Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anybody Have a Stick of Gum?

I always, always, always chew gum while I run. I don't know why. I have no explanation. It is just my thing. People have their things. That is mine. It always has been and it always will be. And the really strange thing is that I'm not a big gum chewer any other time. But then, I never claimed to be normal! You can't voluntarily train to run 13.1 miles without having a screw or two that may need tightening.

I can count on one hand the number of times I have forgotten my gum in all my years of running. Three. The third being today. My mind seemed to be scattered as I was getting ready for my run. I think I was consumed with my GPS tracker. I was about ready to walk out the door and realized that I didn't even have my mp3 player. So I had to search through the piles on my kitchen counter to find it. And then I forgot my gum. I wish I would have remembered the gum. The gum was more important. I can run without my music, the gum, on the other hand, is debatable. I almost turned around for it when I realized I'd forgotten it. I probably would have if I had been by myself, but I really didn't want to explain to my training partner what we were doing. I can just hear the conversation....... Me,"Uh, can we turn around and go back?" T.P., "I guess so. Why?" Me, "I forgot my gum." T.P., "What?!?! You want me to run an extra half mile so you can go back and get a stick of gum? Are you crazy?!?!" Me, "Yeah probably, but I really need my gum." Do you think they have gum at the water stops on the half marathon route? One piece may get pretty stale by the end of 13.1 miles!

So, after the depressing realization that I was going to have to run 4 miles gumless, I settled in for the long haul. The first mile and a half were a little tough, but once I loosened up and got going the run felt great. A lot of my concentration was on my GPS tracker. I haven't figured out how to work all the bells and whistles yet, but I at least figured out how to get it turned on and started. I ran through a pretty woody section of neighborhood and it never lost it's signal, so I was very happy about that. Of course, there aren't any leaves on the trees yet so that might change things. I was running along tracking my distance, and started getting depressed when I realized that my tried and true 4 miles course was coming up short, very short. Hmm. So, I decided to add an extra .25 mile to the course just to be safe.

We were running along and my partner looked over and asked what my tracker mileage was. I said, "3.5, why what does your say?" And he said, "4." Hmm, interesting. We kept on going the rest of the route and when we finished my mileage said 4.00 and his said 4.51. Hmm, not so good. From driving it a bunch of times I would have guessed that we ran 4.25. I tracked it on google earth and it came up with 4.51, also. I am going to drive it again to double check. I can handle being off by 1/4 mile but I don't like the thought of 1/2 mile. Especially if it is reading less than what I actually ran. I don't want to be an over achiever and run extra or anything!! I am pretty sure that if my GPS was off it happened some place at the very beginning because at what I thought was about the end of the first mile, it was reading .58 miles. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that it was just the unit getting started. The directions do say that the first time you use it, it goes through a bunch of set up stuff and then it should be set for the subsequent uses.

At dinner, I decided to convince myself once and for all that T.P.'s distance was the correct one and that we had indeed ran an extra 1/2 mile. Therefore, I was allowed to indulge by ordering a cheeseburger and fries, along with water on the rocks with a twist (per our waiter - I asked for water with lemon). Fundraising: $25 donated - Thanks Carol!

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