Friday, June 12, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Eat McDonald's

I’m typically a pretty consistent workout person. Of course, I don’t always feel good or fast or strong, but when it comes down to it I’m not usually too far off my target paces. It’s not supposed to be easy right?

Yesterday I was supposed to do mile repeats, which I was going to do at Umstead on the bridle trails. Wednesday was a challenging day with early morning master’s, a longer than normal work day, and then a solid bike ride with the girls. I got home and was d-o-n-e. But I was going to sleep in (relative term when I’m used to getting up between 5-5:30) and actually felt pretty good all day on Thursday. I was even excited for the workout. I do get excited to do run workouts a lot of times, I’m weird like that and a runner deep down. I ended up getting stuck a little later at work again, but no matter, I got to the park before highway traffic got too bad.

The first thing I noticed was the heat. And the humidity. But I’m from Florida so that doesn’t bother me too much. I set off on my run and felt the deep, dead feeling in my legs but also knew this didn’t always indicate a bad run. Maybe after I got warmed up a bit I would be fine.

And then THEY came out.

The horseflies. Or deerflies. Whatever they are they make life miserable for us runners in the woods. And the more you swat at them the more they dive bomb you. The sweatier you get the more they multiply. The slower you go they multiply exponentially.

I set off on my first mile, which was pretty hilly but I was having to work SO HARD. And when I saw my time I was mortified. I was breathing like a freight train and I could barely pick my legs up. The second one (less hilly) was faster but I felt even worse and with the amount of pain I was feeling I might as well have just set a world record. It’s possible I set a world record for 2 year old girls.

I had to reassess – this was ugly and I could tell I had crossed that line of pushing hard to get faster and pushing hard to get nothing. I was actually weaving a bit on the second mile. This can’t be good. I decided to run just a ½ mile and back the effort down. Of course I ended up doing the entire mile, but it was a minute slower than the other one so it was manageable. What wasn’t manageable were all those flies. I had at least 3 of them constantly circling around me, dive bombing my arms, legs and face. I was swatting like a crazy person, but barely hit them, and even when I did it didn’t seem to faze them one bit. I wanted to cry. Actually I wanted to stop, but that meant more flies. And I was SO TIRED!! But I was still 1.5 miles away from my car. I really wanted to cry, but didn’t have the energy. It was a miserable, miserable experience.

And I had to walk. I had to! I could barely get one foot in front of the other. F----NG BUGS GO AWAY!!! AUGH!!! PLEASE GO AWAY YOU ARE GOING TO BE THE DEATH OF ME! I wanted to jump off the bridge and into the lake that has signs posted that you shouldn’t eat the fish because of the high levels of mercury. I didn’t care, would it get the bugs off me? Because I was willing to risk some mercury poisoning at this point.

I did make it back to my car but I was not a happy camper. It’s one thing to have a bad run. It’s another thing to have a swarm of bugs around you. It’s torture to have to deal with both. Forget waterboarding, go run for miles in 90% humidity while deerflies try and poke your eyes out.

So I did what any exhausted person would do – I went to McDonald’s! I love McDonald’s. I know it’s horrible and I don’t eat there that much but for some reason I felt like I needed some big fatty caloric goodness. I don’t think my brain was working correctly at the time. It seemed like such a great idea. Except it didn’t do the trick and I ended up only getting half the burger down and couldn’t even touch the fries! What a waste!! My stomach, after that effort (as slow as it was) and the heat/humidity was super mad at me for trying to put that filth in it. We really need to go food shopping so I’m not tempted to make such an ill-fated decision again.

Okay, so now you all know I’m not perfect and have lots of downfalls :)


Anonymous said...

Wow - I went through the same gamut of emotions last night in Umstead dealing with the flies, and also considered taking a swim. It was so bad I had to google looking for a solution and came across your blog. I have never seen or experienced anything quite like that. I planned on getting in 15 between Reedy Creek and the Black Creek greenway but could only make it to just before the airport overlook before turning around in disgust, annoyance, and fear with 10 of them circling me. I ended up doing several boring laps on the 2.5 mile greenway to get my 15, but it was much more peaceful.

Rebecca DeWire said...

I can totally relate to needing the fat and greasy calorie intake! So unfortunate that your body changed it's mind in the middle of the meal though!

Beth said...

Oh man - this story is totally bringing back memories of the first marathon Oscar and I trained for. The long runs were really hard for me and at the time we lived in Virginia and always ran on this trail. Anyway, on one particular day when I felt like crap the whole long run the bugs were RELENTLESS. Bad. It was so bad. I can so remember how angry I was. They wouldn't leave us alone! And I definitely remember finally getting back to our apartment and sitting on the curb and crying. If only I had thought of going to McDonald's instead!! ;)

Hey - the next workout is going to be so much easier!

Marit C-L said...

Oh holy cow! Holy icky, gross, deer-fly cow! First....

Having lived in North Carolina for three years, I am ALL TOO familiar with those flies. I LOVE trail running, and especially loved doing it out on Cherry Point where Nate was stationed - there were great Mt bike trails and stuff that would go on for forever. BUT - once May and JUne rolled around, the flies just got way too bad. And no matter how much bug spray I applied, they seemed to chase more. They are so so so gross... I'm really sorry about that - your reaction sounds just like mine one time. I was seriously considering jumping in to the Neuse River or Bartlett Pond - EVEN THOUGH I'm terrified of bull sharks and other (ahem) critters.

Second - I'm sorry about the bad workout. They just happen and we all have them...I'm sorry about it though. They are no fun...and coupled with the flies.

Third - GOOD CALL on the food. Sometimes (read: all the time after some workouts) we just need a calorific pick-me-up. Good for you - but sorry you couldn't get to the fries. Next time!

m said...

I hate horseflies! I don't remember them being an issue when I was in NC...maybe I erased it from my memory?

I have trouble eating too much greasy stuff too, gives me a stomach ache.

DT said...

Hello, I posted earlier about how the deer flies were killing me a couple weeks ago. Well they have continued their assault on my past several trips into Umstead but today I found that an unlikely solution actually works! Bounce fabric softener sheets! Apparently it is a bit of an old wives' tale that they will repel mosquitoes, but I tried it anyways.

I made it ~10 miles out-and-back on the Reedy Creek path without any real confrontations with the mini-beasts - even in 86 degree weather. Every mile or so I wiped my arms, neck, and sometimes hair with the sheet until I could smell it on myself. The deerflies were definitely out again today and a few times they circled a single lap around me but quickly fled. Hope it works for others.