Day 70 of 112-Long Run-20 #buses, #planes, #cars
Thursday marked the fourth of our five 20-mile runs. Yeah! Four down, one to go—more on the run a little bit later in the blog. Thursday also marked another road trip for me to head to my other cousin’s collegiate graduation. Zachary E. Clark, like me, his sister, and his father before him, is graduating with a degree in Journalism. I am heading to the home of the University of Arizona Wildcats where Zach has been working his tail off to break into sports journalism-radio, tv, print, social media. So, not unlike the plug I made last weekend on behalf of his sister…..If any of you out there are in a position to hire, or know someone who is in a position to hire, a young, smart, incredibly passionate young man in a sports-writing/broadcasting related capacity, give me a call!!!
Here is how my day shook out Thursday:
- 4:45-Woke up.
Fed dog and give her meds, fed cats and give the one cat her meds, weighed in (Yeah! I’m down .4 of a pound—better than nothing), ate breakfast.
- 5:15-Got dressed.
- 5:40-Left for Christy’s house.
- 5:54–Arrived at Christy’s house—on time for the second week in a row.
- 6:05-6:10-Departed from Christy’s house.
(Commentary about run is posted at end of blog. I didn’t want it to disrupt the flow of the time line).
- 10:00 a.m.-Arrived back at Christy’s
Stretched, downed a pint of fat-free chocolate milk, ate an apple.
- 10:55-Took 15-minute ice bath.
During which I contemplated how sad it is that I can not get my iPhone to play Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” and, at the same time, have my iPhone video work so that you all would have access to video of me singing “I am Woman” while submerged in several inches of water and ice.
- 11:10-Empty the tub, peel off soaking wet clothes, and start warm shower.
- 11:28-Get out of shower.
Hope that hot water so closely after ice bath is not going to result in permanent nerve damage in my feet since I appear to have lost range of motion in my feet/ankles.
- 12:00-Leave for Bruggers Bagels to pick up my my traditional, post, long-run meal—bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwhich on a toasted sesame bagel with green peppers, a café-sized Mediterranean salad, Mesquite BBQ chips, and la piece de la resistance….a can of very cold mountain Dew.
- 12:25-Get home and start eating
- 12:30-Doug comes home to say, “Goodbye.” Horray!
- 12:40-Have Doug assist me with uploading the Garmin GPS data so I can see how I did.
- 1:00-Doug drops me off up the street to catch the Michigan Runner bus, which will take me to Detroit Metropolitan Airport for my flight to Denver/Phoenix/car ride to Tucson.
- 2:15-Arrive at airport, check bag, and get through security.
- 2:30-3:15-Walk up and down the concourse to get exercise for my legs.
- 3:20-Take my meds to combat the anxiety that generally consumes me when I fly.
- 3:40-Do some in-seat stretches before I get on the plane
- 3:55-Board the plan
- 4:00-Find out that my not only is there a vacant seat in my row between me (aisle) and the woman at the window, but am thrilled that the woman at the window in seat 1A has with her a 2-year old black lab named Sven who is a leader dog. She is taking him to meet his blind person. He is such a good boy, but doesn’t really like the flight.
- 5:30-Start blogging
- 5:20 MT/7:20 EST-Arrive at Denver Airport, have 50 minutes until second plane departs.
- 5:25 MT/7:20 EST-Place phone calls and texts to both of my cousins confirming I made my connecting flight in Denver and that it is leaving on time-6:10 MT, and that I will arrive on time in Phoenix at 6:59 MT.
- 6:59 MT/9:59 EST-Plane lands.
My uncle calls me and tells me he and my aunt are outside waiting for me. I get my luggage, head to the car, and take off for Tucson.
- 7:15 MT/10:15 EST-I am starving.
My aunt and uncle aren’t familiar with the area so they’re not sure where to eat. I was pretty hungry at this point and said I was fine with pretty much anything, as long as I could try to get something healthy, I could be flexible, I just didn’t want fast food.
- 9:15 MT/12:15 EST-Two hours later, we pull into a Subway in Tucson.
- 9:30 MT/12:30 EST-I check into hotel, eat, unpack, go to bed.
- Wake up at 4:45 a.m.
- Run 20 miles
- Spend 11 ½ hours traveling by bus, plane, and automobile
- Go to bed at 12:30
That’s a 19 hour and 45 minute day.
As I said, this was our fourth 20-mile run, and it was by far the best one for me.
The weather started out at 35 degrees and by the time we were finished it was about 50. The sun was out the whole time and, at times, there was a bit of a breeze.
