So Monday after getting off work at noon, I headed over to Charles Bowles track at Willamette University. My goal was at least 13,600m (8.5 mi); I thought that would be a piece of cake.
Things started on a bad note because I forgot my sunscreen and I am militant about sunscreen. Not good since I only had a singlet bra to run in.
I ran my first mile in 6:36 - just like me to go out too fast in a race! By the second mile I was sweating like a pig and I knew I would have to back it off. It was sweltering out there! The temp on the way home said 78, but it felt more like 98 - this Oregonian is not trained to run in the sun!
I shared the track with a few midday walkers for the first five miles or so, but then it was only me and the guy on the lawn tractor.I kept a good pace through four miles but then just started slipping, little by little, lap by lap. Man, was I sweating!
With about 12 minutes to go, my friend Gabriel shows up to run a set of bleacher steps. I practically begged him to run with me as I came by, but he just shrugs and says,"I am done." When I come back around he apparently has some sympathy for me and he falls in beside me.
"What are you doing? Mile repeats?" Gabe asks me.
"Ummm, no. I am running on the track for an hour," I clarify.
"Doing what?" Gabe is clearly still confused.
"Just trying to go as far as I can. I only have seven minutes left." I try to explain about the TVR. I think Gabe respects the idea, but I am also pretty sure he thinks I am nuts running laps by myself for an hour in the noon day sun. After our third lap together, we hit the starting line with 1:35 to go and he is encouraging me to push the last lap. The one hour alarm goes off right as I step on the blue triangle marking the end of the last relay zone and I just stop. Gabe gives me a funny look and I am left to explain why I stopped 90 meters shy of completing the lap: "You have to stop when the hour is up."The stopping point, 90m shy of the start and 90m shy of 8.5 miles.
8.5 miles was not the piece of cake I expected, more like a slice of humble pie! Fortunately, I had a cooler full of black cherry soda to wash it down and I had plenty to share. Gabe and I each took a big swig before heading off for a (slow) mile cool down (after I had put my T-shirt back on to cover up from the sun, but I still came home with toasty red shoulders). Then we plunked down on the bench and just enjoyed the TVR celebratory beverage. I even washed mine down with a second, but Gabe declined.
The Stats: The Garmin measurement was short a couple meters per mile. Hmmm - The Willamette track is known for being too long, maybe I hit my 8.5 miles after all. j/k! And yes, I stopped at exactly one hour, it just took me a couple seconds to stop the watch!
Total distance: 13,510 meters