Saturday I was scheduled for my “long” run. I use quotes only because this run was four miles, only one mile longer than my regular runs this week. Anyway, I woke up Saturday really excited to tackle my run. It was a beautiful day and my plan was to loop twice around the reservoir (three miles) then run back to Brendan’s apartment for the last mile.
Knowing I needed some fuel before my run I ate a banana with some peanut butter. Normally this would have been a great snack before a run, however I made two mistakes: 1. I ate it quickly and immediately after I finished it I ran out the door and 2. I ate the whole banana. I know what you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with eating a whole banana?” Well nothing, but this wasn’t a normal banana. It was a Franken-banana. It could have fed a small family for a day.
So here I am, filled to the gills with banana and pumped for this run. I walk 15 minutes to the reservoir and start running. Thirty seconds in (no exaggeration…) I get a terrible cramp in my side. The Franken-banana came to life and it did not feel like going for a run. The Franken-banana wanted to sit like a rock in my stomach. I was not going to let this horrible monster of a banana ruin my run. So I keep running, but the cramp only intensified. After I finish ¾ of the loop I finally slow to a walk, hoping to stretch the cramp out. This doesn’t work. I keep starting and stopping for the next half mile but to no avail.
As if the run couldn’t get any worse, I was passing by a lovely family with two little girls when all of a sudden two birds fell from the sky and landed in the exact spot I was about to plant my foot. Thankfully I have reflexes like a ninja and I was able to make an extremely awkward leap to the side to avoid the kamikaze birds. I also managed to swear very loudly in front the family. The Dad, seeing the whole thing, just said “Whoa!”. I’m hoping the “Whoa!” was about the birds, and not about my swearing in front of his two kids.
By this point I’m just beside myself. The run became a comical mess. After one loop (1.61 miles) I decided to throw in the towel. I only came to that decision after I promised myself that I would tackle the four mile-er again the next day. And I did.
Sunday Brendan accompanied me on the four mile run. It was a pretty uneventful run along the East River. Around mile two an elderly gentleman asked us how we were doing and told us we were doing great. Normally I would’ve passed him off as a crazy old man, but his encouragement actually gave me a little boost. By mile three I was struggling a tad. Brendan seemed to be doing fine because he was trying to hold a conversation with me. All I could to was grunt, even though I really wished I had the effort to say “I love you, but please shut the hell up.” By mile four I had a surge of energy (runners high?) and I felt fabulous by the end of it.
Next weekend I add a mile. I think as long I as can get past the mile three slump and avoid eating mutant-sized fruit beforehand, I should be good to go.