July 10, 2015

A long run (err, duathlon?) with the kids

Well, after all the good runs I've been having lately, I guess I was due for a bad one. And unfortunately, today's was that run.

I had 10 miles planned, but Jerry was working, so I couldn't just leave the kids to go run. I didn't want to do 10 on the treadmill, so instead, I decided to take the kids to the Metropark and let them ride their bikes alongside me while I ran. I've been really tired lately, and actually slept in until 8:00 this morning! After having breakfast, and getting everyone ready to leave, we'd gotten a late start. I even stopped at a pharmacy to buy a tiny screwdriver (like for eyeglasses) to change out the battery in my Garmin heart rate monitor; but even with that, I couldn't get the screws out to change the battery. I'm super bummed that I can't use any of the functions that use the heart rate strap just because I don't have a screwdriver small enough.

Anyway, we finally parked and headed out at 11:15-ish. The kids packed water and snacks in their backpacks, and they loved riding on the bike path.

It was really hot and humid today, which I fully expected, but I guess I had forgotten just how tough those conditions are to run in--especially midday, when the sun is in full force (the sun always drains me). The first couple of miles, I felt great! (I was doing 2:30 run and 0:30 walk segments.)

My pace was slowing pretty dramatically, but again, I expected the heat to take a toll. Noah was so kind to carry a water bottle in his bag for me, so I was drinking water every mile or so. I told them we'd stop and take a break at the five-mile mark before turning around and heading back to the car.

Once we stopped, I had a very hard time getting going again. I felt really drained of energy, and I wished I'd brought some fuel with me. Normally, I don't need fuel for a 10-miler, but I also don't run in the middle of the day--and today, I definitely needed something. (The kids had Pringles, which wouldn't have made very good fuel...) Every time I tried to run, I had a really hard time moving. It was like my legs just stopped working. At around mile 5.5, I decided to call my mom for a ride. I could have toughed out for a mile or two, but not 4.5!

My mom wasn't able to come get us, so I tried my dad. No answer. Jerry was working. I called my friend Andrea, but there was no answer. Meanwhile, I was trying to jog a little and walk a little to keep going--I turned off the run/walk alert on my Garmin, because I was ignoring it anyway. I was doing much more walking than running at that point. I felt bad for the kids, because even though they felt fine, it was going to take us at least another hour to get back to the car if I couldn't run.

When I couldn't get a hold of anyone, I started feeling panicked. We were over four miles away from the car, and I knew I couldn't run anymore. I was having a hard time catching my breath (mainly from panic at that point), so we stopped in the shade while I cried calmed down and tried to think of a plan. I was thinking that I wished I could just stumble upon a bike on the side of the path, so we could ride back; and then I remembered that Eli's bike has pegs.

I got on Eli's bike (which was ridiculous, because my knees were practically at my chest) and Noah stood on the pegs, holding onto my shoulders. Eli rode Noah's bike, and we (slowly but surely) made our way back to the car. I had to stop often to stretch my legs out, because they were so cramped on that bike--but I just couldn't fathom the thought of running any more.

We rode the last few miles back to the car, and I was exhausted. The kids were doing fine, but today just wasn't my day. It was definitely an adventure (and lesson learned) though!

The boys look so grown-up. Noah will be 11 on Monday!
I took the kids out to McDonald's for lunch (because by that time, it was nearly 1:30!), where I was tempted to eat everything on the menu, but I got a grilled chicken southwest salad, for 10 PointsPlus.

Today's run put a big dent in my self-confidence as far as my return to running, but I know that it wasn't my stress fracture bothering me. If it had been 20 degrees cooler and/or no sun, I'm sure the outcome would have been different. If I attempt to run in the afternoon again, I'll definitely make sure I'm better prepared for the heat. The boys had fun riding their bikes, though, and the adventure was... interesting... so I'm happy about that! Hopefully next week's long run will be better (I may be running it in Central Park!).


  1. Don't let this run mess with your head!!! Running in the full sun/humidity definitely takes its toll!! Celebrate the miles that you DID get done!!!!!

  2. It's tough to run midday--you did great, despite the conditions. Also, your idea to get back to the car was pretty ingenius!

  3. Man, it sounds like a rough day! I'm just curious, when you started running did you start on a treadmill or outside? I've lost some weight with weight watchers and I'm interested in starting to run, just not sure of the best way to go about it. Do you have any tips or resources you used when you first started?

  4. I can't imagine running in the heat of midday like that, don't be hard on yourself. Plus, you still rode 4 miles! I hate when you can't easily replace a battery in something! Why do they make it so hard??

    I looked online and found this article on what kind of screwdriver to use for the Garmin HRM:

    And I went on Amazon and found a bunch of the size screwdriver available. If you don't do Amazon, maybe Sears or local hardware store? Good luck either way!

  5. 14 tomorrow. Not looking forward to it after my last long "run" wound up a 6/7 mile run with a 4 mile crawl. What sucks is training in this heat and then winding up freezing by the end of the marathon in November!

  6. Heat and sun are the worst! It's pretty impressive that you even had the guts to head out in it.

    Central Park is the best place for long runs - every Saturday and Sunday morning in the summer and fall is like a giant party for runners. (And bikes and dogs and tourists...)

  7. Running in the heat can be BRUTAL! Glad you all made it back safely. You'll have something to laugh about with your boys for years to come!

  8. And guess what? You are still very much--a badass. :) <3

  9. Don't let this one get you down. I know that's easier said than done but really it's just part of running I think. Everyone has bad runs; we hate them but I think they make us appreciate the good ones! Plus the heat & humidity must have been awful! You're still awesome!

  10. AnonymousJuly 12, 2015

    Running in the sun, heat, and humidity - you have nothing to apologize for! Plus you gave your boys a good life lesson in facing a problem and dealing with it.

  11. Don't beat yourself up. It was the time off day with the sun beating down on you! I felt like that the other day and I was only doing 3 miles @ 1 minute run/ 30 second walk.

  12. Thanks for being so honest about this. I struggle sometimes and beat myself up. The humidity is the hardest for sure and many people don't understand why I love winter running. It's nice to know that sometimes other people struggle too. The body can be unpredictable I think and sometimes it just can't handle what we ask of it.


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