Tag Archives: long runs

Pain is Temporary

27 Dec

This is totally how I felt last week during my 22-miler, that turned into a 20.8-miler.

Only twelve days left until my first marathon!


Road Kill Saturday

19 Dec

On my last long run before my taper for the Walt Disney World Marathon, we saw no less than four dead carcasses on our run. The road kill was horrid, and the run was almost as bad. Let’s start at the beginning.

Friday night I had trouble falling asleep. Because I didn’t leave my job until almost 9 PM and still had to go buy dog food before grabbing dinner, I didn’t actually walk through my front door until 9:30 or so. Perhaps it was the eating dinner so late that made it difficult for me to fall asleep. Or the nerves. Or both. I even typed up my fears in this post as I laid in bed.

My post must’ve been a premonition of what was to come.

The first thing to go wrong: I slept through my alarm for an hour. It was one of those times where the alarm becomes part of your dream, and for the life of you, you can’t figure out why the phone won’t stop ringing in your dream. And then you wake up and realize it was your alarm the whole time. This is exactly what happened. I woke up in a startle and looked at my clock. The time read 4:21 AM. My alarm had been going off for an hour.

I tumbled out of bed and for the next 45 minutes was in a hazed panic. I called my group and arranged to meet them along the route at 5 AM. Unfortunately there was a bit of phone tag and a voicemail message was left on my phone instructing me to meet my group in a location I was unfamiliar with. Meanwhile I was tearing my house apart looking for my ankle brace, which had apparently gone into hiding.

After also having difficulty finding my fuel, I finally gave up on the ankle brace and raced out the door without stopping to pull up directions. I got lost and missed the 5 AM meet-up time, so I headed to the next  water stop.

I thought I would only have to wait 20 minutes for my group to arrive at this next location. It was cold, but I jumped out of my car to do some dynamic stretches. Soon, twenty minutes turned into forty minutes. I started to run around in a circle in order to stay warm and start working up my mileage. As the clock hit 6 AM, I realized I was losing those precious before sunrise hours and had to get going. Just as I headed out to start 20+ miles on my own, my group showed up. Thank God. That would’ve been a long, long run without my iPod.

My group was 6 miles into their run. My laps around the waiting area had knocked my mileage up to 1 mile, so I was only 5 miles behind them. I’m usually pretty chatty when I run, but at this point I was so frustrated with my morning that I was silent. Silent for 2 whole miles. This is unheard of for me. But all I could think of is after my group finishes their 22 miles, I was still going to have 5 more miles to run… by myself… without my iPod. I was horrified.

A couple miles into my run, we got to play my favorite game “Find an open bathroom” for one of my group members. Lucky for her I just happened to know where a nearby 7-11 was and led the way. We then headed to our next stop to meet up with the rest of the group that was joining us for the back half of the run. I think I was at 7 miles when we met up.

It was soon brought to my attention that I had taken over the role of group bitch. This distressed the former holder of said title and she vowed to regain the title. Meanwhile I just laughed. It took my group six months to figure this out? Impressive.

Every couple of miles we stumbled past some road kill. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was what I would look like towards the end of my run.

There were three highlights to the run:

  • The Street Drug Game – Go through the alphabet naming as many street drugs as possible for each letter. Things got a little hairy when I insisted (very loudly) that ‘beer’ was indeed a street drug.
  • The Sex Swing – We ran past this swing early during the training season and I’ve been wanting to capture it on camera since then. This totally looks like it belongs in someone’s bedroom, not their front yard:

  • I Sweat Pretty – This is exactly what the back of my group leader’s shirt said to me with her heart-shaped sweat mark on her lower back.

I broke off from my group around 16 miles into my run. They ran back to their original start point while I ran back towards my start point. By this point the sun had come up and was beating down on me. “Crap,” I thought, “I forgot to put on sunblock.”

My original plan had been to run to my car, get some water at the water stop, and then extend the run for whatever mileage was needed for me to hit 22 miles and end up back at my car. But when I got to the water stop, they were taking the water down. I filled up one last time and changed my route to run home. That would get me to 20 miles, I could grab some water from my house and then add on another 2 miles and have water available at the end of my run. I would just ask Donnie and his dad, who was visiting, to go get my car for me.

At the end of a long run, there’s not much rational thinking going on, so I was impressed that I had even been able to come up with that plan. However, halfway to my house I realized I had forgotten to grab my house key. At this point I wasn’t turning around, so I kept running. I decided to run on a more popular road in case Donnie and his pops happened to drive by. Thank God I did, because they did drive by on their way to breakfast and pulled over when they saw me. We did a quick key exchanged and I kept chugging along.

Around this point (18 miles), my IT band started to hurt. At 19 miles it was throbbing and by 20 miles I was having trouble bending my leg. I knew that if I stopped at my house for water I would end the run, so I tried to keep going. But I didn’t make it far. Whilst grunting I realized it was time to just call it and walked home.

It took 5:02:22 for me to cover 20.85 miles with some breaks along the way. I walked unto my front porch and sunk down into one of our porch chairs. Then I mustered the energy to make it inside my house, sprawled out on the hard wood floor, just like the unusually high amount of road kill we had run by all morning, and fell asleep for 10 minutes.

Then Team Hemarie (Donnie and his Pops) arrived with a big breakfast and three bags of ice for me. Their words of encouragement and the french toast made me feel better. And the ice bath made me curse. And scream. And helped reduce my swelling.

The first 16 miles of my run weren’t bad at all. I actually felt pretty good! And miles 16 to 18 were just lonely and hot. But when the IT pain hit me, I knew I only had a matter of time before I would lose the mobility of my leg.

I’m going to have to pay extra attention on leg before the marathon to try to delay the inevitable IT pain for as long as possible.

And now I’m officially tapering for my marathon. Let’s hope my alarm goes off for that one!

Things That Don’t Make for a Good Run

12 Dec

1. Christmas parties the night before a long run.

2. Cobb salad for dinner the night before a long run.

I only had two adult beverages at my company Christmas party Friday, but that was apparently two too many. I’m such a lightweight.

Also, while the cobb salad that Donnie made for dinner was not only delicious but also very pretty, I don’t think it made for a great pre-run meal. I felt like I had no fuel in my tank only a couple miles into my run.

These two things combined made for a long, sluggish 10 mile-run Saturday morning.

This makes me wonder, what’s with my 10-mile runs becoming harder than my 16+ runs?

At least Saturday was beautiful. After my bad run I nursed myself back to happiness with some good old-fashioned laying out with my boo.

Here’s our attempt to turn our back yard into a Corona commercial:

This upcoming Saturday morning is our final long run (20 to 22 miles) before taper. Friday night you’ll find me eating lots of carbs and drinking absolutely zero adult beverages. And if I’m lucky, I’ll spend the rest of the day in the backyard catching rays.

(Florida does have its perks.)