This week I started following the Galloway training schedule for the marathon. Saturday was my longest run ever – it was supposed to be 17 miles – but as usual, my route ended up being longer than planned.
It looked like it was going to be a terrible day – it was raining with grey skies as far as the eye could see. My brother-in-law and I headed for the canal system in Glendale (about an hour north of me). The high for the day was 59 – which turns out was great since the high last Saturday was 100.
We started strong but realized in the first 3 miles that we had forgotten to bring the water and snacks we packed for the run. No worries I said to Craig – I brought my drivers license and credit card so we can jump out of the canal at the half way point and pick something up…
We used the Galloway walk/run method with a run 2 mins / walk 1 min ratio. Personally, I’m not a fan because its a lot of work watching a clock unless you have a Galloway watch that beeps on the 2/1 intervals – all we had was my phone. Keeping the screen on the whole time would be a concern because of the battery life – but another issue is the rain. Its a touch screen phone and I’ve found they don’t do well in the rain. Sometimes I couldn’t get the screen to turn on, others I couldn’t get it to chance screens to the clock, and once it started jumping around screen to screen until it actually paused the workout.
Despite the phone – the first 6 miles were pretty fun for me. Our times weren’t fast, but I kept telling myself that today was about the distance. I took several pictures (see them after the break) – including a couple of the underpasses where homeless people tend to live. One homeless guy had hung his clothes out – I assume to dry but with the rain, I’m not sure how successful that would be.
Craig was planning on snacking at mile 5 and 8 – plus a few ounces of water every few miles. I think he was more upset about forgetting those things than I was.
Mile 8 comes and I start checking my phone for a gas station – it looks like the closest one is the QT at Thunderbird but its nearly a mile from the canal at Thunderbird – so I look to see if there is a shorter way – this was a mistake. I turn out of the canal early and head into a neighborhood. Craig follows me into the next mile of pure hell.
We ended up in a ditch beside a fast moving frontage road beside I-17. Both Craig and I almost bit it due to trying to run in this terrain. When we finally get to the light as the bottom of the off ramp – we both realize the QT is still over two tenths of a mile away and we are already over 8.5 miles in. We decide to turn away from the QT and toward the trail head.
When we get within a few hundred feet of the canal – there we find a circle K not listed in Google maps under gas station. If we had stayed on the trail – we would have run right into this convenient pit stop at about 8.5 miles, but due to my “short cut” we were at mile 9.5 still over 8 miles from the car and now due to having to stop and walk during the rainiest portion of our run – we are cold and soaked.
We stopped at the circle K – picked up a few snack bars and some water – but since they don’t have a public bathroom – we had to walk over to the Walgreens next door. After this 15 or 20 min pit stop, we were back on the trail heading to the car. Our mile times went down drastically after that.
I don’t know if we would have slowed down that bad if we hadn’t taken the hellish detour. In the end, we had run over 18 miles with a time that would have caused us to not complete the marathon before the course closes. The good news is that we have 20 mile, 23 mile, and 26 mile training runs on Galloway to improve before the marathon… Don’t forget to check out the pictures!