Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Garmin, Gu, and an ESPN Documentary

Yesterday I had a few firsts on my after work run...

I took a Gu (hammer brand gel version) for the first time. Not that I felt I needed it on a five mile run but, I have little time left to try out my many varieties of electrolytes. I want to see how a few different things feel both during and after runs and then I'll decide whether I think I need anything during the half. I took the gel around mile 3.5 while running uphill. It was a little hard to tear it open with my teeth and then it burst all over my hands. But I spent about .4 miles slowly sucking it up. It was actually kinda tasty. Very sweet, though, and very vanilla-ey. I think it gave me a little energy boost but it's hard to tell. I also think it gave me some small cramps toward the end of my run. Maybe I should just stick to what I know: water and sweat.

I also wore my new watch for the first time. Good timing because rain was expected so you better believe the last thing I was bringing with me was an already injured iPhone! It rained and the watch held strong- it is water resistant and can be lightly submerged but is not to be swum in. 

The watch was awesome! It displays three things: distance, time elapsed, and average pace for the current mile. At each mile it beeps and, for a few seconds, displays the average pace for the previous mile (or previous lap as otherwise set). It doesn't show current pace which was the most common complaint I read in reviews. But I actually think that the average pace per mile is more useful because it lets you see your progress instead of just pushing you to run faster or slower than your "right now" pace. 

I think the little tool actually pushed me to run faster.

So I ran 5.41 miles in 41 minutes and 9 seconds, at an average pace of 9'05" per miles. Not bad. But my legs are sore, which they normally wouldn't be after 9 miles in two days. I can feel my muscles changing from my picking up the pace. Which is a good thing but I don't want to overdo it and injure them or wear them out before October 15. I'm going to slow it down a little bit but I am absolutely going to push for this speed on race day.

I got home and this guy wanted me to feel bad for him and his headache.

Whatever dude. Actually, I do feel bad for you that you didn't get to experience the awesome run in the rain I just had. But now lets hang out and eat pizza and olives.

With pizza, we watched an ESPN documentary called Catching Hell. It was about the infamous (among baseball fans everywhere, not necessarily me) incident on October 14, 2003, when cubs fan Steve Bartman reached for a foul ball, getting in the way of Moises Alou, who would have likely caught the ball. Had he caught it, the cubs would have been four outs away from winning the Natioanl League championship and going to the World Series for the first time since 1908. Instead, the ball was not caught and the cubs were five outs from winning with a 3-0 lead. That moment, though, changed the attitude of every fan, and player, in Wrigley Field and everything went to shit. The Marlins, their opponents, scored 8 runs before another out was made. They won that game, and game 7, and the "curse of the billygoat" (a supposed curse on the cubbies) was not lifted, nor has it been since.

It didn't matter the errors that were made by the actual players on the field that night, allowing eight runs to be made by the other team. Everyone blamed Bartman. The entire stadium pointed at him, chanting "asshole", people threw beer and trash at him, and he had to be escorted from the stands by security and had police surrounding his house for weeks after. He was a humble, life-long cubs fan but he was the focus of the media and he was made a scapegoat. His name will live in infamy. I love sports but this story is about so much more than sports. It really upset me. In my opinion, Alex Gibney does a really good job with Catching Hell. I highly recommend this film for anyone who is a fan of sports or a fan of human nature. At least read a real review of the film.

Tonight I am not going to run, but will stretch a lot instead. A pit-stop at Potomac Running for more electrolytes and secret projects for two running friends will get me over this hump day! Then tomorrow I've got a leisurely run with Ingrid on the calendar.

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