Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

After slowly easy back into running on Wednesday and Thursday (1 and 1.5 miles, respectively), I took on my planned 4 miler on Friday. It felt good overall, although slow.  I was psyched to do my long run as planned - my first 20 miler - on Saturday.  I wanted to catch my daughter's cross country meet, so I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. (not kidding, on a weekend!), laid out my clothes, fuel and gear, re-taped my toes, and hit the hay at a quasi-reasonable hour.

I woke up Saturday feeling less than enthused, but at least didn't sleep through my alarm (although I did snooze it...). Quickly ate some breakfast, got dressed and was out the door by 5:30. I usually run the first few miles in my neighborhood (since it is so dark) so I set off.

Everything felt wrong. My gait felt stiff and "off".  My toes weren't in a great deal of pain, but I couldn't seem to correct my stride. By the second mile, the bottom of my foot was hurting.  As I neared my house, finishing mile 3, I just fell apart. My foot hurt and, more importantly, my "mental game" was just shot. I had just finished 3 really slow miles and the idea of finishing 17 more was such a joke. 

I went inside, holding back tears, and showered. By this point, I was in a terrible mood. I snapped at S while dropping her off at school for her meet, picked a fight with my husband and just was generally nasty. I went back to bed for a few hours, but it didn't help much. I set off for the CC meet, still in a terrible mood.

Somehow, over the next hour or so, I managed to pull myself back together. I started to guess that the pain in my foot may have been the result of my tape-job, not my injured toe itself. We got back from the meet early afternoon and I was resolved to try again. Fortunately, my husband realized how important this was to me, and didn't blink and eye about me taking off for the rest of the day. So I changed, re-taped the toe (minimal tape = less change in gait) and set off.

I started around my neighborhood. If I was still having pain, I didn't want to get too far from home. But it became clear that I could do it (although would be slower than normal).  So I set out. Most of the run felt great. It was a beautiful sunny day, but cooler than its been. Fall in the air. I had chosen a new route, which kept things interesting (although the rolling hills were not so fun on the return trip!). All was well until about mile 17 when my body started really complaining. Not just my toes, but everything! I was T.I.R.E.D.  I started walking for a minute or so at the end of the last few miles.  As I neared home, I pushed it as hard as I could, just wanting to be DONE.

I can't explain the feeling when I saw my watch click over to "20".  Even though I hurt all over and was walking a bit funny, I just felt so proud, so strong. I mean honestly, who runes twenty miles?  That's crazy.

Aaaaaand, I'm back.


  1. Girl, if you can run 20 miles, you can do another 6.2 for sure! You got this marathon thing in the bag :)

  2. Counting the 3 miles you'd already done - you ran 23! You're going to OWN that marathon!

  3. Full disclosure - I did 17 after the morning 3 (total 20). I have one more 20 miler on my training plan so that will be my test of running all 20 at once. :)

  4. I certainly do not run 20 miles! So a big kudos to you for not letting the first attempt that morning be your final attempt for the day:)

  5. That is SO impressive, Cat! By the way, I read your blog every's so motivational to know someone ELSE who is training for a fall marathon. You put into words everything that I am feeling. These long runs are killing me...trying to schedule them into my week, the TIME it takes to run them, and then just the physical drain on my body. Yet, I'm actually having a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing your good AND bad moments, I really appreciate reading about all of them!!!