Thursday, September 2, 2010

My runs are all narratives...

...and I think that's one of the reasons I love running so much.  With each step you build a story; you see more things and think about more things and experience more things.  Each mile becomes part of the bigger narrative of my journey and my thoughts.

Saturday's 18 miles was pretty good overall.  I made one major mistake; I always eat a banana before my run in the morning, and I was out of bananas so I had a Larabar.  My thought process was something like:  "Larabars are just made of dates and stuff... dates are fruit, close enough."  I've had half a clif bar before a run before and been fine.  But this Larabar completely tore me up.  I thought I was going to throw up for the first 4 miles, and then started getting lower stomach cramps.  This is really the unpleasant side of running... I was hoping and praying for a port-a-potty at Antrim Park where I was going to end up after 5.75 miles, and sure enough there was one and I started feeling better after that.  Runners' trots...gotta love it.

So no more Larabars, ug.

So I passed by Antrim Park around 6 miles and kept going north to add another 1 mile, then turned back to meet Sam at Antrim.  At that point I had around 8 miles done.  We headed north again all the way to the end of the trail (around where the trail meets the 270 freeway--the outer "loop" of Columbus).  And then we turned back again.  I was feeling pretty rockstar once my stomach was settled, and when we got back to Antrim I was at exactly 15 miles completed.  And that's where the pain started.

I had bandaged that pesky blister from last week beforehand, but somehow the bandage didn't do much.  And my lower back was hurting, and my hips were hurting, and overall I just felt kinda dreadful and exhausted.  The last 3 miles were purely mental for me, which I guess was a good test run for how the end of the marathon will likely be.  I just kept plodding onward, trying to ignore the pain and trying to stand tall even though I was exhausted.  Somewhere around mile 16 I had to tell Sam that I couldn't talk to him any more because I just needed to go inside myself to some kind of hyperfocused happy zone where I wouldn't feel so awful.  I ran the last mile pretty quickly (a 9something pace) because I was hurting so much and just wanted it to be over.

When I finished last week's 15.4 I still had some energy left in the tank and my body didn't feel like it had completely fallen apart, but this 18 took it to a whole new level.  Yikes.  I'm hoping those miles would've gone better if I hadn't started the run with stomach drama and if I had taken a second clif shot, but I'm not sure.  In any case, recovery went relatively smoothly--after 18 miles that morning, I was still able to go that very evening to Easton and walk all around shopping with D.  And on Sunday I was only a little sore.  I'm hoping this is a good sign that my training is just about perfect.  I was definitely still feeling it on Monday's run though--my 5 miles were kinda sloppy and my knees hurt--but I pushed through it.  Last night my lower back was twinging a little bit on the right side and I cut my run short (the first one I've cut short in a really long time).  Tonight I'll do 5, and this is a cut-back week so I'm only scheduled for 13 on Saturday, with a 5k on Sunday.

Next time I want to post about some things I've read about the mental side of marathoning, but for now I should get some work done.


  1. Hey - I just came to you through Goals For the Week. First time marathoner: check; veggie: check; aspiring vegan: check!

    I can also tell you that the first time I ran 18 miles it was hell on earth. Like you, I got up to 16 without any significant problems. But then 18.. whew. It's the pain. If you're running 10-something miles (as I do for me LSRs) then I think it's just about being on your feet for 3+ hours. If it helps though, I've been told that you don't feel the benefits of a long run until 4 weeks later. So don't despair that it's so hard right now.

    My sympathy on the runners trots too. I've had some fueling issues of late. It's a fine balance this marathon training!

    Looking forward to reading how you get on :)


  2. Ugh, I have the SAME issue with Larabars. I find them to be a better post-run snack, but I cannot and will never dare to eat another before a run. :( :(

  3. Alison- Glad to have you here! And it's good to hear that I'll start getting some benefits from that 18 soon :o) Thanks for reading/commenting!