Posted by: runawaynotes | November 17, 2012

I survived

This is the best way I can summarize this past week. I survived. I survived sleep deprivation (I’ve been getting between 4 and 6 hours each night). I survived long hours at the office (with personal “worst” being 2 am and 5:30 am departures). I survived the crazy stress. And, most importantly, I survived the 22 mile run this morning.

Even though I’ve already done similar distances (18 and 21 miles), this one just took a toll. There are several perfectly valid reasons for this, of course. First, this is the very end of my training program (I only have 3 weeks of tapering left, yay!). So, my body is already feeling beaten up an abused. Second, there’s the little sleep deprivation issue, plus sleeping at odd hours (6 am to 11 am, anyone?). Finally, the course itself today was pretty rough because we had to go through several construction zones and traffic lights. So, there was a lot of stopping and going, and jumping over debris, and trying to avoid potholes. So, all these things combined can definitely account for why my poor feet and knees started to fail me at mile 20. But let me back up a little.

The first 8 miles of the run were absolutely wonderful. The temperature was perfect (low 40’s). The humidity was low. I got my layers just right, so I was perfectly comfortable. And, most importantly, I was so excited to be out there and to be running! I’ve been stressing about being able to do this run for this entire week. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to work all Saturday. Yes, my boss told me that enabling me to reach my personal goals, such as running a marathon, was one of his priorities as my leader. But obviously all bets would be off in case of some work-related crisis. In addition, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in any shape to run (and finish) this distance. The sleep deprivation and the steady diet of take-out (I was eating about 80% of my meals at the office) were definitely not putting me in my top running shape. But I told myself that I was going to get out there and try to do my best no matter what. I have worked too hard for the past few months, and this run was just way too important to me to just give up on it. So, I was absolutely ecstatic that I could get a (temporary) break from work on a Saturday morning and make it happen.

After we hit the mid-point, the going got a little tougher, but I could still honestly say that I felt better running than I would have felt being stuck at the office (which was my other alternative for 9 am). We ran through Uptown and downtown neighborhoods today, so we hit a lot of traffic lights and construction, and the “stop and go” thing definitely started to mess with that rhythm that your body seems to find naturally during long runs. Still, like I said, way better than being at the office. However, after about mile 18, the office no longer seemed like such a horrible alternative. At least there would be a chair at the office. And no burning sensation in the soles of my feet. And no aches in my hips and knees. I started to sway and stumble a little bit. The last 2 miles were pure misery. I started to pick up my feet funny just to aleviate the pain in my knee joints. If I stepped on my right foot a certain way, my (previously injured) knee would start to buckle. And my arches have graduated from burning sensation to “being jabbed with sharp needles” sensation. The temptation to walk was starting to become overwhelming.

I’m proud to say that even though my paced has dropped to a 12:30 crawl, I still kept on jogging forward. I finished the frickin’ run. And with this run, I finished the “sharpening” phase of my training program. I’m officially in “tapering” phase! Wooo-hooo! Now I’m just supposed to maintain my usual Mon-Thurs morning runs, and do much more manageable 12 mile, 9 mile, and 2 mile Saturdays. And then, in 3 weeks, the big day will finally be here! And even though I’ve gotten a pretty good taste of how miserable I’m going to be at the end of it (I’ve still not regained my ability to walk normally), I am so excited!

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Responses

  1. Woo hoo! Awesome job on the 22 miler! Enjoy your taper now, don’t let it drive you crazy (because it WILL), and know that you’ll be ready for the marathon in three weeks. So exciting that you’ve already made it this far. Can’t wait to hear all about the race.


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