Thursday, August 11, 2011

It Was Way Too Early for Flooding

Photo: alexkess, Flickr Creative Commons

If you read my Twitter feed, you already know part of this story. About 280 character's worth, at least. Earlier this week, my scheduled run or bike ride was cancelled by a sudden and serious thunderstorm that rolled in just as I was about to head out, and it lasted until dark. I felt a little cheated, or maybe just guilty, so I set my alarm for 5 a.m. the next morning. Dammit, I was going to make up my run before I needed to get ready for work the next day. I was pumped. I was going to do this!

Let me just say that a bed is really persuasive at 5 a.m. This is amazing because it's not even an active persuader. It just kind of lies there, looking sexy, and implies its argument through its existence. Plus, it was dark outside. And it wouldn't get light until after the time I had to be in the shower in order to get to work on time. I went back to bed.

Later in the day, I was a little disappointed with myself. I got in a good bike ride during the afternoon, but I'd missed my run. To add to my frustration, I have a long event I have to be at for work today that steals from me the time I use for my workouts. I set the alarm for 5 a.m. again. This time I promised my Twitter followers that I wasn't going to fold. This time I was going to go to bed with my headlamp next to my alarm clock. Again, I was pumped.

And this time I actually hauled my ass out of bed and did my run. Want proof? If you read this before Friday afternoon, just look over to the widget to the right of this page. That says I ran 4.24 miles at 5:22 a.m., beotch.

A couple of weird things regarding that run, however. First, I've long suspected that something is wrong with my brain, especially regarding its ability to perceive the flow of time, during the first 30 minutes after I wake up in the morning. Things seem to me to be moving at a normal pace only for clocks to tell me that I have huge chunks of missing time. I normally run my first mile at a low-to-mid 8 minute per mile pace, at least for distances over 3 miles. It certainly felt like I was running that pace this morning until the Runkeeper app announced at the half-mile point that I was in fact running at a 9:45 pace. That's a huge difference between perception and reality.

Next, my route really isn't the most conducive to pre-dawn running. A lot of dirt roads, including one that is an unofficial road. The farmer who borders our property across the county line had the dirt road that crossed his field taken off the county rolls, plowed it under, and moved the path onto another route to better access his irrigation pond. This is no longer a public road and as such is maintained only as much as he feels like doing it. That's important when you recall that giant thunderstorm two days ago. I had assumed that this road had dried out enough for me to use it to access another road I use on this route. After all, the other roads were dry the morning after the storm. I was wrong. I got about 3/4 of the way down the road only to discover a stretch far longer than I could jump was completely flooded. Crossing through the briers to my right or the soft, muddy, plowed soil to the left was not an option. I had to turn around and adlib a new route to get my intended distance. Way too much thinking that early in the morning.

So, I managed to get in my planned distance and discovered I may have a neurological disorder, but I have wet, muddy running shoes dirtying up the kitchen floor now. It was probably worth it, unless I have to buy new shoes.


Oz said...

Love that pic, man and dig your writing style.

Jacob said...

What does it say about me that I see a compliment and instantly look for the spam link?

But thanks.

Mickey said...

I started working this week and it completely killed my running. Next week hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to get my runs into the schedule.

Once last year when I was running by the Chattahoochee it had flooded over the path and I chose to just run straight through it. Running with wet feet turned out to not be as much fun as I'd hoped, though.

Oz said...

Not what it says about you. It's what it says about the world we live in. Anyway, i do enjoy your blog. Keep it going!

Courtney said...

This is exactly why I prefer running in the morning, before my brain can fully comprehend what I'm doing.

Julie said...

I'm a morning person and don't generally mind getting up a little early to accomplish something but 5:00 A.M. is just harsh. It's that rare hour that both night owls and morning people should be asleep. I would have totally taken the sleep.