Day 38 of 112-Long Run-18 miles-#dnf, #totallyfinewithit
DISCLAIMER: This run took place on Friday, April 6; the blog was written and posted on Sunday, April 8.
The Night Before, The Morning Of
I went to bed at a good early time-10:00 p.m., unfortunately, I was stuffed. It wasn’t that I had a huge meal and dessert, but I had been snacking all day. Going to bed stuffed is definitely going to affect the quality of your night’s sleep, which isn’t good, because that will likely affect the quality of your run, which isn’t good.
The good news is that I slept for three hours straight before getting up for the first time; however, when I got up, I could not believe how windy it was outside. The waves on the water were huge, the wind was roaring, it was also roaring out back. I didn’t sleep well the rest of the night because I was worried about the weather—could I run in weather that windy and more importantly was it going to rain? Rain was in the forecast but only at 30%, but I really didn’t want to run in the rain, especially because Doug was going to be biking with me and it’s miserable to bike in the rain.
The alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. as I wanted to be on the road at 5:00 a.m. The reality is that I got up at 5:00 a.m. and we headed outside at 6:15 to begin the run. It was 77 degrees and the wind was blowing at 22 mph, but the wind was ok, and since the sun wasn’t up yet, it was pretty pleasant and I felt good starting out.
The prescribed pace time was 10:29, and I’m a at a point now where a 10:29 pace is like a run that is “just 6 miles,” i.e., it seems completely doable.
My GPS game plan for this run was I was NOT going to stop the GPS when I just stopped for water or to stretch, the only three times I stopped my GPS was at points 1,2, and 4 as indicated on the chart above, which I knew would be long breaks.
The first four miles were good; however, at mile 5 I started experiencing, as my brother-in-law says, a Code Brown. As soon as that “hit” I started to panic because I wasn’t sure how I was going to take care of the situation and it was all I could think about, which just made it worse. Thank goodness we stumbled upon this park that had a port-a-potty! Yeah!
At this point, I stopped my GPS because we were going to be here a while, because in addition to the pit stop we started to prepare for our next transition. At mile 6, Doug was going to lock up his bike at a gas station so I decided that at this point we might as well make the changes, i.e., I put on the water belt, which meant we had to transfer the water we had from the ice water bottles and pour it into the belt water bottles. I also took my salt pills and my skittles for energy (my magic jelly beans had been accidentally taken back to Michigan so my last minute game plan was a bag of skittles, the sugar content was probably the same, but I think I could have used the caffeine).
So after we left the rest stop we had a little over a mile to go to drop off the bike. When we got there, Doug hopped off the bike, we locked it up, and off we went. I figured that Doug would want to run a slower pace then I had been running, but I was wrong. He was adamant to keep the pace, and we did.
I’m not sure exactly what happened, but when we left the bike around mile 6.5 I was feeling fine, but the next 2.5 miles were tough for me. Our turn around point at mile 9 was in a marina and I started to get really bitchy with Doug. He said turn “left” and there were two left turns, one was more sharp than the other. Why didn’t he see them both and why didn’t he know to take the one I wanted? And then why did he choose a ridiculous way to weave through the marathon to get to mile 9? See where I’m heading with this? When I get snarky on a run like that it’s because I’m struggling. The sun had come up by now and it was starting to get a little warm. At mile 9 I stopped and stretched and I didn’t stop my GPS, which is why mile 10’s time was 11:21.
My next running objective was to just get back to the bike. When we started out to run the 18 miles, I wasn’t thinking at all that I was running 18 miles, I was just running 2, 9-mile runs. I thought the first 9 miles would be a cinch, because I had run them just four days ago and I knew what to expect. So I’d hit the 9-mile mark, then run the 2 miles back to the bike, and then just 7 miles home and that would be it. Easy enough! Right? Um….
I got to the bike at 11.5 and was really hoping it would already be 12 miles. Also, I have not been able to get rid of the chaffing on my front from my sports bra and that was really painful. I spent the last few hundred yards before getting to the bike holding my bra away from my body with my hand. Oh, that wouldn’t be too much of a problem for 7.5 more miles would it? Ha! When I got to the bike I stopped the GPS. We were probably there for 5 minutes as I tried to rig up something to prevent the chaffing pain, drank a ton of water and Gatorade, downed some more Skittles, and stretched.
As we started to run again, I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I have 6.5 miles to run. That seems like forever.” Also, and this was likely because I had been standing around for around minutes, my legs were stiff and dead.
It was around this time (miles 11, 12, and 13) that I started being bossy again to Doug, “Don’t ride so close to the road, stay closer to me, ride in front of me or behind me-I don’t want you getting hit, can I please have my hat, please give me water, etc.”
My times for 11-13 weren’t too bad from a pace perspective, but I was feeling terrible-tired, sore, tight, and hot. I feel like mile 13 was when I really started to pull back because at 13 I stopped to stretch and drink and didn’t stop the GPS and that made mile 14 11:21. When I reached the 15 mile mark I just started to walk, and I didn’t care how long it was going to last. After giving me water right at 15, Doug headed off to the German Bakery to see if they had bagels, which I was eagerly looking forward to eating when we got home. No such luck. When he caught back up to me I started to run again. I had walked .2 of a mile, I had .8 of a mile to go to get to 16, and then just 2 more after that. I. COULD. DO.THIS.
No I COULDN’T
At this point I had run through Siesta Key Village and I was now on the straight- away heading south back to our place and I was running IN ZERO SHADE! The sun was right up in the sky, no trees, I was pounding the pavement and despite the fact that I was loosing it, I had a moment of clarity and thought to myself, “I ran 20 miles four days ago and now I’m running 18 miles.” I counted on my hands and realized there is generally supposed to be SIX days between the long runs. I think this was it for me. I finally reached mile 16; my time was 12:55 because of all the walking I did at the beginning of 15. “What the hell,” I thought. I started to walk again. Doug was now biking to the public beach concessions to see if they had bagels (the man will practically do anything for me to prevent what he sees as a pending meltdown-LOVE him). By the time he caught back up with me at mile 16.3 or something like that I said, “I’m finished. I’m not going to get anything out of running these last 2 miles. In fact, I’ll probably to more damage than good if I keep running.”
At that point, I got on the bike and biked home for 2 miles and Doug ran the last two miles. I had some food, I stretched, I had my second ice bath, I wore my compression socks, I ate lunch, rested, and headed out to the beach.
Post Run Recap
I spent the rest of the day happy—there was no regret at all for stopping short of the 18 miles. Because: 1) I know I can run 18 miles, I know I can run 20 miles, quite honestly, I could probably run a marathon at this point (might not be pretty though); 2) I know I am more susceptible to injuries when I’m tired and not feeling 100%; and 3) I made a decision that was best for me-and that’s all I really have to worry about while training.
DNF? DNC (Do not care).
Carry on, friends. Carry on.