My first taper week amounted to an up and down week.
Tuesday, I ran my 2 on 2 off workout which I repeated 17 times during the course of my run. I felt good about these intervals and how my body responded to them. The best part, the “on” intervals were well within my expected marathon pace which was nice confidence buster.
Thursday, I headed out to the Whitewater Center for their evening trail run. There was no race this week but there was still plenty of runners ready to hit the trails at 6:30 PM. I grabbed a quick 8 miles beforehand and then joined in when their run started. This makes for a nice tempo effort on some moderately tried legs.
There were two of us running together most of the run. I could expand out my lead during the open sections but when it was the more technical sections, he would close back up. I freely admit that I am not a great or even a good trail runner. I am not even sure that I qualify as a decent trail runner. But I realize the benefits specifically the strength and stability that it builds in my legs. This makes my effort worthwhile. Afterward, the Whitewater Center is a great place to hang out and listen to some music.
Ah, Saturday was my low day for the week. I made the awful mistake of pushing the start of my 20 miler to 11 am on Saturday morning. There were lenty of clouds around but the heat and humidity were the worst.
To get in my 20 miler, I would be doing two 10 miles loops. I do this because I can refill my hand held bottles. One had Gatorade while the other had water, and I was sipping on them every 10 minutes.
From my very first step, my body just didn’t feel like running. By the time I finished my first 10 mile loop, I was having serious thoughts of stopping.
But I had committed to running my 20 miler this day so I pushed on after refilling my hand held bottles. Miles 11 and 12 were tough. Miles 13 to 15 were a struggle. At mile 16, I kept telling myself that I only had 4 miles to go and I could do it. Mile 17 and 18 were more about putting one foot in front of the other and not walking. Just after 18 miles, I stopped and set down on the curb. I was hot and I felt absolutely terrible. I kept thinking that I could walk the 1 and ½ back to my house. 18 miles was still a good run albeit a little slow at the end. The reality of the situation – all I really wanted to do was just set there on the curb in the shade.
As I have been reminded many times, pain and suffering our temporary. Quitting is forever and once you accept it as an option, it is easier to do the next time. So I rolled over on my hands and knees and pushed myself vertical. The last thing that I wanted to do was take another running step, but I did. Those steps were not fast or high but they were running steps. Mile 19 split flashed up on my Garmin. I had only 1 mile left to run. Don’t think about it. Just do it. I probably check my Garmin 30 times as each 10th of mile clicked off. Finally, mile 20 flashed up and I slowed to a walk.
I knew better than to stop or bend over. If either one happened I would probably passout and hit the ground. This is just how bad that I felt.
A few hours later and several large glasses of water I felt so much better.
Lessons learned from this day. No more mid day 20 milers will be on my training schedule in the future.
Sharing one thought at time
The Cool Down Runner.