Oh, where to begin? Let’s start with the poor preparation. As I mentioned in the last post, running didn’t seem to make it on to the schedule this week. Not once. So, I was a little concerned about my long run. Do you remember what happened the last time no midweek running happened? And that was only a seven mile long run (which, incidentally, was what I thought my midweek run would have been on Wednesday)? No? Let me refresh your memory. It was awful. I thought I was going to die and that was only seven miles.
In an attempt to make this long run as painless as possible, I first decided that this had to be a one way run, so I called my dad Friday (I was worried I would get home after he was already in bed) and asked him if he would pick me up at the end of my run and take me back to my car. He said, “Of course” and then I told him I’d call when I got to the end and tell him where I was on the trail. I figured I’d be starting about 6:30, so I told him I should be done by, or before 9:30.
Then, I made sure to be as prepared as possible before I went to bed. I got home early Friday night, after a fabulous HSM2 party. I planned to leave really early to avoid any possible heat issues. Then, when I got home Friday night, I discovered, as I laid out my running garb (clothes, energy stuff, fuel belt, etc.), filled my water bottles and put them in the freezer (thanks for the tip, Holly) I discovered that my socks, the ones I know work on long runs, were dirty. So sad. I put them in the washer (with a full load…I’m no water waster) and then headed to bed, deciding, since I had to dry the socks, I would get up at the same time, and just start my run a little later. Yes, that’s how I feel about my socks. It’s 16 miles. I’m not going to risk blisters with socks I don’t know.
The nice thing about having a little extra time for the sock drying was that I remembered to eat. I have discovered that Power Bars and Cliff Bars are really the only thing I can eat before a long run. I ate my Vanilla Crisp Power Bar, greased my body (remembering last week’s painful underarm chafe-age), put the running clothes on (sans socks and shoes), pulled my hair up, I pulled my water bottles out of the freezer (thanks for the tip, Holly) and then I finally noticed the faint sound of drops on the roof, rain drops. That’s right. No wonder it looked so dark. I knew, when I began this training, that inclement weather was likely to happen for at least one long run and so, I had already decided that it was not going to stop me.
I donned my nice warms socks and shoes, grabbed my stuff and headed out. I headed up the canyon. While the rain at my house had slowed to a drizzle, such was not the case up South Fork. It was raining. Hard. I had made this decision months earlier, so it was not a question that I would be getting out of my car and running. It actually felt fantastic to be out in the rain. I haven’t run in the rain in ages, at least not in a downpour. I was loving it. And then it slowed.
The rest of my run passed about as expected. It was long and hard. And by the end, I thought I might not make it. I hit 14.5 miles and I had this thought…”I’m almost there”. Well, the problem with thoughts is that your body often communicates them to your body and “almost” in my head and “almost” in my body are two very different things. It took everything in me to keep going. And, at this point, walking, which I needed to do on occasion for my heart, was probably the worst thing for my poor knees. It gave my body time to realize just how much pain it was in, and it did not want to cooperate. Somehow, I kept going.
I also decided at the 14.5 mile mark, that I would do the last 1.5 miles as an out and back, because I had just passed an intersection I knew and it would be easy to tell my dad where to pick me up. When I hit the turn around point, I couldn’t do it. I knew my body would quit. At that same moment, there was a slight break in my music, and I heard my phone ringing. I was almost there. .75 miles to go. There would be no phone answering. I kept pushing and pushing. I had to finish this damn run (sorry about the expletive…but that’s what I was really thinking).
Finally, it was over. I had conquered my 16 mile Goliath. I called my dad. He was already out and about…looking for me? It was after I got off the phone that I listened to my message. I should have saved it so that I could write it down word for word. Basically, it went something like this, “Chloe, this is Dad. Just wondering where you’re at. You didn’t answer your phone (really, is that why you’re leaving me a message?). I hope you’re not dead on the trail somewhere. I’m going to head out and start looking for you.”
And that was the highlight of my run. I was laughing so hard. I know it’s probably not that funny to you, but it was just what I needed. I told him I’d be done around 9:30, so when it was 10:00 and he hadn’t heard from me, he started to worry. He called me three times. I seriously adore my dad. I got the same feeling I had when he called and woke me up at 3:45 am last Monday because he hadn’t seen my car. I don’t think he worried as much about me when I was a teenager. It’s really quite cute.
Anyway, today my body is definitely sore. Part of it, I’m sure, is that I didn’t stretch after. I know, it’s horrible, but when I called my dad, I still had about .4 miles to go to get to where he could pick me up and I was moving at snail’s pace. I think an old lady with a walker could have out paced me. Seriously. And all I kept thinking, once I stopped laughing after listening to the message, was, “Wow…and my body is supposed to go 10.2 miles farther than this. Huh.”
My playlist, once again, was the same, with the exception of slow songs. Although, after this run, I’m ready for a change, so look for a new playlist next week.
And here’s a great post someone else wrote. Check it out.