Training Widget

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Candor is the Word of the Day

I have reached the point where the anticipation of the Saturday long run leaves me with a queasy tummy. Thankfully it always subsides once I get moving, but there is now no uncertainty whatsoever that there's going to be some point in the run where it gets really, really, reallllllly hard. I never know when exactly the struggle will come, or if it's going to be physical, mental, or both; but some sort of hardship is now a given.
As the map above shows, we didn't complete the loop. Today's schedule said 18 miles. The route that the run club powers that be settled on said 19.something. In actuality, I think it was 18.something. Ultimately we ran 18.0 and ended with a cool-down walk.
I ran with Chris and Tiff, who I've done some personal training with and is nothing short of awesome. All somewhat intimidated by the thought of such a long run, we were intent on starting with a slow and steady pace. We did very well on that front.
Avg Pace

I am trying (and for the most part succeeding), on seeing this as a victory due to the fact that my struggle didn't come until somewhere between miles 15 and 16. Holy cow, though, when fatigue reared its ugly head today, it did so with a vengeance. My heart and lungs were doing fine, my mental state was alright, but my legs just got so very tired and heavy. It was a level of muscular fatigue that I had not previously encountered. In looking at my splits, I am nothing short of stunned to see that mile 18 was one of our quickest miles. Because it was damn hard. I apologize for my sometimes less that pristine language, but I feel this certain struggle requires an expletive.
While I'm pleased to be done and pleased by our final split, I'm a tiny bit discouraged by the way I felt at the end. I repeat that I expect the struggle, but when we were standing around at the end with our fellow run club members, everyone seemed to feel wayyyyyy better than I felt. While I'm overjoyed for them, I cannot deny a twinge of jealousy. I fully confess that this is stupid, but this blog is my journal and its readership is limited; so candor is the word of the day.
Final thoughts on the run:
I finished. Being that I don't have a marathon goal other than finishing, this counts as a victory. Last week I downed a Gu every five miles. The thought of downing so many Gu's during the long runs and the actual marathon scares me a bit, so I decided to try to stretch it out to one every six miles. For a run of this distance, that was perhaps a mistake. Having one at 5, 10, and 15 today might have made a slight difference in the way I felt. Or, maybe it wouldn't have. I guess we'll never know, as there won't be any 18 mile runs in my near future. Next week is our final long run, a 20 miler. I need to come up with a fuel plan between now and then. Today's run is done, I ran more than a lot of people could even dream of running, and, most importantly, I completed the goal set before me. Life is good.

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