Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Running With Pepper Spray (Half Marathon Training 9/29/10)

Happy National Coffee Day!  I celebrated by drinking an extra cup this morning.

Or two.

Okay, maybe three.  It was all in the name of celebration, after all.

Anyway, I had a fabulous meeting with my pastor this afternoon and I came home around 5:00 totally energized and ready to head out for a 6 mile run.  I was feeling good about my legs, my energy and my life and I took off.

Heading out in PINK!

Sooooo ... the run was fine.  Sort of.  Well ... okay.  The first four miles were fine.  I wasn't feeling really fast, but I didn't really need to be because I was doing a longer run.  Then I hit mile 5.  And around mile 5, a man (who I'm guessing from my limited experience with homeless shelters and psychiatric medicine was living in homelessness and possibly slightly manic) decided he wanted to run with me.

Okay ... if I wanted to run with someone, I would have run with my husband!

All kidding aside, though, I was a little freaked out.  The good news is that I was on a busy street during rush hour and it was still very light out.  I decided to slow down to a walk (and he slowed down too) because I was two miles from home and knew I needed my energy to focus on getting myself out of the situation.  I was thinking about my experience with psych patients this summer and realized it was better just to not acknowledge him and (because he kept running ahead and then falling behind) at one point God parted the Red Seas (ie the traffic magically cleared on a four lane road in rush hour) and he was a few feet ahead of me so I darted across the street.  Apparently he lost interest because he kept walking and eventually walked out of sight.  Eventually I felt confident enough that he was gone that I started to run again.

So you can understand why my pace was a little slower than normal.  That being said - I was actually surprised that the walking didn't make a huge difference!  In the end I ran 6:00 miles in 1:09:35, averaging a 11:36 pace.  Because my run was a little bit wanky today (I think I walked almost a full mile), I thought I'd do a mile-by-mile breakdown ... 

Mile 1 - 10:18 
Mile 2 - 11:08
Mile 3 - 11:05
Mile 4 - 10:48
Mile 5 - 13:38 (insert creepy man and walking break)
Mile 6 - 12:36 (my walk extended into this mile as well)

Not terrible, all things considered.  It's good to know that even with a huuuuge walking break, I could still maintain a good pace.  I really need to keep that in mind when I go on these longer runs.  Even intentional short walking breaks won't kill me!

On a serious note, I came home and told Bruce what happened.  He was surprisingly calm about it, but did mention that I should start wearing the reflector belt he wears when we run at night.  He bought pepper spray to put in it and I'll be able to carry my phone with me as well.  We live in a really safe part of Atlanta, but you never know.

So be safe y'all!

To make myself feel better, I made another batch of sweet potato fries and paired it with some chicken grilled with italian dressing for dinner.

And now I am watching NCIS reruns on USA.  I love this show an unhealthy amount.



  1. Glad you're okay. Creepy people are never fun :(

    And sweet potato fries rock! :) I want to try making them with butternut squash soon.

  2. So that was postitively creepy, Sarah! Glad that all was okay and you made it home safe! Love Bruce's idea about the pepper spray. Your just never know!

  3. Oh goodness! That's kinda freaky, girl! Glad you knew how to stay cool and get out of the situation...


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