Saturday, March 1, 2008

going the distance

Took a day off yesterday. I had just done hill sprints and a long run was due, so it only made sense to take a day of rest. I would have liked to get in a few miles, but it just didn't work out that way. Got up rather early, and numerous times during the night due to our cat who meows not unlike a squawking bird. But all the same I felt rested. Pancakes for breakfast, then a few hours later I loaded up on a bagel and a banana. It was a beautiful day outside finally 52 degrees and sunny. Because I have basketball on Sundays I have moved long runs to Saturday. So today was working out well with that respect.

My last long run ended short. Mostly because of the hills in the Farragut area. Today I drove down to middlebrook pike to start my run. It has a nice long stretch of sidewalk that ended up being somewhere around 7-8 miles, and is relatively flat. So I headed out, first taking a mile through a subdivision. Then I went on my way down the stretch. About halfway there is a road that goes off toward walmart and I ran that then back to middlebrook to continue to the end. The legs were feeling nice and the only thing really going on was a little knee pain. 10 miles at 1:12 at the end of middlebrook. I started making my way back, taking the same detour to walmart and then back down. This is when the knee's really started to complain. The outsides were pretty beat up, but a slight stop at a stoplight was all that was needed for the pain to go away. Making my way back I was still controlled, breathing was a little heavier than I would have liked though.

So to my car for refuel of gatorade and a bite of granola, then off again. The refuel didn't do much, in fact it may have slowed me down a bit. Did I mention there was a headwind today. It was bad because it came from BOTH directions. So 10 miles of headwind one way, then another 10 miles back. Gah. That made things a lot more difficult than they needed to be. Hills were a non-factor, although it was definitely not flat. I could feel the strain on them, but more prominently towards the end of the run. So at 21 the legs were dead. They were just tired, but I kept on. I stopped my ipod because a stretch of sidewalk just ended abruptly and I turned around. Unfortunately I thought I resumed as I turned around, but no. So that was a mile down the drain because I didn't realize until I was on my way back.

That took a lot out of me because I knew at this point I was going for 26.2. I felt like I was waddling along, but when I passed stuff I knew I was still moving pretty good. Legs still tired and increasingly so. At 24 I forced myself to keep going. I ran out a mile from my car, knowing I would have to run back and finish. It was an uphill mile of course into the wind. I finally made it, then turned around to go back into the wind again, but fortunately it was downhill. Back to where I parked on a good last mile. The legs actually started feeling better as I increased pace. I think my body just knew it was about to be over and I wasn't going to quit, so why bother making itself feel pain.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, but this was certainly the day to try. I walked for a little while, but since I only had warm gatorade I was superthirsty. Got in the car and headed home. I got on the treadmill trying to get my body to ease down slowly from being revved up for 3 hours to no avail. I had the sudden urge for an icebath. My legs were so tired they almost felt like they were cramping. They could have been for all I know. Calves, hams, feet, knees- all of them were spent. Ice bath was so great, I was shivering, but it was one of the best feelings on the legs. I will definitely do that again. I ate nothing, just kept liquids. I wanted to avoid that "I'm exhausted don't try to feed me" syndrome my body gets after it's been taxed like today. It worked and soon I was feeling better.

Took a nap, then went out to eat with April. It was nice and felt like a reward. I loaded up on Olive Garden, making up for the nearly 3000 calories I spent today. By the time we waited for our food I was already feeling "normal" again. The legs were still tired, but much better than they would have been had I skipped the ice bath. Food was delicious. After that
we went to Smoothie King and had smoothies. Then I was feeling really great. I only have a little residual achy parts, but should be all set for basketball tomorrow. The one thing I learned today was that the Marathon should be respected, no matter what pace you run it. It is a grueling task. I read so much about people running 2:15's or better and it begins to sound easy. Today really puts the effort into perspective for me, I have a long way to go but I'm getting there.

26(26.26)miles. 51 degrees shorts and t. GM 319

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