Monday, December 26, 2011

Drop and Give Me 20

The holiday is over and even though things are quite back to normal (still off work until Thursday!), I'm up early (also quite normal) so figured I would jot down this past Saturday's long run.  What isn't normal is that I'm enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee made on my new Keurig single cup that I got for Christmas from my sister (along with over 100 Kcups! Won't need to buy coffee for quite some time either!)

I went into LL on Friday to pick up my check and say Merry Christmas to everyone (also scored a $25 gift card to Starbucks!).  CB was working and while we were chatting she asked if I was running long with KW and of course I said yes.  CB and I run roughly the same pace (she is also a multi-time Ironman), we talked about pace and we decided to run together.  I told her that my past couple of runs had been under goal marathon pace and that I really needed to dial it back and we decided that 10:40 would be our target.

I must say at this point that early on Friday I began sneezing.  Not just any sneezing but sneezing 5 times or more each time and it was an all day affair.  I don't know what was going on; I didn't feel bad, but with each sneeze I was worried about my back (also not feeling all that great on Friday).  Finally late afternoon I took 2 allergy Tylenol and of course that just made the sneezing stop but then my head was all clogged.  I Vicks'd up and drank Theraflu around 9pm hoping that it wouldn't suck when the alarm went off at 4:15am (we had decided to start the route at 5am since Coach was going to have all the water stops up for everyone wanting to start early).

When I got up I didnt feel awful but I also didn't feel great and I always get a bit nervous when I agree to run with someone.  We also had the threat of rain (100% chance), and I sure didn't like that at all.  It was a bit windy and 46 deg when I walked out the door.  I wore a long sleeve Lulu and a pair of speed shorts and hoped for the best.

When I got to base, tried to go to the bathroom (also not cooperating) and then CB arrived.  There were a lot of folks already there so evidently a lot of others had the same idea.  With it being Christmas Eve and the threat of rain, we all wanted to be done and be done early.  We also apparently were having the same 'issues' that morning so we knew up front that some pit stops along the way were inevitable.  :O)

In my head I knew that if something went wrong I could bail at 10.5 or even just go to 15 and then re-group and try for 20-21 on Monday/Tuesday since I was off.

We started out and the first mile came in at 10:27.  Already too fast.  I will just go ahead and say it now, but there was only ONE mile that came in at 10:40 and that was mile 6 which was right about where we started to get rained on (every other mile was between 10:15 and 10:30, with one mile being under 10).  We pulled off under a tree so that I could adjust my Shuffle up under my chin to keep it somewhat dry.  Thankfully the rain only lasted about 10 min before it stopped and we were very, very happy!  Of course we knew that at any minute it could just start coming back down again.

We didn't intentionally run what we were running and many times I looked at my watch and we were too close to 10:05/10:10 and I would slow down and then she would slow down.  We did have a couple of stops but they came at the right time so that we both capitalized on the location of a porta potty, with me only having to pull off to pee once behind a dumpster.  Keepin' it classy right?  Hey when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Something to also note here I guess is that I haven't had Gatorade on any runs in what seems like forever!  I have made do with only water and Gu's.  On todays run, since I didn't eat as much as I should have on Friday, I brought 4 Gu's and used every single one.

It wasn't until we had come around Hermann that I started to feel the effects of all that pounding on my back.  We started off and I told her I was taking the short way back around Rice and would just end up with 20 and that I was fine with that (as opposed to the 21 mile route).  Mentally I just couldnt handle those 2 miles around Rice at that point and my head needed to know we were on the downslope and on our way back to our cars, our heaters and warm clothes!   While it wasn't excessively cold, my legs were indeed numb for basically the whole route and I was ready for warmth!

I took my last Gu with 3.5 miles to go, one last pit stop (thank goodness for new construction in University!) and thats when we ran into DP and and on his turn around he caught back up with us and the 3 of us ran back in together.  I let them get a bit ahead of me but I was never more than 30 yards from them and I just kept it at the 10:30 pace I was running at that particular time.

Once we got back to base, Cyndy took off and DP and I ran the long way back to our cars just to add on a bit and I was done! done! done!  TS walked by as I was adjusting things in the car and he and I stood around and talked for a bit, then it was off for home.  As I was turning into my garage the skies opened up and the rain came pouring down...oh sweet sweet timing!  From that point on until Sunday morning it rained and rained and rained...and we sure needed it!

A short nap after the maintenance dude fixed the heater and I was off to the fam's!

You know since August, I have run so many damn 20+ milers (with a full marathon thrown in there) that its obvious to me that the way I recover from them is nothing short of awesome for me.  I ran Chicago, recovered, booted back up to 21 miles for Dallas, dropped to the half due to weather, and then ramped right back up for Houston.  I never felt sore (just a bit tired) and was able to partake in the festivities like nothing had even go on that morning.  Even on Sunday morning, getting up and heading out again it was like I hadn't run 20 miles the day before.

My back is a bit ouchy today, more than I would like, but I'm gonna go do a few miles on the treadmill today and get some weight work in as well.  I am convinced that all that I have been doing has got to be the reason I have been running as well as I have.

I cannot believe Houston is less than 3 weeks away.  I just hope that the weather cooperates and that so does my body on race day.

I think a movie double feature is on the docket for today...or maybe just lazing around...who knows and more importantly...who cares!  Its vacation!!!

Hope your holidays were merry and bright!!

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