stop, it’s at the next corner. Ok, one more block of ‘poop’ running. I can manage.
We make it to the corner and no station!!! Did I dream this?? There are so many stations in my neighborhood. Where are they now? I guess the stations are concentrated in the center of the neighborhood. So here I am standing at a busy stop light with hundreds of cars whizzing by and me standing there holding a bag of sh/t.
All I could hope for is that the cars were full of my neighbors so they could see I’M not the one who has been leaving poop around the neighborhood when walking my dog.
We ran across the busy street (I waited for the light to turn green Mom, don’t worry) and headed out of the residential area into an industrial zone. So I didn’t have much farther to run before I spotted a super-sized dumpster. Yeah dumpster! Poop dumped! Running poop free. Oh I felt so light now!
Now I could focus on beating my goal of 45 minutes. I felt like I was making good time. I was running pretty far without a break and I felt my pace was a little faster than normal. I had a chance!
My Nike+ will give me status updates along the run. I had already heard my Nike+ tell me “One mile completed.” I was waiting for the “Halfway point” notice so I could check my pace and see if I was on target. I was expecting it any minute now. But it was not coming.
Finally, I hear “Halfway point” and I check the time mark. I needed to be at 22’5” to be on target. I was at 26’05”. Crap! I was more than four minutes behind target. But I knew I had a down hill piece coming up where I may be able to make up some time. Also, I could do a few fartleks during the last mile and maybe make up some more time. So I pushed hard.
Heather kept trying to stop and smell things and even SAT DOWN and itched her back at one point. The last two miles was filled with “Come on! Let’s go! Move! Move!” She rarely slows me down. She is usually happy to run as fast as I do. I wonder if her long run with Dad yesterday wore her out and she was trying to take a break.
There is a short piece of single track on the way back into the neighborhood and she was running in front of me. I had to keep yelling at her to keep her moving. She even stopped dead once and I about tumbled over her. Yikes! I bet she wondered what was up with me tonight!
When I hit the last mile I started the fartleks. I only managed one good one. I was spent! I kept trying to do short sprints but just didn’t have any juice left. I actually had to walk the last quarter mile. Disappointing, but I knew I had pushed hard on this run. So I felt good anyway. I doubted I made my time goal but still held on to a sliver of hope.
When my Nike+ announced “Goal Attained. Four miles completed”. I checked the time immediately. 50’26” almost six minutes short of goal. But it was a solid two minutes better than my last time on the route. So, you know, life is good! :)