Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Adventures in Double Digits

Eventually soon, I will do a recap of the wedding (in pictures!), but right now, I am taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming to recount for you my recent training escapades. Novel, yes?

I mentioned in passing that I did not run for 10 days. On the Thursday before the wedding, running buddy Meg and I had ambitious plans for a 16 mile run. It became clear that 16 miles would be too time-consuming, and we decided that we would do a *mere* 14 mile run. After more thought, that too seemed daunting, so we agreed that 10 miles would be sufficient.

We woke up that Thursday morning to rain, and since both of us had been surviving for weeks on approximately 6 hours of sleep a night, we decided to wait out the weather and enjoy a relaxing morning. When we finally got moving, I figured I didn’t have it in me to go farther than 5 miles, but it turned out to be a great run. We added miles until wedding madness caught up at 7 miles, and time prevented us from going any farther.

MM and I packed enough running paraphernalia to do at least two solid runs in Cabo. But immediately we realized that training runs were not going to be a feasible part of our honeymoon itinerary. Even MM, who is always active and unfazed by difficult running conditions, had no intention of even pretending like we would attempt to run in the 100+ degree, humid Cabo weather on the uneven, unpredictable Cabo sidewalks.

When we returned to reality, I got back into a routine with Meg, but knew that with all I had missed, continuing to train for the marathon would be difficult. Next on the agenda: 18 miles. On Monday morning, during an easy 40 minute run, I realized that my longest run up to this point had been the half marathon a full four weeks earlier.

I mean, let’s be serious folks. Five miles, especially when you’re talking about “a little more than 10” to “almost 20” is quite a jump. I reasoned that I should try it, but I wasn’t going to fool myself, and if I couldn’t do it, I would relinquish my marathon hopes 2009, run another half, and call it a season.

But really, I was hoping for an out. I wanted a shitty run; I wanted to throw in the towel under the guise of prudence for my health and well-being, and I knew going in that my ulterior desire to give up would be thwarted.

I woke up on Saturday to near perfect running weather. After weeks of Saturday morning runs hindered by 5 hours of sleep and the pre-wedding nutritional/stress eating plan of barely 1200 calories a day, I had eaten (a lot), slept, and was ready to go. Lindy and I started the run early, at 6:10am or so instead of waiting for the CES group to start at 6:40. We went south for two miles, then back north to our starting point, where Meg and Freedom Runner met us and we continued on. We took our time—my goal is to finish the marathon under 6 hours, preferably a 5:45, which if I can manage a solid 13 minute mile, is totally doable—staying between a 12:15 and 12:45 minute mile, stopping at the fuel stations and bathrooms, and in general, walking if we needed to.

Freedom Runner kept us entertained with stories until she turned off at Montrose to head home, about 4 miles into our journey north. We still had miles to go. When we reached the end of the path we turned back around and headed toward our starting point. We were joined by another runner, who again, kept us entertained with stories through the next several miles. Unfortunately, when we reached our end point, we were about two and a half miles short of the intended run. On most days, this would prompt me to say something like, “Fifteen and a half miles is good enough,” and head off in search of an everything bagel with chive cream cheese, but not today. I turned back around and headed north to get in my final miles.

I’m not actually sure where I ended up—somewhere between 17 and 18 miles to be sure—but it was a great long run, probably the best run over 10 miles all season. So now what? Am I stuck? After all the glory of a solid long run, I woke up Sunday with a new pain in my left foot, which has yet to subside. And, it definitely feels like a “that’s not right” kind of pain as opposed to an “I’m sore because I ran 18 miles” pain. I think I am going to make an appointment with Athletico to make sure it’s not a stress fracture, and then go from there. I don’t count the marathon as a definite yet, but as long as I am not hurt, I will hold myself to the 20 mile run in two weeks. But first, another half marathon.

One week at a time.


Kendra said...

You ran twice as far as I did. AMAZING! Keep going, I know you will do well in the next few weeks.

Roisin said...

With all you've been through this year, I think you're running like a rockstar. Definitely go to Atheltico...I went last Winter when I thought I had a stress fracture. Through the magic of a PT session and taking some time off, it was revealed that I did not have a stress fracture, just some soft tissue damage. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya.

Freedom Runner//Liz said...

I am pumped that I have been labeled as "entertaining." I was hoping to be labeled as "a good distraction" at a minimum. :o)

Glad to hear that you made it and did well. The rest of my run was "blah". But I made it, and I did 3 miles tonight w/the pooch, so I'm getting my act back together for the 20th.

By the way, I'm over here now for "public" blogging....http://tippingpointphoto.blogspot.com

You should have access to my other blog. You know, because you're special and such.

I'll get you a CD this week!

Nikkie said...

Way to go Lou. That's awesome! Like Roisin, I'm crossing my fingers that the appointment with Athletico goes well.