- Denial: This is getting hard but I've totally got this. I can do it!
- Anger: Dang it, why am I slowing down?!
- Bargaining: It's OK, I'll just go a little slower. I can do this, right?
- Depression: Fine, I'll walk this hill. And that hill. And maybe a little over there...
- Acceptance: It didn't go how I wanted, but I finished the run.
We hit our turn around point and headed back a couple miles toward our still-closed new road, but going that direction, we had a couple of steep hills and we walked them. I thought I was just getting tired from the hills, but once we turned onto the new road, my legs were done...and we had about 3 more miles left to go, which doesn't sound like a lot until you add them to the 8.5 miles already done. We'd arranged for Jeff to meet us somewhere along the new road to bring water for our final refill; he was there, and I really, REALLY wanted to get in the car with him and be done with this run. But I didn't want to abandon Diane. I also didn't want to interfere with her run, because she was doing great. I mean, amazingly well - at this point, she was at mile 15 and looked like she could go another 11.2 miles with no problem.
Diane pointed out to me that maybe I needed more fuel than just Tailwind (I started with a 24 oz bottle of it, and refilled with another 24 oz bottle); I'd hoped to make it through the run using only Tailwind, but I guess it just wasn't quite enough for that many miles. And really, once she said that, I realized that I was just out of energy; I wasn't hurting worse than any other long run...it truly was a fueling issue. I had some Bolt chews with me so I started eating them but I was still going really slow and I didn't want to mess with Diane's momentum. We were coming up to a point on our route where there's about a half mile out-and-back jigjag, so Diane took that while I went straight, mostly walking as I ate the rest of the chews. We figured she'd catch up to me fairly soon. I started running a little and walking a little and by the time she caught up to me I was feeling better; we finished the run with Diane hitting 18 miles (a new distance record for her!) and 11.15 miles for me.
I got in my car and drove to Blue Baker to meet up with everyone; on the way, my radio played "Hurts So Good" and then "Stayin' Alive" - both songs couldn't have been more appropriate considering how I was feeling!
The face of someone who just ran 18 miles! Jeff with the assist of not only miles, but extra digits in order to show Diane's new record mileage.
The face of someone who survived running 11+ miles, with soaking wet hair thanks to 100% humidity and fog rolling in toward the end.
All the food - in reality, over the course of three hours I managed to eat the bacon, the chocolate milk, the scone, a couple sips of OJ, and lots of coffee. I really should stop getting two pastries after my long runs, but it all looks so good!
Another game of pass the baby was played with Mason! He's three months old and is smiling and laughing now.
A few people have commented that I must be doing well as I'm not hurting/injured with running so much, and until a couple of weeks ago, I would have agreed with them, but things are starting to hurt a bit - new things, like my knees, which rarely bother me except for when I need new shoes (and I only have 200 miles on my favorite pair, so that shouldn't be the issue); my left shin is also starting to hurt, and my hip flexor on - you guessed it - my left side was really sore a couple of days before Saturday's run. I started doing some stretches for the hip flexor and was pleasantly surprised to get through the run without it bothering me, nor did it bother me afterward (I'm still doing the stretches, though - insurance at this point). I do use my BFF Buffer every day on my sore muscles and that helps immensely, but the truth is, running this many miles puts the hurt on my body.
Also in the comments, some people have mentioned that I might as well run a half marathon now. I briefly looked running a half marathon in April, but after the windy 10 miler a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I didn't want to run a race just because I was semi-trained for it...for me, running that many miles is still quite a challenge both mentally as well as physically, and I've done too many races where I wanted to quit partway through them. I have a five mile race coming up this Sunday, and I'm actually looking forward to that one - were it a half marathon, I don't think I'd have the same attitude.
I'm trying to be kind to myself when it comes to running; yes, it's a challenge, and a good one as I do enjoy it, but I don't want to end every long run with the feeling of defeat...so for that reason I'll stick to helping my friend get to her goal, and keeping "my" long runs to a more reasonable number for me.