Monday, November 24, 2014

WWU - 12 Tough Miles

Jeff said "how will you show 12 miles when you don't have that many fingers?" so I went Roman numeral on him, with crossed arms for an X (10) and my fingers for the extra 2.  Hey, it made sense at the time...

I know it isn't Wednesday, but really - how many of my American readers will read this on Wednesday?  I know y'all will be elbows deep in pie-making and the like for Thanksgiving, so you get my Wednesday Workout Update today...because I need to tell you how tough that run was!

On Saturday, our running club had our benchmark run, which is the longest training run of the season.  The full marathon group ran a ridiculous 21 miles, while our half group ran 12 miles.  We ended up lucking out with the weather - almost all week heavy thunderstorms were predicted for Saturday morning, but late on Friday, that changed to mid-morning, so we were good to go.  That said, it was 63 degrees, with 100% humidity, and it was windy...so still not optimal conditions, but at least we weren't getting rained on.

I was going to do this run solo - Amy wasn't feeling great, so she dialed her intervals down a notch, to 1:1, while I kept mine at 1:30/1 (run for 1 minute 30 seconds, walk for 1 minute).  We all set off and it was fine - just a little boring as I had no one to talk to.  I ran to my first turn-around point, but on the way, Becky (who is on the injured list and was manning a water stop instead of running) told me that there was a live electrical wire farther down the road - apparently Coach Damien had touched it and gotten a nice shock.  Since it was dark and she wasn't sure exactly where it was, I decided to cross the street - didn't need to take any chances!  Amy and Diane, who were behind me, also crossed as well...our mommas didn't raise any dummies!

Once I made that turn-around, I was running into the wind.  Not fun.  Then I turned into Scary Statue park and was STILL running into the wind.  Not fun, but I figured at least when I make the turn-around at the other side of the park, the wind would be at my back and would push me along.  Well, that didn't happen; I wondered if it was just me who was cheated out of a beneficial tailwind, but afterward, Andi said the same thing happened to her.  Hmpf!

I kept running, and eventually got within eyesight of Stephanie and Loretta, who were manning another water stop.  They cheered for me, which was awesome!  I had to wait nearly a minute (FOREVER in runner time) to cross the busy road, and then I was on an uphill climb to another turn-around point.  Soon I saw Cary and Andi running toward me, and as we were just about to pass each other, Cary split off from Andi, turned around, and said "I'm going to run with you now" - what the what?!?  As it turned out, Andi wasn't feeling well and was going to cut her run short, so Cary very nicely decided to keep me company for the second half of her run!  I might have mentioned a time or twelve that I am a social runner, so this was wonderful.

We instantly started chatting away, and before long we were back at the water stop with Stephanie and Loretta.  I refilled my water bottle and took a donut hole for some fun fuel.  That ended up being a mistake, because a couple miles later, my stomach was churning.  I don't normally have stomach issues during a run - sure, it often feels crummy afterward, but this was not good.  We were at mile 8.5 when this happened, and I ended up having to walk some of my running intervals.  Cary saved my run by doing everything she could to distract me - talking about all sorts of things, and then getting me to do lightpost-to-lightpost runs (run to a lightpost, then walk to the next, repeat repeat repeat).  Eventually she stretched out those intervals a little more, but it was just a rough go for the last 3.5 miles.  She epitomized a true friend, first by adding an extra mile to her distance when she turned around to run with me (she finished the day by running a half marathon!), and then by sticking with me and making sure I finished the run, because she knew I'd be really down on myself if I ended up throwing in the towel early, even with feeling crummy.

Remember how last week, when I was chanting "boyfriend pants, boyfriend pants" to get me through the last two miles of my 11 mile run?  Well, this week, all I kept thinking was "I'm going to lay down as soon as I finish" - and I did just that...for about 30 seconds.  Next thing I knew, Cary was pulling me up, making me go on a cool-down walk with her and Brian.  Oh I did NOT want to do that...but I have to admit, after a few minutes I started to feel less like death, so I'm glad she made me walk.  Then I changed out of my soaking wet shirt, and finally laid down on our yoga mat.  I will say, it looked like we were having one hell of a strange picnic in the middle of the parking lot, but we didn't care:
Rehashing the run, stretching, shoes off...and even laughter amongst all of the groaning.

