Day 28: I did my 60 minute run on Saturday and felt like nothing went right. First, I had a difficult time finding where I was going. On the Thomas Guide, there were no roads that actually went to the park where the trailhead was supposed to be. I ended up on all these residential grave roads. Finally found a park entrance. Then, the trail branched off right where I was getting on. Another runner stopped and didn't know which trail to take either. We both decided to go right. Wrong! It probably eventually would have merged back up with the main (paved) trail, but after ending up behind a tennis club I decided to turn around. Then I couldn't get back into my rhythm. I hate that. I finally started to find my pace when BOOM: a bridge.
See, one of the main challenges I face in being a runner (besides having major breastage, being 50 lbs or so overweight, etc.) is that I am afraid of heights. Phobic about heights. Which, if you do not have a phobia, sounds like no problem to you. To the person who has the phobia, you would be WRONG. Over about eight feet, my acrophobia kicks in. Part of the time, it is manageable. Desensitization, such as driving many times over the same bridge, helps. If I can walk right down the middle of whatever it is, that helps. If the height is on my right, that helps. If the height is expected, that helps. I could go on and on, because there are about two dozen variables that all go into whether I can shove the phobia down far enough to function or whether I will freeze. I also have vertigo, which makes me feel like I'm falling. Every see Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo? Where the ground zooms back and forth towards him? It's a lot like that. Combining a sensation of falling with a fear of falling is not fun.
On the path, there was a bridge. Maybe 15 feet tall. It's hot, it's sunny, it's wide open, I'm a little dizzy from the heat and the run. Just not a bridge I wanted to cross. I waited until no one was coming either direction, and then I ran down the middle of it, fighting down panic all the way. But I made it. Yay for me. Then a minute or two later, another bridge. This one is the same width, which was doable, but longer and with this narrow rails that formed an arch above the bridge. It's maybe 18-20 feet above the highway and it's all very open around it. The latter gives the feeling that there are no railings. At the same time, the narrow arch of the railings made it feel more like one of those suspension bridges in Indiana Jones. I couldn't step a foot on to it. I had to turn around. (And back over the other freakin' bridge, dammit.)
I still had quite a while to go on my run so I headed the other way past where I'd started. And found the official trailhead with a parking lot (I was on the side of a tiny dead-end street) and bathrooms. Realized I'd driven right past the damn thing when I was looking for the park. Oh well, next time I'll know. The rest of the run for that part of the path was fairly close to a busy road. Little too much exhaust for the weather. Overall, I think I ran less than five minutes out of the whole 60. Sometimes you just have an off day, you know?
The corpses littering the path this time were caterpillars instead of slugs. Those cute orange and black fuzzy ones. Of course, they could be voracious plant predators for all I know. They're still cute. Even when squished.
Day 29: Was a rest day. Time to put the memory of yesterday's crappy run behind me. It's also the start of Week 5. All right!! To celebrate, I did a lot of things well, like sleeping in til noon, eating much too big of a breakfast, and not showering until nearly 4 PM. So, not celebrating so much as being lazy ;) I finally got cleaned up and went off to look for some cold weather pants, since the forecast tells me it will be about 50 degrees tomorrow morning. Brrr. Reminds me, I should pull out some gloves for tomorrow.
Anyhow, I ended up with this fabulous pair of running pants from Mizuno that the running store guy steered me to. They are Mizuno Breathe Thermo Pants. He said they get warmer when they get wet. That sounded fabulous to me. Even better, they fit like my favorite tech shirt feels: snug but not clingy, kind of slidy over your body, warm but breathable. They are hanging on the treadmill drying right now. I also picked up a new Moving Comfort Maia bra, my favorite sports bra, and two pairs of socks. One is my favorite SmartWool sock (ultra light cushion micro PhD running sock in a footie length) and WrightSock cushioned DLX double layer sock. I haven't tried that one before and am concerned that double layers will bunch up. I might try those just out and about before I try them running.
I've been keeping track of my weekly mileage and here's where I am right now:
Week 1 - 12.24 miles
Week 2 - 11.62 miles
Week 3 - 14.24 miles
Week 4 - 14.47 miles
I was really hoping to get up 15.25 miles in week 4, but bad days last Sunday and this Saturday conspired against me. For Week 5, a 10% increase would put me right about at 16 miles so my goal is 15.5 miles. My long run next Saturday is for 90 minutes. I think I'll go back by the Sellwood to run that one. I should be able to do six miles on that one.
Almost forgot -- I ordered a RoadID bracelet last week and as my "thank you" I get to give a whopping one dollar coupon to all my friends. So, if you want to get your very own RoadID, leave me your e-mail in the comments and I will send you the details. It can be used for up to 20 people and is good through October 25. I won't get mine for at least another week, so I can't sing its praises or even know if they should be sung. Once I get it, I'll let you know.