Wednesday, September 11, 2013

24 miler with a not so fast finish.

Ask any marathoner if he or she is going to do another one the moment they just finish, and probably 90% of the answers would be a resounding “no”.

While the pain and suffer are fresh in the mind, repeating the effort seems out of the question. Give it a few months and the pain subsides. The memories of the stress fade. The desire returns.

Much the same can be said of my training right now. Funny how easily I forget the tired and sore legs that come with all of the marathon mileage.

This was never truer than on this past Saturday afternoon. I was looking to do my 24 miler with a fast finish workout so the idea of running 19 to 20 miles and then running a 5k sounded perfect. I guess in theory it does sound perfect. In reality, it was not.

A combination of the temperature being in the upper 80s with plenty of humidity, and a loose dirt and grass circuit left me setting behind my CRV drinking water as fast as I could.

I started my running around 2:30 PM and had a little over 19+ miles by the time of the 5k race. The first 10 to 15 miles did not feel that bad. I had already drunk over 40 oz of a Nuun/H20 combination and was taking my cliff blocks.

But the miles were starting to add up.  At 19, I was not feeling the greatest. In fact, I felt pretty much dead on my feet.

The horn sounded, and I had to “will” my “feet” to move.

About a mile into the course, we turned on the grassy section and I had nothing. Even going downhill I was not making any headway.

Back to the trail and then back on the grass again, I was moving forward but mainly it was on “autopilot”.

The course finished with a 200 to 250 meter uphill stretch. It could have been 2 feet for all that I know. My head was hung forward. I was staring at the ground.  Several guys went sprinting by me. I only momentarily paused at the finish line before heading off to find some more water. I soaked down another 3 bottles which did little to help me.

I finished off my run with a “slow” 2 miles and as I said, I just sat behind my CRV.

I did it to myself.

In my opinion the more miserable the training, the better the mind is able to handle the stress of race day. In my case, I feel like I have stressed my mind enough for one training cycle.

I am sharing this post because we all go through tough marathon training cycles. Knowing good days and bad days happen to everyone make life a little easier to bear.

Remember what goes up must come down, but what goes down must come up as well.



Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

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