Saturday, April 20, 2013

Run Long, But Maybe Not This Long...

I ran 16 miles today, which is kind of an exciting milestone for me. 16 miles is officially the farthest I have ever travelled on foot in one day. The Grige and I did a few 15 mile days when we were backpacking in Yosemite. They were killer, because they ended up coinciding with our biggest elevation changes. Unlike running, backpacking downhill is about the most painful thing a person can do. Our first 15 mile day ended with 8+ miles of rocky, miserable downhill. The views were amazing, but I've never seen the Grige so miserable, and I wasn't much better.

Trust me, you don't want to have that much mountain still in front of you at sunset. Ever. 
I've never forgotten that day, and my last two long runs have proved that 15 miles is indeed a formidable distance for the human feet/legs to travel in one day. last week, I really fought through the last two miles. This week, I had to fight through the last 4 miles. I may have cried a little bit around mile 14, and only visualizing finishing the marathon kept me moving forward (right around granny speed-walking pace).

So here is the deal: It's scary to have the long runs be this hard. I have been unbelievable lucky to have had amazing 50 degree sunny days for both runs. I've also not had a single gastro issue in two weeks (YES!!!). But I still end up collapsing on my porch at the end of the runs before I can attempt our front stairs. Also, I am SLOW. My last 2 miles today had close to 14:00 min splits. That is DEPRESSING. 26.2 miles feels impossible after today.

I'm really hopeful that this is just a tough barrier that my body will push through in the coming weeks. It's been 3 weeks since my last step back, and I think it's time for another. I'm planning to do a slow swim tomorrow for recovery, which brings me to a new gear addition! THE STICK.

Recovery has taken on a whole new meaning for me lately - I'm almost ready to give in on those stupid compression socks. But for now, this thing, in addition to my foam roller, is WHERE IT'S AT. It feels so good. In concert with some backwards running, this has really ironed out my quad issues. My recovery strategy has also expanded to include recovery foods, like pineapple and bananas. For example: I'm drinking a delicious pineapple mojito tonight! It's the ultimate recovery tool.

Here's hoping my 18 miler in two weeks is easier. I need to get a long run winner in before we head to Greece!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like training is going great. I wish wish wish I could find it for you, but I can't -- somewhere out in the internets there is a great post about the whole point of long runs and reading it was what really made it click for me. They are supposed to be REALLY hard. They are supposed to break you down completely. And then at the end, you taper and you regroup and then you are ready for the marathon. So if it's really hard, you are doing it right!;)