Sunday, January 18, 2009

10 miles. Somehow I made it.

Yesterday morning I got up feeling so much weight on my shoulders. 10 miles of running was in order on my training schedule. Oh darn. I knew that my entire morning had to be spent on warming up my body, in whatever form.

All morning, I ran errands, cleaned the house and ran around to get my body loosened up while mentally preparing myself. I was scared to death, to be quite honest. I was dreading it and was thinking about any other ways I could get the same training effect without having to run it. The more I thought about it, there was no way around it.

Around 115pm, my running began. I warmed up as usual, for 15 minutes, alternating runs and walks. After the first 15 minutes, I kept running very easy, very VERY easy. I kept thinking about the miles I had to run and where I was every 5 minutes, and then realized I was driving myself insane by doing so, when I had so many miles to go. I just stopped thinking and started day dreaming about random things, visualizing the race and pretending that i was at mile 12 (10 times), and I was carefully observing my body, how my hips were feeling, my legs were feeling, etc... checking my form, etc... whatever I could do to distract myself from the long distance.

The first 4.5 miles were run on a rather boring course going east from where I live, away from the ocean. Then when I finished that course I moved on west to get on the beach to finish up the rest of my training. Sorry to those who live out in the east, but it was annoyingly hot at 80 degrees, I was burning up. Thankfully there was some breeze here and there that helped me cool off. I had a bottle of water with Cytomax mix and a bag of energy gels to sustain myself through the ordeal.

The first 5 miles or so, I was ok. I was feeling pretty good, my hips were holding up, I wasn't feeling too much pain. Around mile 6, pain in the hips started kicking in, around mile 8, I was groaning with pain but my lungs were working like magic and I wasn't out of breath at all. The last two miles were all a blur, going back and forth between focusing on my posture (what posture?) and almost crying from the hip pain. DAMN that hurt. I have to say, about the last 0.5 mile up on the hill back to my house, I just had to walk it, and every time i had to stop at a light or something before crossing the streets, I was in even more pain. Note to self: on race day, take advil around mile 5.

When I got home, I was beat, my calves were numb yet burning all at the same time, ankles were screaming, my hips were just hating my guts, and I had salt all over my face. I re-hydrated myself with water and stretched myself silly (calves, glutes, hip flexors, lower back, hamstrings, quads, IT band, piriformis... just google stretches for runners in these areas, you will find a ton of resources online!) and then iced my hips and upper quads (my usual problem areas) for about 15 minutes each.

Had some post-training food (carbs:protein 4:1 ratio), rested while catching up on some 24 (this season is like no other), felt like a human being again and then jumped into a hot shower while massaging my right piriformis (right butt cheek) muscle, which tightened up quite nicely (i'm being sarcastic). After the shower, I crashed for about 40 minutes and took a nice and relaxing nap. Kinda awake, but still a nap.

I went to a very fun dinner with a dear friend, ate like there was no tomorrow. It was good to have a nice fun relaxing time with a friend and laugh the day off instead of just staying in and going to bed with pain. I still had pain, but I was able to forget it a little bit. And moving around actually helped.

Today, I feel ok - definitely tired, tight around the hips, calves were completely stiff this morning but loosened up easily after a stretch (amazing!), upper shoulders are actually pretty tight from the run too. But I feel energized and relieved for the race, which is coming up in 2 weeks.

Tomorrow I will go for a fast walk/light jog for about 40 minutes to shake off the lactic acid build on my muscles.

I feel blessed. I mean, I'm tired and tight and in pain and all that fun stuff, but still I feel so blessed that I could run the 10 miles I was sooooooo dreading to do. If you think about it too much, the thought itself could just exhaust you. The best way to do it is to prepare yourself for whatever you need to do, and then without much thought, just open the door and get the heck out of the house and get moving.

1 comment:

Karyn said...

Happy Monday,

Congratulations on the 10 miles, that is awesome. Someday I will be able to say the same thing. Saturday I headed out of my house planning on a 4 miles, walking the first mile, running the next 2 and walking back for the last. I thought it would be nice to take my dog with me. This was the first time I used my neighborhood (very hilly). We got through the first mile and I started my run, I was feeling really good and then about 3/4 of the way through the mile my dog tripped me on a downhill I took a really bad fall. I had to walk the last 1/4 to the road where my husband could pick me up.

I have been in so much pain since then I have not been able to walk or run. I want to try to go out today and at least walk for a few miles but I don't know. My first 5K is in 2 weeks and so far I have only been able to run 2 miles without walking. I want this so much.

Thank you for the tip on finding stretching info. Have you every taken a fall on one of your runs?