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.
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.