Okay, I started this last night when it was still a little fresh in my mind, but somehow the post got lost. So, I’ll try again!
Even after last week’s long run of 15 miles went fine, I was a little intimidated by the sound of “17 miles”. One of the things that I kept thinking about was how to carry everything. I need water, my phone for emergencies, my gps watch, my gps receiver, money and ID, Gatorade and multiple gels. It’s a lot of stuff for a gal who just likes to walk out her front door and run, ya know? The other thing that was concerning me was my route. I don’t like having a preplanned route that I have to stick to. I thought I might, but I found out I just like to run where the whim takes me and it saves on the head games. When I did 14 miles, I ran an out and back course, and boy I was hard on my self. My pace showed it too. I’m not really worried about my pace at this point, just seeing if I can do the mileage is where I’m at right now.
So, last week, my gps lost signal, and I had to guess on my mileage. It ended up being all I though about once I didn’t know where I was in my mileage. Where do I turn? Which route to take? When to head for home? Will I be short? You’re getting the idea.
I did a couple maps to figure out a general idea and to have something to go off of if the gps lost signal again or the batteries die on me (add that to the list of things to carry). I woke up Sunday and started getting ready. Corbin actually let me sleep all night long (well I got up once for ME to eat, but he didn’t), so I felt ready to wake up and not tired. I fixed coffee and Gatorade, and enjoyed my energy bar with some coffee. I donned my running clothes, gps, and tucked two dollars under my watch strap. I filled a 12 oz sipper with water and packed three gels in the pocket on the back of my running shirt. I continued to putz around for a while wondering if I should wake Corbin to nurse. I knew he would be fine, but I was worried about my sports bra fitting through another three hours. So, it was already after 7am, so I did wake him and that turned out to be a good idea.
All the boys (except Ben) were awake by now, so I gave my instructions and said my goodbye’s and off I went. I ran twice around my neighborhood before heading anywhere to loosen up and kind of decide which way I wanted to go. I was having very mild shin pain and wanted to make sure that’s all it was. It also was good to know I was down to 15 miles remaining just as I left the safety of home.
After becoming neurotic about my pace a few weeks ago, I decided to just run what felt right and not worry about doing the 10%-20% slower than race pace. I had kept fighting with myself to slow down and it was just becoming miserable. So I was running faster than I thought I should, and started to become a little worried about what the final few miles would bring. I quickly dismissed that to just be able to enjoy this beautiful day and great run.
I decide to eat my first gel at mile 5, second at mile 10 and if needed the third at mile 15 to help me get home. Although I only have enough water to eat two gels and no sipping in between. This is why I seriously need a fuel belt! As my friend Eksmom can attest, I can seriously perseverate when I am thirsty. Poor woman had to run with me at dingofest as I constantly talked about and searched for water. She should have told me to hush up since neither of us had anything to drink and I am sure she was just as thirsty as I was, but that just shows how darn nice she is!
Gel at mile five, I am happy that my pace is continuing to linger around 8:30 minute miles. Occasionally I’ll look and fine 7:47 and 9:13, but mostly 8:30. I’m really wondering how the miles 15-17 will be but keep trying to just stay in the moment. Mile 10 comes so I take the second gel and the last of my water. I seriously start thinking of ditching the water container and calling Ben to bring me something, but hold onto to it so that I don’t’ have to drive back out to get it and maybe some one will have their hose on.
A few miles after 10, I start to really get thirsty, and that’s all I can think about. Right about mile 12 Ben calls me asking if I want some Gatorade and that they are just sitting down to breakfast. I tell him that would be heavenly but to call me when they would be ready to leave and see if I have made it to a gas station to buy something to drink yet. That way he won’t have to bother. He agrees and I come to an intersection where there is a school on the corner. I see another runner go into the parking lot and behind the school. It looks as though he has been running a while and I figure he knows where to find water. When I run around the building I find him stretching by a cold bottle of water. I ask him if there are any fountains on the outside and he said no. I told him to have a good run and decided I had to check for my self (perseveration).
As I am running around the school, Ben calls back and asks where I am and if I want him to come out. I ask him to come since I am further from the gas station than I thought and really thirsty. Please bring Gatorade and water (the water to take the final gel). Right after hanging up, I found a water pump but couldn’t’ get any water out, drat! So, knowing he was on his way, I kept running and left the school grounds. I know that I only have 4 miles left now, so I start to head for home. I kept looking for Ben thinking that he should have found me by now and boy was I thirsty. I pass a lady putting her kids in the car and really think about asking her for water. I figure that’ll be the time Ben finds me and won’t that be dumb. So I keep running. Finally Ben calls me again (glad I brought my cell phone!). “Where are you??” he says. He thought he knew a short cut, and now he has to turn around to find me. So, by the time he gets to me, I’m at mile 14 of the run and so darn thirsty. I know I shouldn’t’ but cant’ help but chug some Gatorade, then take my gel with water, then fill my container with Gatorade. Ben is telling me something but I only hear about three words. I tell all of them thank you and hand out the rest of the drinks to the kids, and take off for home. Only three miles to go and I feel fine.
Although, I took so much fuel at that stop (I was stopped for maybe 3 minutes), that now it feels like I have a brick in my stomach sloshing around. I figure there really isn’t’ anything that I can do about it now, and that I am going to buy the darn fuel belt no matter what it costs so I can have a drink when ever I want. As I am getting closer to home, I start thinking that I have already run twice around the neighborhood, that I really don’t’ want to get stuck running through my neighborhood any more so I’m going to run through this neighborhood about a mile from home and I know it will give me a mile and a half. Okay people, I obviously could not calculate at that time as I was at 15.5 miles already!!! Add another mile and half and what do you get, 17 miles!! I don’t’ realize this until I’m mostly through this other neighborhood that I’ll still have that mile to get home. I contemplate walking it as a cool down, but I’m so ready to be home and celebrate that I did it. I decide I’m happy that I already did the 17miles that I set out to do at a much faster pace than I thought I could do the whole time, that I’ll run as much of that extra mile as I feel like to get me home faster. If I decide to walk some that’s fine too. I end up running it at 6 something pace and 7:15 pace not even realizing it. I figure if I still have the umph to do that good on an extra mile I can pat myself on the back about now.
I get to my street, having run the full extra mile and walk the 10th of a mile home to loosen up. I promptly jumped into an ice bath to relax, took a shower and ate a grilled cheese sandwich while playing with the boys in the back yard. I did a little stretching and some massage and actually felt really good for keeping such a fast (for me) pace the whole time and not needing to stop and walk.
I had trouble taking a nap, and sleeping last night, I’m not really sure why. I have had more shin pain and some pinching in my left SI joint. I also have had pain on my left foot bunion (I have really bad bunions; have had them all my life). I never had bunion pain due to running before, so a little worried about that. The rest of it I think is manageable with stretching/yoga, massage, and if needed ibuprofen. This week my mileage is 10 miles less, so looking forward to working out the kinks of those little pains.
Thanks for making it this far!!