It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

December 12, 2011

22 Miles and I Lived to Tell the Tale!

Last weekend I was supposed to run 21 miles as part of my Disney Marathon training.  After battling a sinus infection for a week, I just wasn’t up for the task.  I cut it short and did 15 miles – which felt like a million.  The previous week was a recovery week from the 19 miler I had done the week before…..so I hadn’t done a really long run in 3 weeks!!  But I knew with Disney just 4 weeks away, I had to get in a good quality long run this weekend.

I know a lot of marathon training plans don’t take you over 20 miles, but I knew for me that mentally I had to get past 20.  6 more miles is a ton!!  4 more miles, well that just seems more “doable”.  However, jumping from 19 to 22 was a lot – especially when I hadn’t done a long run in 3 weeks.  I was determined to get out there and get it done though.

So yesterday I set out for a 22 miler!  It was chilly, but the sun was shining.  I started about 7:30 in the morning.  It was about 30 degrees, but with winds of about 12 mph, the wind chill was around 23 degrees.  I had frost built up on my shoulders by about mile 5.  As I’ve mentioned before I do a run/walk technique and it works pretty well for me.  I run 3 minutes and walk 1.  I knew those last few miles would be difficult, so I told myself that once I got to mile 18 I could change it to a 2 minute run/2 minute walk. 

By mile 10, I really wasn’t feeling it.  I was tired, and drained.  I still am not totally over my sinus infection, but I kept pushing.  I did two 11 mile loops, and when I finally reached 11 miles, I thought, holy crap I have to do this again!!  I was really starting to tire by mile 16, but kept pushing myself to keep that 3 to 1 ratio.  A 3 minute run might not sound like a lot, and it’s not at mile 5, but by mile 16 it seems like forever.  I finally made it to 18, and just about that time my left calf started cramping so badly I could hardly stand on it.  I tried over and over to stretch it out, but it just wasn’t helping.  My 2/2 ratio was kind of out of the window.  I did the best I could, but I really kind of hobbled and limped my way through those last 4 miles, although still running some!  It was pretty miserable.  But I got through them…I really had no choice – I was 4 miles from home.  I have had the calf cramping issue before and it’s always in that same calf.  I’m not really sure what causes it.  I was hydrating and using sport beans, and even ate a granola bar during my run.  I am just super hopeful it doesn’t happen on race day. 

I ended up averaging a 13:30 pace -  I was doing a little better than that, but my 15 minute miles from 18-22 really hurt my overall average.  Anyway, in case you were counting that means it took me almost 5 hours!  4 hours and 59 minutes to be exact.  That is a LONG time.  I’m serious, you fast runners just have no idea how lucky you are.  All I kept thinking was this would have only taken Jim like 3 hours and it took me 5!!

At the end of the day though I made it and even walked hobbled another mile with Jack as recovery for a total of 23 miles and I know that had it been race day I would have finished.  I would have limped to the finish, but I still would have finished!  Only 4 weeks til Disney!!

Today I feel ok though.  Better than I thought I would and I'm pretty happy about that.

THE END.


39 comments:

  1. Well, you know what? You may have hobbled those last few miles but you were out there for 22 miles! Holy crap.

    Even though that may have taken Jim 3 hours and it took you 5, you were out there and you did it. Your 22 miles kicked my zero miles ass. Way to just do it.

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  2. Way to go getting 22 miles in. I'm really impressed especially since you weren't feeling it early on. I think this will help you so much mentally for your race!

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  3. WTG!!! I bet a lot of people would have quit before 22! with troubles like you had. You ROCK!

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  4. I didn't realize you were running disney, I'll be there as well!

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  5. You are amazing!! I am so incredibly proud of you. I cannot wait for you to cross that finish line at the marathon because you deserve it. You are an inspiration Michael.

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  6. Congrats on 22!! I'm also recovering from a sinus infection (and now a stomach bug) but was able to get my 11 in for the Disney 1/2. I wish you were doing the 1/2 because I'm usually hanging out at that same pace! :)

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  7. Nice job! Seriously. It takes a lot of mental strength to get through when it gets tough like that.

    As for going slow, I read a quote recently that I love:

    It doesn't matter if it's a seven minute mile or a fourteen minute mile. It's still a mile.

    In your case, it's still 22 miles. :) Soon, it will be a marathon.

