Training: Week 18, the Unexpected

Watching the Team gather and warm up before the start of the run.

Sometimes runs don’t go according to plan. Today I learned that I do a surprisingly good job of adapting to the unexpected. Scroll to the bottom for more information about my fundraising efforts, and how you can help.

The Plan

  • Monday, 9/20: Pilates at home, light cycling
  • Tuesday, 9/21: Kickboxing and Pilates
  • Wednesday, 9/22: Yoga at home
  • Thursday, 9/23: TRX workout and a slow 1.6 mile run with the 4-year-old
  • Friday, 9/24: Mandatory rest
  • Saturday, 9/25: 10 mile run with the Team An inadvertent half marathon
  • Sunday, 9/26: No, it hasn’t happened yet, but I can tell you that I’ll be doing as little as possible

Today was our final long run of the training season, what was supposed to be a 10-mile course preview in San Francisco. Our Diablo Valley group was joined by Solano and Redwoods, and there were easily 100+ runners that departed from our parking lot overlooking the ocean. The planned route involved hills, stairs, trails and streets winding from the area near the Cliff House overlooking the Pacific Ocean, crossing under the Golden Gate Bridge, and ending at a turnaround point in Crissy Field. Easy, right?

A beautiful sunrise behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

Umm, maybe not so much. First of all, I should explain that our route is marked in chalk along the dirt, asphalt or concrete. It was easy to follow along the Lands’ End Trail, but by the time we got down to the Crissy Field area, there appeared to be markings from three or four different groups, and each pointed in a different direction.

I missed the turnaround mark for the half marathon runners because it was apparently blocked by a throng of triathletes, so I overshot the 5-mile mark (which would be 10 miles total) and kept on running. The group of marathoners that I ran with was Garmin-equipped, so it was somewhere in the 5.5-mile range that one of them noted that I’d clearly overshot. I waved goodbye and turned around.

On my return, I fell in with another group of Team runners. Little did I know until later that they were likely from the San Francisco group; they started at Crissy Field and followed an entirely different path. I ran with them until I broke away on a hill, then realized that I was veering from what I believed my proper path to be. But then I saw some chalk marks on the asphalt and followed them back… in a circle. Next thing I knew, I was back down in Crissy Field again, cursing quietly and wondering just how far I’d actually gone.

By the time I got back to our starting area, I was exhausted and more sore than I had planned for. By the time I pulled into my garage after the hour-long car ride home, and my left leg had cramped and locked, giving me a lovely frankenleg that I dragged behind me and into the shower. All I can say is that I’m eternally grateful for hot showers and ibuprofen.

When I finally emerged and mapped my run, I have reason to believe that I actually ran 13.4 miles. Yes, that’s longer than an actual half marathon, and I’m feeling every step of it.

Tomorrow, my plan is to do as little as possible. Yes, I’ll stretch, but purely out of necessity. My body wants a break.

The Final Days

I have two more weeks of “short” tapering runs of less than six miles, and then race day on October 17. I also have five more fundraising days to meet my goal of $3,500; I’m still $1,500 short of that goal. To help me out, visit Please remember that I’m not just doing this for abstract cancer patients. As you’ve no doubt read on my fundraising page, I’m doing this in memory of Bob, and to help patients like Justin, one of our team honorees, who received his allogenic stem cell transplant yesterday. Justin is looking at 99 more days in Stanford Hospital before he can come home again.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Search by Category
Looking for something specific?

One Response

  1. Terri says:

    WOW! You ROCK! And can’t follow directions 🙂 j/k My legs hurt just from reading the blog!

Leave a Reply