Saturday morning was my last truly long run before MCM. 21 Miles. Wowsah. While I was not exactly looking forward to a run that long, I knew I could do it, with 20 and 16 milers under my belt in the last 6 weeks.
So, in the 5am darkness on a muggy, rainy, morning, my group and I took off. Although the humidity was brutal, the first loop around the lake was no big deal. Then we turned off the lake and went up into the neighborhoods and hit the hills. (And this particular area has a set of hills known as "The Dolly's" in reference to Dolly Parton's rather generous...curves...ahem. LOL.) Still, we persevered and made it back down to the lake at mile 12. We took a quick bathroom and re-fueling break, then headed back out for one more loop of the lake...and yes, it was still raining.
I hit a really rough spot mentally around mile 18, and I found myself fighting back tears. I was tired, soaking wet, cranky, and seriously doubting my ability to run the first 20 miles of MCM at the needed "beat the bridge" pace. However, my awesome group got me through it and we continued on, finally getting back to our cars and post-run golden oreos (yum!).
|3 of my group members & me post-run...and dripping wet (even though it doesn't look like it in the pic)!|
|Photo proof! 21 done!|
I got home, examined my new blisters (even with tons of lube, with all that rain, blisters were inevitable), took an ice bath, and put on my recovery/compression gear. We opened the doors to the now rain-cooled temperatures and let the cats explore the backyard a bit while I relaxed on the couch. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching a couple movies and the Longhorn football game, virtually "cheering" on a bunch of my friends running the Disney Tower of Terror 10 Miler, and finally I crashed hard around 11pm and got some sleep.
So, now those super-long runs are done for this particular training cycle! It's taper, taper, taper from here on out! The next 3 weekends call for 12, 10, and 8 milers, respectively. Thank goodness - those are going to be some very full weekends anyway, even without trying to squeeze long runs in!
- Do y'all ever have trouble mentally pushing through a run when you know your body can do it?
- How do you deal with race-related fears?
- Any helpful ideas for coping with the stress I'm feeling worrying about pace for MCM?