Week 78: Crushing bad runs

After finishing my first half-Ironman, whose race report is conspicuously missing, there was a week long lull. After the week long recover, my coach sent me running.

After all there is some unfinished business between me and a certain Marathon in Greece.

This week I was vacationing in Santorini. Often thought of as an exotic isle, the reality for me, is that it’s where I am from. Kind of like people from Hawaii, Santorini is just the place I go to, not some magical mysterious wonderful place.

And yet Santorini is that place.

Santorini is also the place where I had the most miserable long run experience of my life.

While getting ready for my first ever Marathon, training using the Hal Higdon method, I ran a 14 mile run that turned messy.

It all started with hanging out with some friends that were bragging about how fast they went.

And since I had no coach, but a spreadsheet, I decided that I too would go as fast as they had.

Let me observe that they were thinner than I was …

Let me observe that they had a much better fitness base than I did…

Let me observe that the route was one I had never done before.

The net outcome was calamitous. I ended up overheating, getting dehydrated,, drinking too much water to compensate and puking.

When I came back from my run, I collapsed in my parents yard: exhausted, dehydrated and ashen. Sitting down in front of me was some random older woman. I had no clue who she was. The poor woman saw my ashen coloured face and asked: Are you okay.

And I responded: Tin poutsisame.

Go ask your Greek friends for a translation. This is a PG rated English speaking blog.

Turns out the woman was my sister’s soon to be mother-in-law.

Yup, the first words to my sister’s mother-in-law were… colourful.

Two years later, many pounds lighter, much fitter, I decided to give that route another go.

Armed with an understanding of how to use heart-rate monitors, and a better appreciation of dealing with the heat, I was able to complete the run without getting hurt.

Only downside, that epic 14 mile run was only 9 miles long.

Here’s the route in relation to the whole island: 2014-08-09_1947

Here’s the route zoomed in.


What the straight lines don’t convey is the very steep rollers. The total elevation gain isn’t that large, only 338 feet, but there are are some brutally steep climbs. I am choosing to not show my speed over those climbs. I do believe I saw a snail zoom past but I may have been confused. 2014-08-09_1949


Just for comparison purposes the Athens marathon had an elevation gain of 900 feet …


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