Sunday, September 7, 2008

First 50 Miles and One Failed Run

Just think: three weeks from now I should be crossing “complete Akron marathon” off my to-do list. But first, some training.

I recovered well enough from last Saturday’s 21-miler to by new shoes from Second Sole, hit a baby shower and get hit with water balloons at a birthday party only after running five miles on Sunday with tired legs and well-equipped feet.

Last week’s total distance: 46 miles. That’s a personal week long, as well as a few miles short of swimming to Wheatley, Ontario. Woo hoo!

So, I recovered Monday with more stretching than a taffy factory and sheer admiration for my new Mizuno Wave Riders (I used to be an Inspire girl, but Second Sole suggested Rider; so far I agree). They’re the right fit, right size, right shape. I have faith that they’ve be A-OK for Akron, but that didn’t stop me from obsessing over the shoes all week long.

Seven miles on Tuesday, ten on Wednesday and four on Thursday (it was supposed to be a 15-miler, but 91 degrees melted my will) set me up well for a 50-mile week. All I had to do: finish the planned 25-miler on Saturday and cool down on Sunday.

It was not to be. The 25-miler, that is.

I woke up early and optimistic on Saturday to cloudy skies and rain, rain, rain. While I’ve never been a fan of rain-running, I wasn’t going to let it stop me from running now. Besides, I’d like to be prepared for whatever condition Mama Nature throws my way Sept. 27. I dressed as normal, found a baseball cap, reconfigured my routes (in case the rain, chills or chafing got too bad, I didn’t want to be too far from home) and flew out the door.

It wasn’t bad heading west into Cleveland for a bit with the rain and wind to my back. Running the remaining 15+ miles into the rain, however, just wasn’t as fun.

I made a water/bathroom stop at home around six miles, when I picked up a mini bottle of Aquaphor to combat the massive chafing exaggerated by the rain-soaked clothes. Because of the damp air, I didn’t feel very thirsty, so I just swigged some water and rushed back out to finish my next segment due east.

When I hit my end point several miles east of home, I kept running until the sidewalk ended, turned and looped around just as the air was drying and the sun playing the tease. I was crossing 12-13 miles when I really started regretting the small water swig and no GU decision at my first stop. I was wholly dehydrated and totally drained. Oh, and about six miles out.

It was a terrific exercise in mind control as I spent about an hour convincing myself to keep running, though I had nothing at all left in the tank. “What would you do if this were the marathon, girl?” Well, I’d probably start walking, self. “I highly doubt that, competitive freak.” OK, watch me, self.

But I didn’t.

I made it home at mile 18, chugged electrolyte Vitamin Water, several glasses of water and ate a bar of something. My legs started tightening super fast and my whole body just didn’t feel right. At first I thought I should rush to get back on the road when I realized it wasn’t a happy run and my body obviously wasn’t digging any of it.

And I turned in. Seven miles short. I showered, ate four bowls of cereal, dressed for a wedding and then ate my guilt away with coconut shrimp and chocolate-covered strawberries. Sigh.

A big difference between this week and last, though, was the feeling in my legs. When I finished yesterday, I stretched through and through, massaged and had Neil rub out some horrible pain plaguing my back and alignment. So, I felt pretty awesome Sunday morning.

After a big breakfast, a nap and some football, I took a run around Neil’s parents’ neighborhood and a local track for 12 miles. Sure, I ran three miles short of last week’s 21, but I recovered much faster. And instead of doing several mid-range runs and one uber run, I completed three pretty good distance days.

While I beat myself up Saturday for not running my 25, I felt better Sunday for the week’s training. My first 50-mile week felt great. And I totally deserved all eight of the chocolate-covered strawberries (and two hulking pieces of wedding cake) I downed last night.

Who knows what the follow week has in store? But what I do know: it’s my last week before the taper. And I live for taper… and dessert.


TrainingtoTri said...

Soemtimes the runs don't go as we plan. It sounds like you handled it correctly. You would have had a hell of a recovery if you had ran yourself into the ground by finishing up. Nice job Gina!

triguyjt said...

awesome week gina...

come in super handy on marathon day

kelsalynn said...

Great job on your weekly totals! You're doing awesome getting ready for Akron. I wouldn't worry too much about your crummy run ... you did a great job at the mental part of pushing yourself to get home but balanced it with listening to what your body was telling you at the same time. I think you made the right decision.

JenC said...

Like Kanye said "what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger" or something like that. You've learned an important lesson in hydration and fueling, which will serve you well come race day!

Great job on the 50 mile week!

Dana said...

I agree that you TOTALLY deserve the strawberries AND the cake. Glad to see that you're not letting a little rain stop you from running.