Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thirteenth Group Run

Let me just say this right up front:  Running 18 miles was HARD.

Chris was in NYC this weekend for a bachelor party, so instead of running with the group this weekend, he ran as much as he could stand to on a treadmill at his hotel (vomit)!  That meant that I was the only one on the team running 18 miles.  That was fine, but coach Kristen had to leave early, so I ended up running most of the 18 miles alone.  That was also fine, but it got a little boring.  I should have brought my iPod!  

We ran the first 3 miles together, then had a water stop where Kristen said to run ahead, as she was going to stick with the half-marathoners for a while.  So I ran, and I think I was running pretty fast.  Maybe too fast.  But I felt good, and when I had another water stop at mile 8, I still felt good.  I had one Starburst and kept going.

Then it was on to mile 9, the turn-around point.  As I was running to it, I noticed it felt like a heck of a lot more than 1 mile to me.  When I got to mile 9, I stretched and headed back.  It was then that I noticed I was really dragging.  By about mile 11, I knew I needed a boost, so I ate one of my Rice Krispie treats.  I immediately felt better, and was able to pick up my pace a little, but it didn't last too long.  I wasn't feeling super thirsty, but I was on the look-put for the bag of water and Powerade that Kate & Erika had left out, because I just wanted a good to excuse to stop for a minute!  Then lo and behold, I spotted the bag, had some water, and kept going. 

Erika caught up with me again somewhere around 13.5.  I took some more Powerade and water, and decided to walk as I ate my other RK Treat.  I was feeling really fatigued by then, and the second treat didn't give me quite the same boost. 

When I was done eating, I ran most of the way to mile 15, with one or two 30-second walk breaks .  I found that they really helped me.   After those short breaks, I felt better for a while.  

Then at mile 15, Erika was there with more water and Powerade.  I complained about how tired I was, and she made sure I wasn't going to pass out, and told me to take the last 3 miles easy.  So, I did.  I took a few more 30-second walk breaks here and there.  For some of that last part, it was so tempting to just stop and walk.  I was not happy to be running, and had to remind myself of why I WAS doing it:  for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  As I got closer to Derby St., I told myself that I could walk in between the last two traffic lights...They're only 1 block apart, but having that small reward in mind worked... I was able to keep going until the first light, took my traffic-light walk break, then ran the rest of the way back.  It ended up taking me about 3 and a half hours all together.

What was weird about this run was the fatigue.  I haven't felt so drained before during a run.  16 was tough, of course, but that was mostly because of the pain in the backs of me knees.   Thankfully, that didn't come back this week;  I just had the usual front-of-the-knee pain, which went away as soon as I stopped running.  I wouldn't have expected such a difference between 16 and 18 miles.  The weather was better for a long run this time, still cool and cloudy for most of it, but without the mugginess.  And this time I'd had a great night's sleep, and had a decent dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of.  So, that's why I think I must have been running too fast for the first part of my run.  I can't think of any other reason why I'd have been so drained by mile 9.

Oh well... As Erika the Wise told me, that's why we practice, to figure out the right pace!  I'll need to keep that in mind.  

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