Apple win’s by a nose

Poll question result, Green Apple Wins.

So in addition to the Vanilla Power Bar Gel packs, I wanted to add a few flavor or two to see how they taste and see how they feel in the ol’ belly. After reviewing flavors and what they might taste like after I’ve run 4, 8, 10 miles and am exausted, Green Apple won out.

Quick story about my buddy Green Apple, I gave him a shot after 9 or 10 miles. It tasted delicious… I take that back, it tasted pretty good for a plastic bag of flavored goo. What I didn’t realize until I took it, it has some caffeine in it. Caffeine is nice for a good little energy boost. However, as one of my running mates J told me, that energy come beause it “get’s things moving in your body”.

Well come mile 11, things were definately moving in the stomach region and I was getting nervous. I was able to hold off the inevitable while running, but on the “L” ride home, right between the Addison and Sheffield stop, I was convinced there was going to be a mess. Good news, no mess.

Lesson learned, no caffeine in my gel packs or goo any more.

Sun-1, Dave-0

OK I fell behind on writing for a week sorry. I’ll catch back up by weeks end.

I made an enemy this week and my new enemy is the Sun. I was real good on Friday night and even though my friend A. was in town and we were having fun/drinks, I was a good boy and cut my night off early so I could have a good run on Saturday morning. Saturday morning rolled around and I had some horrible leg cramps. This hasn’t happened before so I was a bit surprised. I decided not to potentially injure myself and that I would runn later that evening or on Sunday.

Sunday morning, I woke up with the same leg cramps. I didn’t know what to do, then some logic (bad logic) came into my head. I thought: “hmmm, Hawaii is hot, right, so I’ll just stretch this morning and run around noon. Maybe I can get used to running in the heat.” So I did just that. I should have checked the weather before I used my “logic” because as soon as I got ready and went outside it was hot, real hot. 88 degrees and 90% humidity. But since I slacked on Saturday, I pushed on. Plus I had a pirate shirt on that I got when I was in the keys. Pirates are tough and nothing can hurt them, so I figured I was fine…..

Well first let’s focus on the positive: There is no better place to be, on earth, on a summer day than Lake Michigan. There were people all over, and the lake looked un-dirty, and everyone was happy, and there were dogs everywhere (but no dog poop, a true miracle), and the Chicago skyline, and volleyball, and people laying out in the sun, and just overall bliss. What a fantastic place. It really makes me wish global warming would happen already so Chicago could have San Diego weather. Typically this would be the ideal conditions for a very scenic and wonderful run.

BUT… you may have forgotten that I said it was 88 degrees and monster humidity. It’s bothered me a little bit in mile one. But I just made sure to keep drinking my water and I was OK. Mile 2, my legs were feeling a little sore, but that happens a lot and I just have to push through it. Mile 2.48 CRAMP huge cramp, on the right side of my stomach. It was slowly building and going, but at mile 2.48 I think it bit me in the stomach… and had rows and rows of teeth, like a shark. I couldn’t run another step. The problem with having a huge debilitating cramp at mile 2.48, is that you are 2.48 miles from home. So I turned around and headed home.

The cramp went away, so after about a half mile I decided to try and save my run. I made it about 3 minutes and the shark-like cramp was back. So I was walking again. I didn’t learn my lesson, so about 10 minutes later when the cramp went away I tried to run again. And once again, the shark-cramp. I’m really dumb. But I was able to salvage a bit of my workout and got a 7 mile run/walk in and did it almost in my pace.

I was feeling very unsatisfied with my run. I needed Monday to recover and decided I would give 9 miles another shot on Tuesday evening. Well what do you know, it was 90 degrees+ on Tuesday with humidity. I got home early (6:15pm) and put on my running gear. I decided I’d wait until 7:30 or 8 and give it another shot. I started watching the news and they said it would be 85+ degrees until 8 or 9pm. There is no way I was trying that again, so I sat on the couch and was trying to figure out what to do. Well 4 hours later I woke up and totally missed my opportunity to check the weather at 8, it was 10:30pm. I didn’t know what to do, but I had to get a good run in, so I decided I would go back to sleep and wake up at 3:00am.

3:00am, I was up before the alarm and ready to rock. I think I was anxious not to sleep in, so I couldn’t sleep the last half hour. I thought that was a sign from the running gods, so I geared up and went out.

Remember that lake path that I was just drooling about? Well it might be the scariest place on earth at 3:30am. There were homeless people sleeping along the trail, weird vans with no windows driving in the parking lots, people on bikes who aren’t working out and really have no reason to be around. If you throw in an overactive imagination (ghosts, zombies, the Creature from the Black Lagoon coming out of the lake) it’s not good. Upon further review, my overactive imagination might have been right on (about the danger, not the zombies) it was a pretty dangerous route to take, but luckily I survived this run without being chopped up.

The good news is, outside of scary stuff, running the lake path in the middle of the night is awesome. The temperature was fantastic, there was no one to get in my way, no bikes trying to ride up my arse (could be very problematic), no one to see if I had to make a mid-run “adjustment”, and best of all I got to see the sun rise over the lake. It really makes me wish I could find another half dozen knuckleheads who would like to do the same, because outside of the whole safety thing, it was one of the best runs I ever had. In fact it was so good, word must have gotten around. When I got to my desk that day, I received a phone call from the US Olympic Committee. I guess because of all the smog/poor air quality in China, none of the runners will go compete. So they offered me a spot on the US Olympic team, but unfortunately I had to tell them NO. Next week is the opening of the Horseshoe Casino’s new poker room. Whoever sets the dates for the Olympics should have been more considerate to that before creating a conflicting schedule for me.