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.