This probably wasn’t my greatest idea. Eric, my coworkers and many of my friends provided varying assortments of disdain, sarcasm and mockery when i announced my afternoon plan to conquer the 26.2. I suppose I expected some support and encouragement, but… well…. most of you are just assholes! That’s why I love you. As Eric said when I waddled into sight after this run, “You’re an idiot.”
I hit the trail after work, meaning I had already spent much of the day on my feet. I was well hydrated and nourished though, for once!
The first bout of discouragement came right away.
I finally got a copy of Born to Run from my library. Within the first few pages the author describes a sharp searing pain stabbing through the middle of his foot, as if he’d stepped on a nail. I was pondering this smugly, happy to say I have been injury free through my Noobdom so far, when I practically swan-dived off the trail as a jolt of pain ripped through my right arch.
I stopped and tried to keep my cool (there was a cute old man behind me on his afternoon walk and I didn’t want to freak him out with any convulsions or Klingon curse words). I tried to find a way to stretch… My arch? I had NO IDEA how I might do this, so I kinda tried to bend my foot in half on the ground, toes curled, mashed downward. I know. It wasn’t making sense to me either. Then I figured the old leg swirl might confuse whatever this was. So I kept the toes planted and whirled my leg in a circle over it. This is a crowd pleaser, and I hope the man was inspired by it.
The pain never left me. For TWENTY. FIVE. MILES. It DID dull out though… And was joined by other pains to keep me distracted from it.
I started this run intending to hold a 10:00 pace. I figured this was realistic based on my other runs. By the halfway point, I was struggling hard to hold this pace. My legs, especially my Achilles, were killing me. Those have never hurt before! Why am I still experiencing new pains? By mile 16 I was officially done. My gnomie Loïc had warned me earlier in the day to not get burned out and not hurt myself. At 16 miles I gleefully realized I was doing both! I hurt all over and wasn’t able to run with any sort of a form. I was shuffling along as all my muscles were getting tighter and tighter.
DIG DEEP. GUT IT OUT.
CALL ERIC FOR RESCUE! Yup! Thats what Jeannie does when things get tough. (Un)fortunately, Hubby was 6 miles from the car on his own 12 mile run! The sun was getting lower and it was getting colder and colder so I texted back that I would keep moving to stay warm.
Just getting moving again was a shameful display of more Klingon, a quick burst into tears and lotsa grunting. There was an adorable hipster boy taking his skinny jeans out for an evening stroll and he was probably the ideal witness for my emo display.
At some point, I realized I could finish my marathon. Soon after, I discovered I couldn’t bend my ankles. My Achilles were playing dueling banjos and I was bobbing my head along with the music. My pace drifted from my 10:00 rapidly down to 12:00 and on to 13:00.
I had another emo burst- this time positive- with 5 miles to go. Though I’m sure I looked absolutely ridiculous shuffle/waddling along, I was proud of myself. I also suspected Eric lied to me about being 6 miles from the car so I would have no choice but to press on. I was proud of him for his deceit and glad I fell for it. Eric also sent me a picture of ten mallard babies… Adorable!
All of these positive thoughts hung out for- oh, maybe a tenth of a mile.
Somehow I finished… I screeched to a halt (not hard when you’re moving as slow as I was), yawned, and was completely emotionless. Underwhelmed.
Oh yeah… I also posted that I ran my first ultra. I thought I was being hilarious, having ran an extra tenth of a mile over a marathon. No, self. A marathon is 26.2, not 26.1. So if any of you saw that post… That’s a minute of your life. Spent in confusion. You’re welcome.
After four hours of sleep, Eric and I hit the road, Kentucky bound for rock climbing at the Red River Gorge. This morning I am sore. I’m, unfortunately, still underwhelmed. I’m not happy about the weird pains that hit me yesterday and I’m questioning my training.
It’s cool knowing I can finish a marathon. And now I have a nice cushy PR that should be cake to beat.
Mostly, I’m just really excited to taper. I feel like I’m going to be a PRO at tapering!