Today I learned why fairy tales are not true. It started out innocently enough. It's Sunday. My long run day. I check my schedule and is says I'm supposed to run 6 miles today. Six miles? Yikes, that seems very far to me. I realize that I am also planning a run with my friend Kate today. Well, good I think to myself, the miles will be less painful with my friend! Yay for the girlfriend run!
However, Kate and I haven't run six miles before other than our 10k we ran last summer. We have already made plans to meet at our regular spot which is a 1.6 mile loop. We usually do two to get just over three miles in. I'm running through scenarios in my head about how I could go early and get in extra miles, or stay late and get in another loop or two. I think I've got it all worked out in my head. No problem. I decide that I'll run with Kate as far as she wants to go today and then I'll do another lap after to get my longer run in.
So we start running and Kate is a rock star today. We are setting a new record heading into our third lap before we take a break at the bridge so Maggie May can get a swim in to cool down. It is at this point where I have the genius idea to turn around and retrace my path and meet up with them going the opposite direction. I figure this is how I'll get my extra miles in. Clearly the oxygen to my brain was thin at this point.
I strap on my ipod (my new strategy to drown out the voice in my head) and select my AC/DC motivation and start running. I pick up the pace to see if I still can. I then begin to see the flaws in my thinking. First, I have no idea how far I have gone up to this point. My mind begins to wander to what if I didn't know where I was. I remember the popcorn trail left by Hansel and Gretel and chuckle at the fact that I have passed no less than 15 dogs on my run today, all of whom would be happy to snack on my popcorn trail. Not that popcorn would help me determine the number of miles I've gone at this point anyway.
Now I'm sure some graduate student could come up with a master's thesis based on the number of pieces of popcorn I'd need to begin with and the rate and spacing at which I'd need to drop them to determine the mileage I'd gone for the day. None of this is going to help me though. Neither is my good old Iron Man running watch I have on my wrist. I know I've been running for an hour and I know I've gone more than three laps and I know that I'd like some popcorn and a coke right about now. Still I have a head full of useless information and no idea where I'm at.
How did I end my run? I kept going. I met Kate about 2/3 of the way around going backwards from how we started. I then turned around again and jogged back down the path again headed towards the car. So did I make 6 miles? No, I'm positive I didn't do that. I might have made 5 with my back and forth trek, but I just don't know for sure. What I do know is that my little low tech days of my digital watch and a pocket full of wishes and fairy dust aren't going to get me a hill of beans in this training program.
So tonight as I drift off to sleep, I hope my fairy godmother brings me a Garmin!