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  8. Great job pushing through! That is a long time to be out there running! I have never done a run that long and anyone who does is my hero. Make Jim give you a foot massage you earned it!

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  9. Hard core stuff there. Disney will be a blast.

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  10. Fantastic job, Michael. It's tough to do a 22 miler, let alone with an sinus infection. You are tough! 5 hours is hard on a body. Gallowalking is a super good idea!
    I am sure the calf will behave for your race.

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  11. Great job!! I hope you're resting up well after that, and I'm so glad it was a confidence booster for you. Now you know you *can* and *will* do the marathon.

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  12. That's awesome! 22 miles is amazing :) Who cares how quickly others can cover the distance, you're kickin' ass and taking names! You're so ready for Disney!!

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  13. Way to get those miles done and push through! You'll do great at Disney!

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  14. 22 miles is a lot! I can't imagine doing that many miles!! I'm sure my day will come and I hope I can tough it out as good as you did.
    Congrats!

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  15. Congrats! 22 miles is a HUGE accomplishment! You rare so ready to rock Disney.

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  16. Great job!!!

    (have you ever tried taking salt while you run? I used to get really bad cramps in my feet, but taking a little packet of salt every 10ish miles really helps - just a thought...)

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  17. I am impressed with your perseverance. After finishing my very first marathon yesterday, I think you may be right about training past 22 miles.

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  18. I am sooo proud of you! That is just awesome and you are gonna kick a$$! I still can't even begin to comprehend a full marathon! Awesome you are Awesome!

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  19. that is mental fortitude! I am really wanting to get in 22 before houston, but not sure if it is in the cards...who knows!

    hope you recover well this week and the calf feels good!

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  20. Good on you for sticking with it when you'd had enough. Persevering when it hurt. That's having the heart of an athlete!

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  21. Wow Michael! Very, very nice job! In my book, persistance is more valuable than speed. Any day.

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  22. Well done! That is really tough but you did it. This will help you so much on race day. Take it easy!

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  23. Congratulations! Every time I hear about people running 20+ miles, I just stand in awe. AWESOME job!

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  24. I had a calf problem during the MO
    Cowbell. I thought it was cramping, but a PT guy told me that it was actually my sciatic nerve that was off. After pushing around on my hip the pain was gone and I could walk fine.

    Way to go on the 22 Miles!

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  25. Also, I think it takes more dedication to be out there for 5 hours. I mean seriously, anyone can go for a 3 hour run. :)

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  26. Great job, you made it!! I have problems with my calf muscles cramping and it can be many things one of which is dehydration. It can also be lack of calcium, magnesium or maybe the need of a B vitamin I went to the doctor for that one...

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  27. Wow!! Good job!!! What a great confidence boost before your race. Now taper, rest, and get ready mentally.

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  28. Just think, You're ALMOST there!! If I were rich I would get you your own personal running assistant, he would look like Ryan Gosling and he would hand you water, gels, sports beans, and offer calf massages every 3 miles. :) Merry Christmas!

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  29. Woohoo! You should be sooo proud of yourself! You could have easily have quit, but you kept going and finished!!! Yay!!

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  30. YOU ARE SO STRONG. finishing is absolutely KEY! you did it. you got it in. doesnt matter how or how long. you are so ready for disney both mentally and physically! great work friend!

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  31. 22 miles! way to go! erin at see mom run far is organizing a blog meet up for disney i think... just fyi :) http://seemomrunfar.blogspot.com/

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  32. bravo Michael!
    seriously this is huge.
    you will be so happy you did it when race day comes...major boost for confidence right
    be proud...not everyone gets to say they ran 22 miles!
    you did it!

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  33. That's a lot of miles. You really stuck with it. Glad you are feeling better!

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  34. WAY to go! You are going to do great at Disney!

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  35. I'm sorry to hear about your injury that you just got. Hopefully you are able to get it fixed. That sounds like a painful injury. If it helps any, I am injured again too, I got a stress fracture in my right foot. So I'm injured right along with you. Might as well throw out all of 2011, haha

    And great job on the 22 mile run! That is a long way! I only did a max of 20 miles once in preparation for my marathon, and that was a long way to go!

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  36. 22 miles - soooooo awesome! You got it done and that is all that matters - fast or not as fast, who cares? Way to go Michael!

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