18 Craptastic Miles Along The Sacramento River

You wouldn’t know it from this view, but today was a complete disaster.


Was it the bright shining sun?  The time change?  The stark difference in temperatures and humidity – even if far more favorable than what I’ve  become accustomed to?   I really don’t know what (if any) one thing led to the  3 hour and 15 minute torture session that took place today.   Wait, that’s not entirely true.  Miles 1 and 2 were pretty ok, it just went downhill steadily from there.  But trust me,  close to three hours of this run were pretty intolerable.

I followed the route my hometown friends had suggested, beginning at William Pond Park in Fair Oaks and heading toward Folsom.  It was a lovely path and I felt very safe there.  I must have seen hundreds of cyclists and a good several dozen other distance runners.  There were a few families taking leisurely rides along the trails with kiddos in tow as well.

Thankfully I did not encounter any of these:

Though I did see pheasant, wild turkeys and an egret!

But, I’m not going to focus on the negative … I know, I know… you’re all thinking how unlike me that is, but the truth is, I’ve been riding a pretty decent streak for a while and I was due for a lousy run.  Besides, I’m on vacation!  So instead of telling you all about my ankles that were screaming from about mile six onward, and the pebbles that kept getting into my shoes, and how terribly, horribly exhausted I felt the entire time, I’m going to tell you about what got me through it.  Namely food.  Well, dreaming of food anyway.

I started out really looking forward to the Vanilla Bean GU I was going to get at mile 4.  Once that was gone, I began longing for the Chocolate Outrage I was saving for mile 8.  Then there were mad cravings for Pinkberry frozen yogurt which was one of the FIVE frozen yogurt places I passed on the way to the trail head.  FIVE!  I swear I’m living in the only part of the US that hasn’t been hit by the yogurt craze yet – what gives???

Anyway, after that it was a cheeseburger and a side summer salad with mandarin oranges.  By mile 11 that cheeseburger had changed to a grilled chicken Panini with pesto.  By mile 12 all I could think about was jumping in the river when I was done.  Longest.  Six. Miles.  Of.  My.  Life.

My iPod saved my sanity today.  As did imagining the phone calls I would make to my husband and my mom when I was finally done.  Some versions of these envisioned conversations included tears, but I’m proud to say the realities did not.  Instead I simply collapsed fully clothed into the river (mental note: for future running excursions along the river make sure to wear full-coverage skivvies) in a highly preferred alternative to my usual ice bath.


I might have sighed with relief if I hadn’t have been choking back sobs.

If I look like I’m in pain it’s  because I am.

So what did I eat after my run?  Roast beef on wheat with lettuce and tomato from the prepared sammy selection at the Safeway deli.  Not exactly the high-end eats I was craving earlier, but by that time I was ravenous and in no mood to  hunt down better options.  And you know what?  It was damn well good enough!

My beloved Brooks will never be the same.  Good thing my new pair arrived in the mail the day before I left Maryland!

So dirty.

So what do you dream about when your run goes south?

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18 Responses to 18 Craptastic Miles Along The Sacramento River

  1. Bert says:

    Sorry to hear that you had a bad run, it happens to all of us! At least you found a way to think yourself through it. When one of my runs go south I start thinking about the last half mile or so, having something to eat, getting into a hot bath, taking a nap…

  2. Sorry you had a bad run! I think bad runs are actually GOOD for us though. They help us train MENTALLY for the marathon, which is not going to be easy!

    The important thing about this run is that you pushed through, even though it sucked! Good job.

    Also, I always go in the river after my runs!! I don’t have a bathtub so that’s my “ice bath”!

  3. Pam says:

    Sorry that you had a bad run, but seeing that scenery… my pity for you is pretty limited! LOL That is GORGEOUS!

    Here’s to next weekend!

  4. Jaime says:

    Everyone has a bad run but it wasn’t all that bad…I mean you did it! 18 big ones! Amazing! Congratulations– I am so happy for you.

    Where did you store your camera when running?!?

  5. abbi says:

    I’m with you on us all having bad ones…I’m thinking I’m going to be due for a bad one here soon too. But, I loved that you focused on the positive and that dip in the river looks like the perfect end to that run!!

  6. Jamie says:

    It may not have been pretty but you fought through and got it done. Congrats! You’ll need the mental toughness come race day.

    I too think off all the good food I’m going to eat to get me through difficult runs.

  7. Deanna says:

    I’m sorry your run didn’t go well. Believe it or not, my next bad run I will think of your post and how you toughed it out for 18 miles! Just hearing that even though your run was far from perfect you stuck it out for the full 18 miles gives me motivation. Thanks Olivia!

  8. The Linz says:

    Congrats on finishing Olivia! Whether it was good or bad you did it. You freaking ran 18 miles and I am so proud of you. And running in a whole new environment that is even harder. So mad props to you. And I loved that you jumped in the river at the end. I thought about doing that after my 14 miler. I bet it was the perfect ice bath! 🙂

  9. You ran 18 miles. That is an accomplishment in and of itself, regardless of how you got there!

    What gets me through “long” runs (my long runs are 4 miles by the way) is pretending that I’m in the race – almost to the finish line and my Fiance is cheering me on. Or I make wedding plans…or focus on the lyrics of the songs I’m listening to. Once my mind drifts, I get out of the rut.

  10. sarah says:

    Oh man. That sounds rotten – but major, major props for finishing! I declare, 16 miles is a long freakin’ time to hate what you are doing. I’m not sure I would have stuck with it. And past froyo places. Egad! I’m a little like you – I dream of what I’m going to eat when I’m done. I try not to think of what I’m going to drink, because that makes me too thirsty.

  11. Sorry to hear that the run wasn’t the best. I loe that you think about food when you run. Me too! Usually pancakes although I haven’t actually had pancakes after a run. Weird…
    The other thing that I think about it winning the lottery. It passes the time and even though its not real it makes me smile to think of all the wonderful things I would do.
    I hope your next run is great and makes you forget all about this one!

  12. BostonRunner says:

    Oh no, sorry to hear the run didn’t turn out well! It happens to all of us though, and I admire your positive attitude about it. That ice bath in the river looks extremely refreshing though!

  13. Cathy says:

    There’s nothing worse than dragging for most of your run. Sorry it turned out so bad – but the water looked incredibly refreshing!

    I try to mark off milestones – like eating something at different miles (like you did with the Gu) or telling myself I’ll let myself walk for 10 seconds if I just finish the next mile!

  14. […] workout today.  I logged 4 miles of speed intervals around Capital Park and more or less redeemed Sunday’s debacle.  […]

  15. jen says:

    the bad onesa re tough. i feel your pain. i havent really run THAT long yet but i am dreading the week after next when I will attempt something close to 18.

    love the shots though, gorgeous!

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