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I am an astoundingly accurate self-fulfilling Prophetess. When I know I’m not going to do well on something, chances are, I’m right. Thursday was proof of this.

The day was sunny and warm enough to brave the outdoors in a t-shirt. Even though it was technically my recovery day, the lure of the sunshine was too much for me. I had to get outside. But the clock was ticking. I wanted to run in that zone between breakfast and lunch, where my stomach isn’t talking to strangers.

I decided to drive to the nearby town and run by the river. I had a fond memory of running this trail in the middle of winter, my son riding his bike next to me. Yes! The river! I could give the GPS another try. And since the path is for pedestrians only, I could listen to music. Then I realized I would need water, so I grabbed my marathon belt, which, according to my son, looks like something Batman would wear.

By the time I made it to the river, it was lunch time, and I was already tired. But I set out anyway, looking ready to fight crime with my bulky iPhone, car keys, and little pods of water velcroed to my waist.

As I took my first steps, I made my predictions: “I’m too tired. I hate this belt. These water pods are sloshing; or is that my stomach? I’m not going to be able to run far today.”

The path was straight and flat, which isn’t as exciting as it sounds. I tried staring at the barges on the river, thinking about the cargo, and where those slow, slow boats were going, but the smell from the industrial plant to my right distracted me. Why on earth was there an open flame shooting out of a pipe? And what was that awful smell?

I turned on some music, but it threw off my breathing. My side began to hurt. Was it three breaths out and two in, or the other way around? I’d forgotten to use my inhaler before the run. Perfect. The inhaler was in the car. Soon, the music got on my nerves. I huffed and puffed and fumbled to find the “off” switch.

After the first mile, the path veered out of the park, away from the river, and ran parallel to a B road, which was apparently being used as a mini-autobahn. When I finally turned off the music, using a technical process called, “yanking out the ear buds,” I could hear the iPhone talking to me with a tinny, robotic voice. She was telling me I was slow. Really slow. So slow I should just quit already. Maybe those weren’t her exact words, but close enough. I turned around at mile two and headed back to the car.

Going back felt like drudgery. The wind was pushing against me, making me slower, and slower. I was hungry. I thought I’d seen an apple on the floor of the car. When will this run end?

Needless to say, the run was less than spectacular. But I did learn a few things (again the hard way, drat!): 1) If it’s my scheduled day off, then I should not run. My body needs the recovery time. 2) One bowl of oatmeal, even with blueberries in it, does not last all day. 3) Do not dress like the Borg when going on a run. It’s cumbersome, not to mention ridiculous. 4) The monologue that goes through my head is a key element in running. If my mind says the run is drudgery then it will be.


Miles: 4, if RunKeeper was correct. But I think she was just toying with me.

Terrain: paved path. Straight. Flat. Wind in my face. Lots of traffic noise. Weird smells from the factories along the river. I’ll stick to the countryside, where the smells are pungent but recognizable.

Overall feeling: should have taken a nice easy walk instead.


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