No, not the Shemar Moore movie. (Which I’m greatly looking forward to because damn is he hot.) I realized something interesting today. The long runs take it out of you, but the real test is the day after. Do you have the stuff to go out there and do it again, even though you’re hurting like hell?
I almost didn’t do it. Yesterday I ran 20 miles and it was the hardest run of my life. Bear in mind, it was broken up into smaller, what I thought would be more manageable pieces. I drove to East Falls, ran 3 miles to Memorial Hall, waited 30 minutes then ran the Variety Superheroes 5k, recovered a little, ate a banana and had some water, then race-walked 3 miles back to my car (at that point I had my swag bag so while I’m not the most graceful runner, running with a swag bag only makes me look that much worse). I put the bag in my car, toweled off a little, then ran up Kelly Drive to the water works and back, then 1.5 miles into Manayunk and back. Well, almost. I got to 1.37 miles down God only knows where the hell I was, and I got terrified I’d get lost so I said, “Screw it. I’ll just circle the parking lot ’til I get to 3 miles.” But given that I got lost getting to Memorial Hall and the 5k included a 10th of a mile, when I called it a day at 2.8 miles (over the 17 I’d already done), I decided we were even and headed for home. After some extensive stretching, that is. I probably wouldn’t have been functional without it.
But the rest of the afternoon I was almost sick. My body ached like I had the flu. The whole surface of my skin felt hot; I probably had some sunburn, which seemed odd considering I hadn’t exposed a whole lot of skin. (Though I did run from, technically, 6:30 to 12:30.) I couldn’t get comfortable sitting, and I definitely wasn’t happy on my feet. My hips ached, possibly akin to Ryan’s dysplasia. I napped for minutes at a time because that was the best I could get. I didn’t feel hungry. Overall I was one giant hot mess. Part of it was my fault; until 4:30 I hadn’t taken a Motrin, and that usually helps with the body aches, especially if I take it right after a run. I also hadn’t had coffee, but I really didn’t want to go on a long run and have to pee every 5 minutes.
At the last minute I had to bow out of dinner with my running group, Sunday Funday Runday. I’d been looking forward to their pre-Rock & Roll Half carb-up party for WEEKS and when the day came I knew I’d only look like a half-dead wild animal. Rather than embarrass myself and them, I let them know I wasn’t going to make it. It broke my heart, and I spent the night on my own. Watching “Tangled” kind of made up for it; Flynn Rider was adorable. I may have to make him into a future hero some day. Oh wait, Disney did that already. 😉
I barely slept last night. The plan had been to get up, get in my 3 miles, then clean up and take the boys to the soccer fundraiser breakfast, but 6:00 came and I couldn’t move. My hip was in agony, and I hadn’t gotten comfortable all night. I shuffled off to the bathroom, debated the options, then went back to bed. By then I was starting to consider putting off the 3 until tomorrow when I might feel better, but tomorrow Alex has a pasta party after school (with the soccer team) so my free time is limited. I almost skipped the breakfast, too, but Ryan wanted to go. Well, kind of; they didn’t serve bacon, so breakfast of course could only be second best, as far as he was concerned. We had a great time, though, so I’m glad we went, but I figured I’d let myself digest breakfast, and then think about going out for a run. By 11 I said, “C’mon, let’s just go do it.” Alex has a soccer tournament at 3 so again, narrow window of opportunity here.
Just got back in from it, and I’m glad I did because it taught me something. The long run is tough, and it takes a tough person to accomplish it. I’m going to run over 500 miles to train for the 26.2 mile marathon. But when you’ve been beaten to a pulp and just barely survived the last long run, the true essence of tough goes back out the next day and gets those last 3 miles in. You might not want to. You might even think you can’t, but dammit, you lace up and plug in and out you go.
To quote Eminem, “Feet fail me not…success is my only MFing option, failure’s not.”
Look out, Philly Marathon: I’m coming for YOU next. 🙂 BTW, I PRed the 5k I ran yesterday: 34:26, with an 11:06 pace. Never ran a 11:06 pace before and it feels AWESOME. It didn’t hurt that the course was mostly flat. I did appreciate that. 🙂