10 More Miles Down…

Happy to be blogging from my couch, with ice on my hip and a glass of wine within arm’s reach. Today was a long day.

My schedule called for 10 miles, which I was bound and determined to get through. My pace leader is nursing a calf injury and was planning on breaking up her mileage throughout the week, but I need to get my endurance back and wanted to prove to myself that I could adhere to the training schedule. I felt like I did everything right leading up to this run: I foam rolled last night, did dynamic stretches this morning, took my pill, ate my banana, got plenty of sleep, and worked it out with my office so that I could come in late – thus running closer to sunrise and not jeopardizing my safety!

I guess the run started off okay, actually I know it did – as has been my habit lately, I was slower from the outset but my pain level was definitely in check. Actually the first 5 miles were fine, now that I’m thinking about it. But right around the 6th mile it started to feel really tough. The first 3 miles were in the direction of the “wind,” (which this morning was more of a very light breeze), and my next 5 were against it – at first it kind of felt refreshing (it was a gorgeous morning, I’ll say that much!), but again right around the 6th mile I actually wondered if I had been running in place – I felt like a turtle. I was going nowhere.

I told myself that once I hit 8 miles I’d be able to turn around and would wrap up the run with the breeze in my favor, but it was still just a huge struggle. Finally I pulled over to the side of the trail to walk it out a bit and told myself I had to get back in the game ASAP. I guess it worked, sort of – I did regroup and I did ultimately finish the run. I came home and was able to do some quick stretching and foam rolling before work, so that was good, but my hip flexors were screaming at me during my walk to the train station and then to work. On both legs.

I was a bit of a mess when I got off the train – usually I really do love my commute (I have a million ways to vary it up), but of course today was the day that the air broke down in the train car I was on. I kept waiting for it to come back on, rather than switch to a different car, and of course it never did. My mom asked me to call her once I was done with the run to let her know how I was feeling, and when I got above ground and made the call, I was definitely shaky. My legs were sore and tired, I was obviously overheated, and my tummy was already in turmoil. I almost broke down on the phone but I knew I had to keep it together for work, so I did.

I just didn’t think this was going to be such a struggle; it may sound weird but I LOVE a 10-mile run. Ever since I trained for the first marathon it’s always been a good distance for me. And I just did 14 on Saturday – this should not have been nearly the struggle that it was. Of course, this was also a very long midweek run – typically I don’t go into work after having run such a long distance. I had tummy troubles all morning long and if I’d been at home they wouldn’t have fazed me, but being at work and feeling so cramped up was just so uncomfortable.

But the day improved; I went for a few walking breaks which definitely helped to loosen me up, and my stomach was back on track by the afternoon. And then two things happened – I’d been emailing separately with two colleagues for work stuff and mentioned the running (they’re both runners) and I got the most lovely messages of support from them both. It made me really grateful and really encouraged and it reminded me how great the running community is. Later, as I was walking home, I ran into a few of my neighbors and they were all just so incredibly supportive and encouraging – one even offered to ride her bike alongside me if I wanted company on a long run, how nice is that?! And the others already promised to come out and cheer me on during the big day (the course route takes me within just a few blocks of where I live). So that was really awesome and uplifting.

And it was one of my colleagues over email who reminded me – hey – if I have to walk, I can walk! So maybe the new game plan should be to lighten up, do what I can with running, and if I need to default to walking after mile 16 or 18 or whatever, do it! As long as I can walk at a good clip I’ll be able to finish the course before they close it, so that’s really comforting to think about.

So that’s where we’re at. Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day and then I’ll wrap up my mid-week runs with another 5-miler on Friday. And then the big 20 will come…every time I come close to worrying about it I tell my brain to shut up, so I’m not going to dwell on it now! Hope everyone is having a nice evening – I am very happy to be going to bed and “sleeping in” until 7!!

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