Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stupid Running

Got up this morning and felt the pressure to finish and send off a paper I've been working on. Perhaps it was the urgency of the matter, perhaps it was just that I didn't want to do my long run. Whatever it was, the procrastination was productive as I got done what I had to do. But then it was midday when I left the house.

I got about a mile or two in before I realized I'd underestimated the heat. Wunderground says it was in the low 90s today, but I shrugged it off as I'm not too sensitive to hydration issues. When I got to Lloyd Hall I filled up at the fountain and kept going up past Edgely Field and up to Huntingdon St. I wanted to do some North Philly running today and sofar so good. Huntingdon is a low traffic one-way (oncoming) street, with a sight-line that stretches a good half-mile in front. Best of all, I'd never run here before. Huntingdon t's into 22nd St. and by then my throat was starting to get dry. At 15th St., I went south to Ridge, and I realized I was feeling worse than I should with the miles I have left to do. I started becoming aware of how little I had hydrated, and the availability of drinks all around were it not for my omitting to bring any money along.

I mentioned how I had dinner with a homeless guy in Vegas. During the course of our conversation he challenged me to live on the streets in Philly for a week without bringing any money. He asked me if I would promise to do that. I said that if I promised this I'd be bullshitting him and he lowered the bar to a day. I said I'd consider it but wouldn't promise something I might or might not keep. We left it at that.

I'm not saying my little run here fulfilled that promise. But it was instructive in how apart I felt from the city, me with a burning thirst I was unable to quench. Two little kids dressed out all Nation of Islam were selling water at an intersection, asked me if I wanted any. I considered bumming a bottle off of them saying I'd pay later. Considered going into a store, going up to people to do the same but interestingly something held me back. At 13th and Ridge, just by the big shelter, I cut the run short and headed back home. Figured I'd get me some water at a fountain in Rittenhouse Square. I got there only to find that there is nary a drinking fountain in Philadelphia's toniest park. The absence of this basic corporeal act of mercy surprised me. Does it keep the bums out of the park?

West another mile I was back on Penn campus, where I had no problem finding some water and drank my fill. The run was pretty much shot by then, and I trudged the rest of the way home. Still, I got two hours running time and 14 miles out of it.

I was really surprised at how the dehydration hammered me. Might also have to do with this being the first hot weekend of the year, and the body is still adapting. I can remember in years past when I'd deliberately run with a thirst to see how long I could handle it. Not today. I think I've become more humble and also more able to read my body's signs and give in when I sense distress. Today was one of those days. Hopefully I'll be smarter on my next long run.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


The armrests in the middle of the benches and the giant frickin' rats keep people from sleeping in Rittenhouse Square.

Steve G.

8:55 PM  

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