Today was our scheduled 12 mile long run. I have not run 12 miles since the LA Marathon, and only a few times before then, so I was apprehensive this morning when I finally got out of bed. It was a “race day” like feeling – excitement mixed with a little bit of fear, mixed with a little bit of “what the hell am I doing?”. I have a passing notion of not going at all. After the run, I have an afternoon of working my second job – a lot of standing on my feet after hours of pounding on them. But in my running, I am determined, and know I need this mileage before my upcoming half-marathon. When I do finally wake up, it is about half an hour past my intended get-up time. Yikes! My mind races on everything I will need to carry – strap on here, stick in that pocket there. Water, food, sunglasses sunblock, Band-Aids, alcoholic wipes. I grab extra Band-Aids just in case. You never know.
I hope the day is not as warm as the unexpected autumnal heat trend we have been having this week. Of course it is never that hot by the beach but even a little bit of sun can make the difference between slightly pleasant and slightly unbearable. Once there, I join my group – we are about 25 today – and introduce myself to my running partner, Theresa. Soon, we are off. Within a mile of our run, it happens, what we all fear (no, I didn’t get hit by a car) but I did I trip on a rock, fall down hard and scrape my knee. Luckily, my fall did not create an avalanche of other runners becoming beachside road kill. As I get up and prepare to rejoin Theresa, a runner behind me wisely recommends I take some time. I look at my knee. Blood is gently spilling from the small wounds. Hmmm… He’s right. I grab the alcoholic wipes and Band-Aids I brought and start cleaning it up. Unfortunately, the Band-Aids don’t stick since the blood hasn’t ceased. I decide to run the mile back to the senior center and get some additional first aid. Although I would have probably just run in that condition, I didn’t want to scare any of the children with my blood spattered knee. Not a good early morning sight. So I clean up and meet up with the group at the 3 mile mark. If I had to fall today, at least it happened early in the run – Now I have 9 miles to go!
Aside from that adventure, the run was great. Really really great. I had never run to the Marina and the way the sun sparkled off the water was truly pretty. We went a little further before realizing we missed our cut off point, so our total mileage for the day was a little over 12 miles. The last couple of miles was difficult, and it helped that I played musical chairs with my racing buddies – More distractions make for running to go by that much quicker.
Once again, the route was filled with different runners, most notably the various Roadrunner groups who recently started their training. You can’t miss them with their orange shirts. And you can’t miss us with our shirts either. But I gotta say, I do like orange. I guess that’s where the extra $60 in the roadrunner membership fees goes.
After the run, I meet up with a co-worker who happened to be in the area. After that? I collapse…as in fall asleep. I have the whole afternoon to work – so much for an all day recovery! But as far as being ready for the half-marathon next week? I’m sure I won’t be the only one with a scraped knee.