We all know people who do that thing that literary muckity mucks call “burying the lead”. They’ll go on and on while telling a story, never really getting to the “point” of it. Usually, by the time they do, you’ve already started to look around the room and sort people into the “yep, I’d have sex with him” and “yep, I can kick his ass” categories. (Or, am I the only one who does that? Wait, who am I kidding? Everyone always ends up on only one of the lists.) Well, let me cut to the chase. On Saturday I set out to run 31 miles. I ran 22.
With anything that has never been done before, success or failure can rarely be pinpointed to one thing or another. Usually it is a series of unfortunate events that are set into motion days or weeks before that are to “blame”. For me, my running has been a bit ‘off’ for weeks now. It would be easy to bitch about the heat and humidity, but if I am being honest with myself
But, in spite of feeling off, I set out to run a mile for every year of my life thus far. Because it was something that I had never done before, I actually did a fair amount of planning for this run. I froze bags of water and used them as a poor man’s fridge to keep spare water bottles cool, I made sure that I was fully hydrated the day before, and I lubed up every.single. part of my body. Man, I was ready.
Ice bags? Check. Bottle of wine? Check. Crock Pot recipes? Check.
I started out on my 4 mile loop course nice and steady around a 7:30 pace. It instantly felt hot but more importantly humid. Either way, I was bound to get the miles in – not running all of them had never crossed my mind. I had planned on starting out with my 40oz water belt, run the first 15 miles or so, and then start refilling it as necessary from my nice and cool water bottles that I had stashed on a corner. The logistics totally worked out! I was looping around and had access to water essentially whenever I wanted it. (Or so I thought)
You spin me right round baby right round..... like a record baby
Around the 10 mile mark or so my shoe came untied and as I bent down to tie it I realized that the reason it came untied was because my shoes were SOAKED with sweat. Not the normal “oh wow, that is a little damp” kind, but instead the “eww, this little piggy went to the swimming pool” feeling. I was able to shrug it off and continued to plug away along my 7:30ish pace – my feet squishing with every step. Some of the miles were a bit faster, others a bit slower but overall all systems were a go. That is, until I refilled my bottles at mile 17.
This seemed like such a good idea at 3:50 in the morning...
At mile 17 when I refilled my bottles, I had this intense thirst that caused me to chug 30oz faster than if it were in a funnel at a frat party. I’m sure I needed the water, but a little bit of restraint / gradual consumption was probably warranted (actually, that is probably good advice regardless of what I am drinking). The next mile was a strange feeling of a horribly sloshy stomach while still being thirsty. It is sort of the feeling that you get when you’ve already ate Thanksgiving dinner and had a full bottle of wine but your body just yearns for another glass of glorious delicious wine. So, I had a tire that was leaking air for sure, but the wheels hadn’t completely fell off.
Ah, but at mile 20, the wheels fell off in the form of hip cramps. I have been battling a bit of hip tightness for a few weeks now. Nothing that even garnered a mention on this blog, but it was certainly there. Ah, but at mile 20, it decided to squeeze tight like a retired woman to a 90s era Beanie Baby and stop me in my tracks. Literally. At mile 20 of my 31.07 mile run, I stood in the middle of the sidewalk wincing in pain, stupid garmin watch running all the while. I tried to stretch it out, but honestly I didn’t get down on the ground to stretch it out like I SHOULD have so it never really went away.
Long story much longer, I hip hop and limped the next 2 miles in 10 minutes and 13 minutes respectively and then called it. I was done. BLEH.
"Lubed every part of my body" my ass..... battle scars abound
As I look back, I think that I could have done a few things differently that could have helped. First, including during the run and the hours after, I drank 200oz of water w/out peeing. While not good, I think that some additional electrolytes would have helped avoid the sloshy feeling and help my body actually “use” some of the water that I was ingesting. The heat played a huge role as well, but I’m not comfortable blaming it on that. Fact is, I just didn’t have it in me this time. If it would have been a race and I would have had money on the line in the form of a race fee, I would have finished. I have no doubt. But, I didn’t feel the need to risk hurting myself on a training run that I made extra long.
But, as much as I know that I made the right choice, as I moped around the house after the run, I really wish I would have finished. My son did too as we were hanging out and I was hydrating. Can’t you just tell by the disappointed look on his face?
You did what today? Whatever, turn on Mickey Mouse
So, what now? I’m still 31, it is still hot out, and I still haven’t ran 31 miles. Unfortunately for my sanity, I’m not one to let unfinished business lie for very long and have already found a window for which to try another attempt. 3 weeks. August 11th will be the new attempt. I’m sure it will be just as hot before, but I figure that I’ll just run twice as fast as I did before so that I don’t have to worry too much about the heat. Perfect logic, right? In all honesty, I am going to actually focus on training for the thing a bit and will have my sub 4:00 revenge soon enough.