Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So, this is how a long run feels...

I'm writing this on Christmas night. This morning I went out for my scheduled long run with a plan to do 9 miles. It had snowed lightly overnight but it looked like the roads were just wet rather than icy so I decided to go ahead with my plan. When I got to about 3 miles it began to snow lightly again off and on and would continue through the run sometime heavier than others and occasionally the wind would make it sting my face. When I got to the pre-planned halfway mark I looked down the road and thought, "Only a half more mile and you'll have 10 miles when you get home." That last half mile was uphill...nothing steep, no such thing as a real hill here but enough so that I was wondering if I could actually make it. So, I went for it. I made it up that extra half mile, turned around and crossed the road. At this point I was rather proud of myself for adding that extra distance and knowing that this extra distance would put me back on track with the rest of my Team in Training group. I broke out with a Chocolate Outrage Gu Energy Gel; now, I had heard that these things had a frosting-like consistency but in the 30°F temperature it was like a runny fudge...actually chewable! I ate half the pack and took a swig or two of G2 (low calorie Gatorade) and took off running again. It was at about the 6½ mile mark that I began thinking, "Why did I add that extra mile?" In order to keep going I began setting short goals..."Just get to the next street/driveway/corner." Using that method, I managed to get the next ~2 miles with only a couple of short 20'-30' walking breaks.  I broke out with the last half of the Gu gel and another couple of swigs of G2. I ended up walking for about 5 minutes and then broke out into a slow run. As I got 50'-100' I began feeling the twinges of oncoming cramps in my right calf. I slowed back down, stopped and did some stretches and then started running again with a very short stride. Again I fell back to the "just get to..." method of perseverance although my goals started getting just a bit shorter than before. When I got to the 9¼ mile mark it became..."Just  3/4 of a mile more...just run as much of that as you can!"  I did have to walk just a short bit of that distance but once I got short of the corner that I needed to turn to get home my energy returned and I ran the last ¼ mile to the house.

So all day today I've been waddling around with sore legs and hip. My left IT band gave me no issues but my right IT band is in a mild amount of discomfort. I have tape burns from where I adhered tape using tincture of benzoin to ensure that the tape stuck around my knee joint (note to self - avoid tincture in the mobile areas of the knee). My turf toe is in full effect but luckily just at a Grade 1 severity and with time/rest it shouldn't hopefully pose too much of a problem. I am going to invest in some carbon graphite Turf Toe plates to see if that helps with the problem. So, after a nap and 45 minutes in a hot bath the legs are feeling a little less tight, but I know I'm going to be feeling them tomorrow. I'm using my massage stick to help massage away some of the tightness and I think it and myself will become very good friends in the days to come.

This is the longest training distance that is scheduled to be run before the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at the end of next month. I keep thinking that I want to run 12 miles just to know that I can...after all if I can do that I should be able to squeeze out that last 1.1 mile, right? But I'll follow the taper and hope for the best. I don't regret taking up has shown me what I can do if I really set my mind to it which is something I have lost in the last couple of rough years. It's been painful at times, but as the saying pain, no gain!

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