Week 13 – 19 miles (and an audiobook review)

Yesterday while driving to the office, I was behind a car sporting the following bumper magnet:

Yeah I had to have one. It’s coming in the mail.

It’s true, though. A co-worker made a good point when she mentioned that people have said to her “how the heck can you run 26 miles?”. And really, its not the race that’s the issue – the race is the fun part. The training is the hard part, and I think where the true insanity lies. I “signed” myself up for 18 weeks of running in preparation to…..run.(insanity)

Anyway, since I wasn’t going to be running in an area where stopping at a gas station was possible, and realized a bit too late in the game last time that water alone probably wasn’t gonna do it, some extra prep was in order. (insanity)

That funny contraption? Is my fuel belt. I bought that last year for the race. Its a neat concept. It has 4 water bottles, two pouches and two zip pockets. I stopped for the power bar, starburst and a Powerade on the way home from work with the hope that the glucose would help me keep going (and I’m all for any excuse to buy candy)) I made myself eat half the power bar before hand, broke up the rest and put it in a baggie to take along, as well as the Starburst (though I may or may not have eaten a couple yesterday…..) After putting it all together, I looked like this:

But felt like I looked like this:

And I was off….belt, watch, music, audiobook, my phone (since I was alone) extra bottle of water to place in case I needed it (insanity) and all.

So the concept of the fuel belt is much better in concept than in practice. The stupid thing has a tendency to bounce around. Usually it starts to settle after a couple of miles, but I also don’t usually have all four water bottles full. The extra weight was making it extra bouncy. I actually ran out of the neighborhood with one hand holding the extra water and my ipod and the other holding the belt down. That was a sight, I’m sure. And of course I passed people walking their dogs. I can only imagine the look they shared.

All in all though, it wasn’t too bad. Aside from the bouncy-ness of the belt (I wonder if that is how well endowed women feel) and fatigue after the first 14 miles (insanity), running the long run alone wasn’t as bad as I dreaded. I listened to music through the first half and then when I got tired of it, switched over to the audiobook.

The audiobook:  I hit play, and then music started playing (I thought this was a book?) and a voice came on, introducing the book. Thankfully, the music stopped once the intro was over, but the few seconds of it for some reason caused me to picture an old man in a chair by a fireplace smoking a pipe (even though the narrator was a woman) with classical music playing in the background. Weird.

So the lady begins telling the story. Here’s my favorite part: the voices of the characters. This is hysterical. She is jumping from character to character, slightly altering her voice for each one, including the men. I’m sorry, but I have trouble with this. It causes me to picture a woman dressed in a suit (perhaps with a pipe sitting by a fireplace?) attempting a deepened voice. It was just odd. Once I was able to mentally surpass this oddity, though, it really wasn’t so bad. It fit its purpose, and I’d use it again, though probably only for running or painting.

At a 10:22 min/mile, it was slower than I would have hoped (same pace as last years’ race), but hey I finished it, so whatever.

The best part is: only one more long run left. Hallelujah! (but its gonna be in the cold….insanity)