This was a rough run for many of our runners - I think the weather conditions, combined with the long, long distance, hit a lot of us hard.  One of our marathon runners ended up calling me when he was at mile 16 - he could go no more, so Jeff drove out and picked him up.  It turned out to be a good thing (for us, anyway) that this happened, because we got to leave for Blue Baker an hour earlier than we would have, had this runner continued running to 21 miles.  And as we drove away from the park, guess what?  It started to rain!  We got to avoid that mess - hurray!

In looking back at this run, I didn't drink any Gatorade until I was close to mile 10.  I don't know why, but that was a rookie mistake - my face was gritty with salty sweat, which probably contributed to my stomach issues.  Ah well...live and learn.
 
Feeling slightly more human here.  They weren't the best 12 miles, but I completed a tough run, and I'm proud of myself for that.

24 comments:

  1. I'm up extra early this morning--I get to be your first commenter. First of all, I want to say that, in spite of having just run 12 miles, you really look great!

    That was really nice of Cary to turn around and run with you, and all she did to help you along. That's a great example of why you've stuck with this--the great camaraderie that your running club has. I hope you're recuperated a bit by this morning, and will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving week!

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    1. You WERE up early! Dogs get you up?

      Thanks for the compliment - that picture was after I'd come in and then gone for the cool-down walked (and changed tops). Jeff said I looked like hell when I first finished, and I'm sure he was right, LOL.

      Cary is the bomb for doing what she did. And you are right - our running club seems to attract people who look out for each other. It's a good group. :)

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  2. Congrats on completing your 12 tough miles! You are so ready for that half marathon! I too hope you recover quickly. Great friends you have there especially being willing to run extra to keep you company. Woo 12 miles is a long way I get tired just thinking about it.
    Happy Thanks giving to you and your family.

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    1. I feel pretty good today. I think I'm ready for the half...eek!

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  3. Oh, there is NOTHING like having a runner friend keep you going when your run is going south. Great job gritting it out and getting it done!

    Gatorade/Powerade/Electrolyte Drink/Fuel every 45 minutes from the beginning of your run :)

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    1. Yes - big props to a running friend who "gets it" and knows when to push. :)

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  4. You did it and I'm proud of you. Cary was truly a good friend for you, very sweet of her.

    Girl, we don't have to tell you to drink, you know that :) but you won't make that mistake again. I looked up donut holes on the internet and that would give me stomach issues for sure. I can't handle that kind of food during a run.

    You are ready, you are going to make it and you are going to finish strong and with a big smile on your face.

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  5. Congrats on your 12 miles! I am often jealous of how many runner friends you have! I will be doing a long run today and a majority of the miles will be on my own, until I meet my running partner 10 miles in! ( she's not marathon training so she doesn't have to run as far..haha)

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    1. I don't think I could do this without my running buddies, to be honest.

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  6. Must bring a yoga mat to stretch on after our next 12 miler! 12 miles is hard. It's for real. Way to get it done.

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    1. We keep a yoga mat in the car just for stretching after running. Last week I was wishing we kept a pillow, too. ;)

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  7. Yay to pushing on & finishing!! We have a great group of running buddies I must say. That wind was terrible.....running up that hill to Hwy 30 was a B....I swear I felt like I was going in slow motion. Sadly, I never benefited from the tailwind either. Now, it's bring on taper time!

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    1. I forgot - it's TAPER TIME!!! Never have I been so happy to hear those words. :)

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  8. So you enjoy running?? lol

    I don't know if 12 miles could be anything but tough, but you certainly are well trained for your race!

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    1. I do enjoy running...when I'm done! LOL, most of the time it's good. But any mileage over 9 seems to make me crazy.

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  9. Great job, Shelley, pushing through a tough one. I'm like you, I enjoy running, but I enjoy "having run" even more! You're going to rock your half. Enjoy tapering in the meantime :-)

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    1. LOL, "having run" is the best, right?! ;)

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  10. Take a bow Shelley!! Congrats on finishing this tough challenge. You're such an inspiration to me as I work towards my dream of walking a half marathon in May.

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    1. I'm excited for your half-marathon goal!

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  11. Shelley, you are amazing! That is all! Actually, no, it's not all. LOVE the roman numerals too. So you are amazing AND funny!

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  12. Wow, major congrats!! I am way impressed. Can't wait to hear how the half goes, but you've already got so much to be proud of! Which I probably said before, but whatever, it's still true!

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    1. Thanks, Crabby - here's hoping I end up with a half that I can be proud of.

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