Monday, September 29, 2008

21 or bust

"My foot hurts. No really it hurts. This sucks. #$*&@$^(*!!!! Yeah, right here. )*(#^)#&^@!!!! I can't believe this. This is going to be the worst run ever. I'm not running. $@^&$%(!!!!! OK, let's go."

So that's how our 21-mile run started this morning. This was the last long run before the marathon. I pretty much came to the conclusion that I needed to do this run or I'd have no chance at the marathon. So, off we went.

The plan was to run a 12-mile loop from the Bowdoin field house, stop to refuel and then head out for an additional 9. Simple plan. I wanted to make sure I got enough fuel as I think not getting enough was a major factor in the disaster of the 19-mile run.

First of all, it's hard to describe a long run. It's long. It's the same. Nothing really happens. A ton happens. There are ups and downs.

We started out, and my foot still hurt. It went away...rather it moved. To another part of my foot. It went away...rather it moved. To my other foot. It went away...rather it moved. To my calf. You get the picture, I had various pains moving from one part of my body to another throughout the run. By the last few miles pretty much all the distress had settled into my hamstrings. Not pain, but it was serious work with each step. Gee, running is so much fun!

Not much to report from the first loop. I had a Hammer Gel—Espresso with caffeine!!!!...just like sipping a morning coffee (not at all)—at about an hour in. The view at Maquoit Bay was beautiful, then we began the forever and ever uphill back towards town. It's not a particularly steep hill, but it just keeps going. Following the steep hill, there's a long straight stretch...long...straight...long...long. Can you tell I don't really like this section? Eventually, we made it back to Bowdoin, and the car. I dropped two of the bottles from my Fuel Belt, downed a couple Clif Shot Bloks, drank a fair bit of water, and we were off within 30 seconds.

The next few miles were the hardest part of the run for me. Part of it was clearly psychological. We had just finished what I used to consider a long run. 12 miles. It took us 1:46:30, and we were heading out again? That's not right. The other part was in my legs. They were tired. It was some point in this stretch that I realized that I was in the process of running 30 miles in 3 days...all on the roads. So, perhaps it was all psychological. Luckily for me, the road along this stretch had a smaller shoulder, so we couldn't run side by side. I dropped back a bit. I told D I was jsut "relaxing," but I was mostly just trying to hang on.

Eventually, we reached the dead end at Simpson's Point. The view from here is great. This is where D cheated. Well, she didn't actually cheat. I stopped for a couple seconds to look at the view and get out another gel. (GU, Lemon Sublime...quite tasty.) It took me a long time to catch up. She just kept chugging along as usual, and it took me at least a half mile to get back next to her. It felt like 40 miles.

At this point, we had been on the roads for about 18 miles, and we were both feeling pretty good. We'd been chatting and making jokes for most of the run. But, we'd been on the roads for about 18 miles. ugh. Another .5 mile later, I vurped. Hmmm...that's unfortunate. Then I vurped again. OK, I'm mad. Seriously, this kind of ticked me off. The road narrowed, and I jumped in front so we didn't get run over. The car didn't move over quite as much as I would have liked and that made me even madder. And that was the end of that. I dropped the pace down a bit, and D said, "OK, bye." "I'm just gonna run up front for a bit," I said. But, something happened. I just kept picking it up. I'd told D earlier in the run that if I felt good in last couple miles I was going to "see what was there." I was partially joking when I said it because I mentioned it shortly after we started the second loop. But, I was feeling good, and I just kept dropping it down. I think I ran the last mile somewhere around 7:30. I finished in 3:03:00.

So, yeah, I'm feeling pretty good. Maybe I can do this whole marathon thing. But without question this is the last road marathon I'm ever doing. Running on the roads is bad. My feet agree with me. Hopefully, they'll hold up for another 3 weeks. It's taper time!


Jamie said...

I agree about the road running. However, you picked one of the best road marathons out there, which is good. You're looking prime and ready to go for MDI.

BTW, I got a couple of rooms at the same hotel you guys are staying at. I'll be there with my father and step-mom (dad is running the marathon also).

Sparkplug said...

Glad you were able to get the rooms there. Seemed nice and ideal to be right at the start. I know we'll be happy to be able to run into the room instead of the port-a-potty line before the race!