A lot of things have happened to me over the course of the past 71 days. I no longer spend an incredible amount of time consumed with anxiety about what to wear and how I’ll feel based on what I am wearing and whether or not it was a good choice. That I headed out in 35 degrees temps in a pair of shorts, short socks, short sleeve shirt, and arm sleeves astounds me. The fact that I knew it was going to be 50 by the time I finished helped make that decision easier. All in all, I was very appropriately dressed!
And….one of the bet things I have learned overall, is how to finally keep my hands warm so that they function during the run for such important things like opening my jelly bean packets or being able to pull down my pants when I stop for a pit break. The solution—I wear the “cheap” winter gloves that Christy P let me borrow in January and then pull down my running sleeves to cover them. It’s actually pretty funny. I look like a muppet. “Cheap” is used only in terms of the cost of the gloves, which I suspect were under $5, as opposed to the $30 I dropped on my running gloves that haven’t worked very well and I stopped using them a long time ago.
This was also the first long run for which I didn’t check out what our pace was supposed to be for the run AND for the first 17 miles or so I rarely checked our pace. I felt like I didn’t need to check it because I felt really good.
I had the usual feelings of tight glutes and hamstrings, and I was also “blessed” with some new aches and pains. Shortly after we started, the bottom of my right foot was sore. NO! I do not have plantar fasciitis; so don’t even think of it! After that went away, I was visited with a little soreness in my inner right ankle, but that came and went as well. And I’m still dealing with the occasional soreness on the top of my right knee. I’m not sure if this is residual pain from what appears to be my debacle of wearing compression shorts and pants during the same run.
Speaking of compression pants and socks. I am now wearing the compression pants during the run and the socks afterwards for recovery. Bridgett Smith at Running Fit told me she wears them she flies, so I did to!
At about mile 6, Christy came to the realization that we didn’t follow our intended route, and we were now in the position of having to come up with a few extra miles. No worries, the beauty of GPS running is that it affords great flexibility! So we just did a loop around the entire Briarwood Mall Parking lot. It worked like a charm.
A few weeks ago around mile 10, I was feeling pretty good; and the same could be said yesterday. However, a few weeks ago around mile 14, I was exasperated at the thought of 6 more miles. But today at mile 14-I didn’t really feel any different than at mile 10, and honestly that feeling stayed with me until about mile 16.5. I wasn’t too tired, felt we had a good pace, and was enjoying the weather and, again, the conversation.
At about mile 17 though, I decided to push it a little. I’ve been doing this the past few runs. Not holding back during the runs in the beginning, but running comfortably, and it makes me feel like I have more to give at the end.
It’s amazing what increasing your pace time by up to a minute does to your body. For someone who was feeling so good, I was now was breathing harder, my heart was beating faster, and the bottoms of my feet were getting pretty sore. In addition, I started to focus on stupid things. My head buff started to drive me crazy, although nothing was different at this point from the rest of the run in terms of how it fit or where it was sitting on my head. Also, I realized my fuel belt was out of whack, so I moved it around, but oh no! That was not going to work because then the bottles were moving up and down (at this point it felt like bouncing) and I could “hear” the water sloshing around.
Are you getting a good picture here of what happens to me when things start to get a little hard? I can “feel” my head buffer. I can “hear” the water.
At this point, I start to go into the old “self doubt” mode, i.,e., am I going to be able to run this marathon the way I want to? For the first 98% of the run I was feeling good, I mean really good, like euphoria good; but as soon as I turn it up a notch, I struggle. And I wonder if I can handle a struggle like that for a whole race—on two levels: can I handle it emotionally and physically?
But, I’m choosing not to dwell on it! I’m going to just keep it in the back of my mind for something to be mindful of but not sweat. However, I do believe that when I run this marathon I am going to have to follow the advice/opinion of my Uncle Dan: It’s going to be hell, it’s going to hurt, you’ll have to work hard-but just do it. It’s one run. And I know I can do that. I don’t want to work so hard in a race that it is just terrible for me and I have an awful experience. That’s not worth it. I mean, why do it at that point? I like to run because I like to run. And I like to have fun. And yes, I am competitive and I want to make a certain time-but not just at any cost. So, I suppose, marathon running is like life…it’s all about the balance. We’ll just wait and see how it goes that day. And after all these work outs-all these long runs-all these getting up at the crack of downs, if I don’t make my goal, you know what I will have made? A life-long relationship with Christy Perros. And no race time will ever be able to trump that.
Carry on, friends. Carry on.
PS While I was wrapping up the end of the run on Huron River Drive, I noticed this gorgeous area of trees that I had never really seen before. Thought I’d end the blog with a pretty picture of nature! And a reminder, that some things are more important than running.