With summer vacations and back to school mayhem it’s been a while since I sat down to write about my running adventures. So what should I write about? A lot has happened in the past month. After some debate I’ve decided to write about my 20 mile marathon training run this past weekend. I’ve decided to write about that run because in short- it was TOUGH!
The run started out fine. I had a 6.7 mile loop mapped out that I was going to run 3 times. The loop started and ended at my house so I knew I’d be able to refill my water bottle and make any necessary pit stops. The first loop was awesome. I felt really good and wasn’t too down about the fact that I still had 2 more loops to go.
The second loop also went well, but at the end I was cursing the very hilly last 2 miles of the loop. Who laid out this route anyway and what was she thinking ending it with so many uphills?
Then I started my third loop and a couple of miles in I starting thinking, “Wow wouldn’t it be nice if I was training for a half marathon? I’d be done already. I could be home soaking in an ice bath with my chocolate milk and thinking about the rest of my day.” Instead I still had about 4.5 miles left and my legs were now beginning to feel like dead weights that just didn’t want to be moved by any amount of force or will power. They wanted to stop, sit down and take a very long nap, perhaps never to move again.
When I reached the 17 mile mark I told myself that I only had a 5K to go. I can run a 5K in my sleep so this would be no big deal. I repeated this to myself several times, but then my legs had a response of their own, “Sure you can run a 5K in your sleep, but not after you’ve already run 17 miles you IDIOT! What the heck are you thinking?” Then it occurred to me that the last 2 miles of this easy-peasy 5K would be mostly uphill. My legs were pretty much in open revolt at this point and I had little control over them so I started thinking about how I could manage to get a ride home.
First, I thought maybe my husband would drive by coming back from some errand and I could flag him down. My brain reminded my legs that it was doubtful he’d let me hitch a ride. He might chase follow me all the way home, but he’d never let me open the car door.
So who else was there? I thought of Alison, my winter running buddy, but she’s training for the NYC marathon too so she’d never give me a ride. She’d give me one heck of a pep talk, but ride- no way! Next on my list were my other running buddies, Mercedes, Jane and Annemarie. I crossed them all off the list quickly because again they’d give me a pep talk, but they wouldn’t help me quit.
I started going through the list of my local female friends and then it dawned on me (at least the very tired, somewhat delirious part of me). The women wouldn’t stop for me. They would never fall for the damsel in distress routine. I needed to think of some male friends that I could con honestly show I was in desperate need of their manly help. The first named that popped into my head was Dave, but I scratched him off the list quickly because he’s run 3 marathons himself. He’s been a great supporter, but he would not give me a ride. Darn it! Who else? There was Chris, but he’d told me yesterday that he was leaving for a business trip. Then the name came to me- Rodger. He might take pity on me. It was possible. My legs told me that Rodger was my last hope. By mile 19 I was actually looking at drivers as they passed to see if they were Rodger even though I wasn’t all that close to his house. Maybe if the gods were smiling on me he’d pass by and take pity on me.
Alas, Rodger didn’t pass and I slowly reached the last half mile of my 20 mile run. I felt like I was almost crawling, but I did will my legs to move that last half mile and I completed my 20 mile run.
I was thrilled to see my house and my two girls out front. Rachael started yelling when she saw me and I thought, “Oh how sweet, she’s cheering for me.” As I got close enough to hear her words I realized she was cheering because now that I was finished she wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store with daddy. She and her sister could stay home and bug me while I took my ice bath. And here I thought she was proud that I’d finished.
At least I was proud and VERY glad that no one had passed and given me a ride.