Monday, July 18, 2011

Training - Week 9 - Week 7 of Marathon Training - Monday - 20 Mile Run - The Worst I Have Ever Felt In My Life

Oh my Lord! Did I not feel horrible today. I am going to be honest and tell you that I don't feel excited for running a personal record of longest distance, I don't feel excited to push my body to a whole new level of training, and I don't feel excited for running 26 miles on September 25th.


Because I don't have the energy right now. I am surprised I can actually type right now. I felt horrible for this entire 3 hour run. I knew this was going to be tough the minute I started. I felt tired after the first mile and I ran that mile at 10:07 pace(I have never ran that slow before in my life!).

Mile 2 - I felt light headed and started seeing spots and color in my vision which is not good. It was also hot out. I woke up at 4 am to eat waffles, drink juice, water, and my coffee and took off at 5 am. It read 85 degrees on the bank at 5:10. Not a good sign for the next three hours.

At mile 2 I was worried about feeling light headed and seeing spots, but I decided to push on to mile 5 and gauge how I felt at that point. I then relaxed and fell into a good groove running, 9:14, 9:01, and 8:54 for miles 3-5. This is right where I want to be.

My strategy is to break the long run into chunks. For this run I stopped at 5 mile intervals to take in a GU, give my legs a quick breather, and then press on. This helps me mentally by breaking the run into 4 x 5 mile runs. By the end of the first 5 miles I felt okay. I refilled by water bottles as I was heading out to the country.

The second 5 mile leg felt like it took FOREVER. The country roads felt like I was running for eternity, but when I looked at my watch I had barely covered any distance. I ran these miles at a good pace, maybe even too fast which would later cost me. I did not realize I was moving at this pace until now and I think this was a cause of my later struggles.

Mile 6: 9:16(this has the walk included in the time)
Mile 7: 9:02
Mile 8: 8:40
Mile 9: 8:36
Mile 10: 8:47

I was brought back to Forest Grove by this point. I remember thinking right then while taking in another GU about wishing I could just stop. I was tired. I just did not have much in my tank. However, if you are aware of where I was you know that  I have no choice but to run. I gathered up the strength to take off. I kept tell myself you can rest again in 5 miles. You can do this. GET IT DONE!

Mile 11:9:58(once again this includes the walk)
Mile 12: 8:44
Mile 13: 8:49

It was at the end of mile 13 that things really started to fall apart. I had to stop and refill my water bottles again. I was sweating so bad and actually at this point my sweating was almost no happening. I was so hot. I could not cool down. My legs were shot. I knew that I had to get to 20 miles and here I was doubting myself with 7 miles left. I was telling myself, "Hey you have made it 13 miles feeling like crap, you can run 7 more feeling like crap." I took off again to get to 15 miles.

At mile 15 I took another GU and had a nice little pace going running Mile 15 in 9:24, Mile 16 in 9:24, Mile 17 in 9:19. And then I ran smack dab right into the WALL.

My body shut down. I got to mile 17 which was on 53rd and I just lost it all. It was like my body locked up. I got the chills. I was COLD! I went from being super hot for 2+ hours and now I was freezing. At this point I wanted to get to 20 miles. I did not want to call it short. I kept thinking of several things to get me through this run(see below). I did not want to damage my body so I took it slow and easy(which frustrated me), but I got it done.

I walked .2 miles of mile 18 and ran the last .8 miles and finished in 10:13. I did the same for mile 19 and had to run even slower to finish in 12:21. Finally mile 20 I finished up in 10:54.

My triceps were quivering and cramping. I had nothing left. I got to my house and my vision started to narrow and I just had nothing left. I pushed my body to its limits, but I got it done. I succeeded. Maybe later when I feel normal I will be pleased with what I accomplished.

I did not blow this wall down, but I did chip away at it and finally managed to make it fall. I would be lying to you if I told I was not worried about running 20 miles two more times in this training. I hope I don't feel this bad again. It started bad, but I held on.

Here are the things that kept me moving towards my goal during this run.

1. The amazing Jeff Paul who took 6th place in the Ironmanhis blog here. You can read about the race here

2. I was also thinking about the amazing stories being shared on TV yesterday when they were showing one of the Ironman races on television. I kept thinking about these people and thinking that if they can fight through their struggles and finish a race that is way beyond what I am doing, then I can suck it up and get my training done. There was an 80 year old man who finished the 2 mile swim, 112 bike, and marathon run. Another man had to walk the marathon as he crashed and had to limp his way to the line. Another man had severe back pain from his chemo treatment. The stories just went on and on. It was so inspiring.

I feel good for staying strong. I feel like crap, but I will have a few days in Wisconsin Dells with my family to relax and recover from the run. I still have 20 more miles to run this week going for my biggest week of running ever and a big milestone for me for several reasons. I hope to maybe get a bike option narrowed down and start to ride on a better bike in the next couple weeks.

I did not give up when I could have easily packed it in. I could have made excuses, but I found a way to GET IT DONE! What are your doing to get it done in your life?

All in all I ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 9 minutes for a 9:30 pace and burned 3467 calories. Time for some food and a quick nap.
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