Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 919 -- Wall Drug

Of course, one cannot run across South Dakota without stopping at Wall Drug. If you click through, be sure to read the history of Wall Drug. It started as a regular small town drug store with a trickle of business. One day, they hit on the idea of offering free ice water for travelers. People started to stop, and the business grew, and branched out into one of the weirdest and wackiest tourist attractions anywhere.

I have a special affinity for Wall Drug. Before we were married, Mrs. Jogger spent a summer working there. They haul in boatloads of college students every summer to help run the place. In the summer of 1986, both of us applied and both of us were accepted. However, that was the summer before my first year in grad school. The university wanted me to start before Labor Day, and Wall Drug needed its workers through Labor Day, so I couldn't go. And Mrs. J went off and had a wild adventure without me. Fortunately, she didn't meet someone better (or if she did, she hasn't mentioned it) and we were eventually married anyway.

I have included this shot of the fudge shop, because that's one of the places that Mrs. J worked a lot. She came home having lost her taste for fudge (although she eventually got it back.) This photo is not Mrs. J, but I'm sure she was just as cute. This photo is from The location sign is from LBCurry's Moving Adventure. The jackalope is from The Odyssey Road blog.

Today was a tough run, for three major reasons.

One, I was tired. I only ran 5K yesterday, but I spent a lot of time on my feet. I walked to the race, stood and walked around before and after, and walked home. I walked the dog twice. All that is on top of a long week. My last day off was last Sunday. Counting today, I've run about 60 miles over the last seven days.

Two, it was humid. It wasn't too hot, at least not at first, but it was pretty humid, and I worked up quite a sweat pretty quickly. That really saps your energy, over the long haul.

Three, and most important, I let myself get psyched out by one and two. From the beginning, I'm thinking, "I'm tired and I'm sweaty and I have 19 miles left...I'm hot and I'm sweaty and I have 18 miles left...I'm hot and I'm sweaty and I have 17 miles left..." Not the way you want to start a long run. You want those early miles to fly by.

In the end, I stopped a little short of my goal. I had planned 22 miles, but I stopped just short of 20 (19.9, if you must know). I feel bad, but not too bad. Every year, I have a long run that I can't finish. Usually it's around 17 or 18 miles. This year, it was 22. And since I ran almost 20, it was probably one of my top 10 longest runs of all time, anyway.