Thursday, September 24, 2015

20 freaking miles is a long way!

Last Sunday I ran 20 miles.  And it was very hard.  I finished with extremely sore legs and feet and had problems walking anywhere.  I changed my fueling technique as well, so that may have contributed a little.  The reason I changed it was because I was eating 3 Honey Stingers every 2 miles starting at mile 5, and during my 18 mile run I felt great.  However, when I got done, I spent 3 hours in the bathroom on the toilet, and I wondered if it was the amount of Honey Stingers I ate.  Not to mention, having to stop mid-run to poo.  Lots of people have to stop mid-run, but it was a first for me, so it got me thinking about what caused it. 

During my 20 mile run, I ate 1 Honey Stinger every mile starting at mile 7.  A few times I felt really fatigued, so I ate 2 at those times.  And I had no bathroom issues afterwards, but I was tired, really tired.

I also had sore legs for the first time in years.  And on my 5 mile run yesterday, my feet still hurt, not plantar faciitis hurt, but fatigue hurt (thankfully). 

All of this has me questioning again if I can actually run 26.2 miles.  I have not followed the training plan I have been using.  I have consistently skipped 3-8 miles weekly, never my long run, but usually my mid-long run, I only run 5 or less miles instead of 8 or 9.  I just have a hard time wanting to run over an hour after I get home from work in the middle of the week.  I've thought about doing the mid-long run on Saturdays, but then I'm running 8 or 9 miles right before my long run, and I didn't think that would be good for my feet. 

I'm using Hal Higdon's novice marathon training, and it stops long runs at 20, saying that if you can run 20, then you can run 26.2, but I've never been convinced of that.  So I added a couple extra weeks and have a 24 mile run in a week and a half.  Which I'm super worried about now.  But I think if I can run 24 miles, I can run 26.2 miles.  And I'm hoping that since I added the extra long run, it will make up for the lack of mid-long runs.  (I hope.) 

I have been leaving my house for long runs around 10 or 12 and I really don't like leaving that late, I keep thinking while I'm running that if I had started earlier, I'd already be done.  So this run I was going to start at 8am.  I wasn't going to procrastinate, I was going to do it.  I went to bed at my normal weekly bedtime (sometime between 8:30pm and 9) and woke up at my normal weekly wake up time, 5am.  I drank my coffee, ate my eggs, drank water (3 water bottles), used the bathroom, a couple times, and I was ready at 8, just like I planned. 

I really did like doing it so early, not to mention that the marathon starts at 8 anyway, so that means I should try to get used to it anyway. Except for my marathon, I will have to travel an hour before getting there, so I will have to get my coffee, food and water all in very, very early. 

So, 20 miles.  For whatever reason that number is crazy to me.  18 miles was crazy, but 20 just seems crazier.  Maybe because it's 20 miles.  Anyway, I was thinking rather than wing it and end up having to tack on a bunch of miles at the end, I should actually plan out my route this time.  So I mapped a course on  I knew that if I went to 11.5 miles on the last little out and back at the bottom of that map and then turned around I would have 20 miles when I got to a park where there is water and a bathroom.  I asked Chris if he would pick me up there so I wouldn't have to walk home.  Well, when I got to that out and back, there was a very steep hill in front of me and I decided I wasn't going to climb it, not on legs that had already run 11miles, and had another 9 to go, so I turned around, not thinking it would be that much of a difference.  In my tired brain I thought losing half a mile wasn't that bad, not thinking that I wasn't losing half a mile, but a full mile. 

So I ran to the park where I was going to meet Chris, and when I got there, I still had a mile left.  I was exhausted and just wanted to stop.  I almost did.  But I kept going.  I thought that if I went to where Damian picked me up last week (a 15 mile run) I would be good.  I shot Chris a quick text telling him where I'd be and kept going.  And then I got to that spot and I STILL wasn't done, I still needed a half mile.  I was so tired I wanted to cry.  I wanted to sit down in the car and just stop, but 20 miles was the plan, so 20 miles it was going to be.  Chris had Maddox so he could play in the park he was supposed to pick me up at, so I told him to just go to the park and I'd meet them there. And I turned around and finished my run. 

These two pictures were on a new part of my run, one (top)
was looking at the Skagit Valley. Then I turned around and the
second (bottom) was looking at the hills that create the Valley.
My legs hurt, my feet were killing me.  I was dead.  Completely dead.  I collapsed on the grass and just laid there for a little while so Maddox could play some and then Chris took me home.  I couldn't even take a shower, I had to take a bath, my feet hurt so much. 

The park where I collapsed.

I realized right before I went out to run that I was estimating 3 1/2 hours, which is only about an hour and a half less than it take me to drive to my parent's house. That really is crazy.
It only took me 6 hours or so before I felt good enough to walk without feeling like my feet were going to fall off.  I need, desperately need, new shoes.  I am happy to say I'm getting them tomorrow or Saturday. =) 
 And then the Seahawks played, and lost spectacularly.  =(

This week is the first of my "made up" weeks and I only have 13 miles, but I may run more.  Last week I ran 15 before my jump to 20, in 2 weeks I said I would run 24, so maybe 13 miles isn't enough.  I haven't decided but I'm thinking at least 15 again. 

1 comment:

  1. You did it. It hurt, and you wanted to sit down and cry....but you did it!!! And here I am whining about having to do territory for me...and at my speed 2 hours.....I've been berating myself thinking that I'm crazy (the jury is still out).