I finally (sort of) got a break in the weather for my 18 mile run today. I watched the weather reports this week the way a broker watches the stock market, trying to deduce which day would be better for running. I'd settled on today because it was supposed to rain and be in the 70s. For once the meteorologists were not making it up as they went along, and when I woke up this morning, it was indeed raining. I slept later than I wanted to (natch), and then hurried down to do my usual BS like coffee, etc. I was just dragging this morning, so I didn't actually make it out of the door until about 7:20. My plan this week was to two 4 mile loops, then two 5 mile loops. Each one of my loops ended up being a vastly different experience, so I'm just going to break it out by that.
Loop #1 (Mile 1-4):
I was just plain old pissed off during the first loop. The gardening that made me so happy yesterday was a bit of a hindrance for me today because my legs felt sore and exhausted. Note to self, don't roll around a bunch of heavy shit and dig with a shovel for a several hours the day before the marathon. And the weather just sucked. Yes it was raining when I went out, but there was no chill or breeze in the air, and it was so thick with humidity. A mile into my run I was gasping for breath and sweating my balls off. I got super crabby because it's just like, it's never going to end. The heat will never end. At least it felt like the first loop was over pretty quickly. I stopped in the house to make a much needed potty break, and ate some tech food.
Loop #2 (Mile 4-8):
This was the best loop for me by far. The rain stopped, the temperature dropped just a tad and a faint breeze started up. It made things SO much easier, especially when it came to my breathing. I definitely found a better groove and somewhat enjoyed my run, although I got scared by some dickhead's dogs. I live in an area where every wannabe thug owns some snarling out of control pitbull. I passed by this yard that I have passed a million times before and never had incident, but today out of nowhere a giant pit and a giant boxer started snarling and lunged at the fence. The boxer's head and shoulders were literally above this 6 ft. fence it was jumping so high. It totally scared the crap out of me, and I cautiously slowed to a walk. Of course no one came to call the dogs back from the fence, since I'm sure that would have cut into their morning meth smoking time.
When I went down a quieter street into a neighborhood I took a second to snap a picture so that ya'll could see how different today looked from my other training days:
I had my phone in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry, and didn't bother taking it out to take the picture, so that's why the shot has a hazy 70's porno vibe about it. It was so weird to run in the rain, it's been forever!
I finished this loop up without incident, and again it felt easy and like it was over quickly. I did have the beginnings of a blister that I managed to catch in time and tape up. Thank goodness, because it would have been BAD if I hadn't.
Loop #3 (Mile 8-13):
Things started to go slightly sour for me on this loop, although it ended up being kind of a "happy" loop for me at the same time. I'd mentioned at the beginning of the post that my legs were sore from gardening yesterday. I thought that I would just run out the aches once I got warmed up, which was kind of the case during the first 8 miles. However during this loop, the back of my legs and hamstrings began to complain. A LOT. By the time I got to the turnaround point on my loop I was in a lot of pain, and my calves decided to join the party too. I was still able to jog on and off, but my walk breaks were definitely increasing.
Now, the reason it was a "happy" loop is because last week when I had that horrid run, I did my 13 miles in 3.5 hours, which really chapped me. I was determined to finish this loop (conveniently at 13 miles) faster than last week. I pushed through the pain and ran as much as I could, including a straight up sprint down my street. I ended up at 3 hours and 9 minutes, which I would say is a definitely improvement over 3.5 hours!
When I got to the house, I went straight to The Stick and started rolling out my hamstrings and calves, both of which were screaming at me. While I was doing this I heard a low rumble, and I look to Eric and was like, "Was that thunder?" Right after I said that, it sounded like someone shot a cannon outside our house, that's how loud the next crack of thunder was. Molly bolted from the couch like someone lit her ass on fire, and I was like um, is this going to be another 13 mile run week? The rain began pouring down, and there was quite a bit of lightning in addition to the thunder. I decided to wait until the thunder and lightning eased up before leaving back out, because ya'll know my luck. If anyone is going to be struck by lightning it will be me! It took about 15 minutes, but it did stop.
Loop #4 (Mile 13-18):
Luckily this last loop was the last one, because if any of the other loops were remotely like this one, I would have quit. When I first started out, I thought that maybe rolling my legs out had helped them, because they didn't feel that awful. Then they begin to hurt, just enough to make me wince and hope that it didn't get worse.
It got worse. 2 miles into my last 5 miles my legs began to hurt so bad that it was like an out of body experience level of pain. It felt like someone was taking a metal pipe and wailing on the backs of my legs. I've been in pain before during my runs, but this was another level. When I ran it hurt my hamstrings. When I walked my calves started cramping. I literally couldn't win no matter what I did. I even tried to repeat a little mantra in my head, something along the lines of "Your legs don't hurt, it's in your mind", to which my body responded "whatever bitch." At the turn around point I was like, at least it's only 2.5 more miles until I'm home and done. Except that the mere 2.5 miles felt like 12 miles. I tried my best to run when I could, but my legs were just beyond shot, and I gave up on running with about a mile left to go. I tried to stay upbeat by thinking about how I was almost done, and that I had all this awesome stuff waiting for me at home like an ice bath, slushy coconut water, etc. It didn't really help. It made me think (yet again) that I had no idea how I was going to finish the marathon. I couldn't imagine doing 8.2 more miles, it just seems impossible and depressing.
This is my time, and I felt slightly depressed about it because it puts me again at a 7 hour finish time for the marathon. I mean good God, I can't even imagine if it really does take me 7 hours to do the marathon. If that happens I'm changing the name of my blog to "Don't Care if I'm Fat and Lazy" and calling it a day. Then again, I think if my legs hadn't been sore to start with, maybe it would have been different. We shall see I guess.
See you guys next week with my, gulp, 19 miler report!