Bright and early, we kicked ourselves out of bed to beat the heat and prepare for the longest run in our training. With two cars filled with back up Gatorade and energy gels parked on opposite sides of Balboa park we were ready! The weather was cool and our water belts were filled. One loop around the entire park is five miles. It is best during a long run to break it down into manageable laps.
Lap #1: I would now like to compose a poem dedicated to my water belt.
Ode To My Water Belt
by Jamie Moniz
Why do you slide up my waste
Why do you slide up my waste
like the greedy fingers of a teenager?
Jiggle jiggle, bounce bounce
You ignore my pulls and tugs
My constant adjusting and re-adjusting of your velcro strap
You seem happiest when bouncing high upon my waste
You get pleasure in my chafed skin and bruised hips
If I could make one humble request, it would be"
STAY WHERE I PUT YOU FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
YOU STUPID BELT!!! When this is over I will
BURN YOUR PLASTIC AND VELCRO
WHILE DANCING IN A TRIBAL FASHION
then TAKE YOU TO THE RECYCLING PLANT
to have you TURNED INTO A STRAIGHT JACKET
WHICH IS WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG
BECAUSE YOU ARE DRIVING ME F*%KING MAD!
Lap #2: See lap #1
Lap #3:This was the lap where I parted ways with my beloved water belt and agreed (after much arguing) to share Brian's gatorade for the remainder of the run. We had two places to refill the bottle, so it wasn't too bad. My groin started to hurt on this lap, perhaps because of the 2-hour wrestling match I had with my water belt. I tried not to pay attention and kept going.
Lap #4:The "cool down" lap. This run was particularly challenging. I almost always gag and throw up when I force those energy gels down my throat. They bounce around in my stomache for ten minutes and I have visions of my face in the nearest trash can. So I had to develop a mantra for these trying times. In rhythm to my feet I silently repeated the phrase, "I feel like a million bucks, I feel like a million bucks". I started talking to my legs, "One more lap guys! Take us home." My green truck marked 2/3's of the way to the finish. It looked so beautiful! It sparkled in the sunlight singing, "Come to me! I have Gatorade." During the long runs, stopping for too long is a death sentence. If you stop running for more than a minute, your body thinks it is time to send you all the back pain messages it has been saving so you could survive the run. Getting started again is painful. So we stopped for a quick second and forged on. Brian asked how I was feeling. I puffed, "I feel like a million bucks (LIE)". The good news was that my body was sort of numb as long as I kept moving. Brian, running at a slower pace the whole way to stay with me, seemed to be doing great. I asked him how he was. He said his calf was cramping up and hurt pretty bad. I felt better that I wasn't in pain alone. I was starting to believe he had super powers. There it was. The end of our run. As we jogged toward the finish, Brian grabbed my hand. We crossed the finish line together! Whew. It took us a total of 3 hours and 41 minutes.
After the run,we walked around for a bit. I knew if I tried to sit, I would fall since I had completely lost the ability to control my legs. We stretched and got in our cars to return home. When I tried to get out of my car, I felt severe pain in my groin. How do you limp with a groin injury? Every part of your leg is attached to that area. I looked like a zombie. I welcomed the ice bath and slept like the dead. Overall feeling, ACCOMPLISHED.