Monday, June 26, 2006

12 miles: a timeline

5:40 am Saturday. The alarm goes off. Swear words are muttered.

6:00 am. On the road to pick up my peeps and head to the south side for our training run. We normally run at Foster Beach, which is right outside my door, but another event there on Saturday pushed us down to somewhere in that completely foreign world south of the Loop. Which is great; new scenery = less boredom, especially on a long run.

6:45 am. Carbo load. Stretch. Pee. Rehydrate. Take a picture of New Running Buddy:

7:00 am. Announcements. Usually they’re about pledging updates and whose turn it is to bring treats next week. This week some barefoot man with a hippie beard also read a poem to us. A poem. To us. A poem inspired by the work of Rainer Maria Rilke, the effete, introverted inventor of the “object poem” who died (by some accounts) of an infection he got from pricking his finger on a rose. In short: the perfect inspiration for a group of endurance runners.

Here I am with NRB waiting patiently for the poem to end. My chin looks so fat here that my neck and head look like a thumb:

7:10ish am. Take off. Our route starts at 31st Street and heads north past Soldier Field, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum all the way to Navy Pier, where we turn around and head back to 31st Street. But that is only eight miles. So we have to keep going two more miles south and head back to make 12 miles. The whole route gives us some breathtaking views of Chicago’s architectural landmarks and our beautiful skyline:

7:30ish am. Stop so the squirrel-bladdered in our group can pee. Make a face for Matthew’s camera while my camel bladder and I wait outside the restroom:

8:30ish am. Walk break. The AIDS Marathon training program has a run-walk component where we run for so many minutes and then walk for one minute. My pace groups does it at a 6:1 ratio. I thought I’d hate it, but I really kind of enjoy our short little walks; they theoretically help prevent injuries and they most definitely give us an opportunity to drink Gatorade without sloshing it all over ourselves:

9:15ish am. Cross the 12-mile line! Eat! Stretch! Eat some more! Eat even more! Pose for a picture:

10:30ish am. Post-run brunch. French toast dipped in corn flake crumbs. Mmm.

12:30 pm. Crash HARD. Sleep for four hours. Without even showering. Wake up in a pool of sweat and drool and the stench of my own exhaustion. Vow to boil the sheets before the neighbors call the police to report the smell of rotting flesh.

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