The day was beautiful. A little cloudy and it didn't feel like it was too hot. I had a good breakfast, sucked down a bunch of water, and with a happy grin on my face changed into my running clothes. Strapping on my new Garmin Forerunner 110 I was eager to hit my favorite unmarked mileage trail. I also grabbed my interval trainer (which was set at my three weeks ago pace) and for the first time my tunes. Usually I run with my training buddy but she wasn't feeling up to par so I wanted a little musical motivation. No worries, good training for my solo run anyway. Off to the park!
Before leaving the car to hit the trail I drank a bit more water. Was it getting hotter? It was only 10 a.m.. After a warm-up period I hit the timer/gps mileage tracker on my watch and was off! Very pretty day at the park. Lots of little ducklings, families, and pit bulls. My tunes were a good cadence setter for me but what was up with this pace? Holy cow! It wasn't this hard three weeks ago! So I turned off the interval trainer. Lesson one...never slack on training and then expect to pick up where you left off.
Summer in South Florida can be brutal. The humidity alone can lay you out even on a cloudy day. And this day was no exception. It quickly began to become a sauna. Why didn't I bring my water with me? By mile one I was thirsty and hot. I got a little relief when it began to sprinkle. I also began to run/walk/walk/run. All I began to think about was Jeff Galloway's advise not to push too hard that you'll injure yourself. That and my water in the car and the pit bull that looked at me like I was a chew toy when I passed it. Lesson two...always bring water with you and remember that rain can be the runner's manna from Heaven. Also, the early in the morning run or evening/night run won't kill you as quickly as a mid-morning run.
By now I was at a walk/walk/sad attempt at running/walk pace. Ooo! Cute guy alert! Hard to flirt when you are red as a beet and almost panting. Water....water...water...water...pavilion with water!!! I knew where there was a water fountain! I veered off of the jogging path and started walking along the road within the park to the pavilion. If a car hit me now I might actually have enjoyed the brief ride on the hood. I would have been that much closer to the water fountain! But I found it without getting hit and none too soon. Sweet sweet germ-y water fountain! I sipped some, splashed some on my face, and grinned at a guy that must have thought I was nuts. I then looked down at my watch. 2.98 miles in 48 minutes. Woohoo! Just a little more and I will have hit three miles! Wooohoo! Wooo...hoo...ooo...aw crud!!! I forgot to turn around at 1.5 miles! Lesson three...no matter how tired or hot you are always remember you have to run back the same amount of miles as you ran away from your car.
It was only about two miles back to my car...maybe less as I tried to cut through fields. All in all it was a good run with some very good lessons learned. The next "long run" will be four miles. I will be sure to start off earlier in the morning, bring water, and turn around at the two mile mark so it doesn't turn into a six mile run. And perhaps a squeaky toy I can throw if a pit bull decides to play.