Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Suck Factor - Long Run Recap

Well, I had a long run of 16 miles scheduled for today.  I knew it was iffy - I've been fighting some sort of upper respiratory virus for days now, and was just starting to really feel better this morning.  But Disney approaches (49 days!) and I cannot afford to miss any long runs.

So, I set out at a moderate pace, and I decided to take a different route just to shake things up a bit.  Bad idea.  BAD idea.  The new route had more hills than the old one, and they were steeper.  But I thought that the hill training might actually be a good thing, so I didn't turn back - again, bad idea!

I made it through about mile 6 without any problems - and then the suck set in.  I decided to take a walk break every mile for the remainder of the run, and I decided to gauge that by the mile markers.  After running for about 15 minutes and thinking, "Holy Cow - this is the longest mile EVER!", I realized that the county I was running in only places mile markers every 2 miles.

About mile 10, the stomach cramps set in - but they weren't constant, or I would have just packed it up and gone home.  I'd have some cramping, and then 8-10 minutes with no cramping.  So, I'd walk for a few seconds and then run during the cramp-free spells.

About that time, I called Melissa and asked her to join me for the last few miles.  Thank goodness she was home, and happy to come out - I honestly wouldn't have made it the last three without her.  We arranged to meet at about the 12 mile point so she could run the last 3 in with me.  Well, we didn't communicate that well, so I was waiting for her (and taking a short stretch break) when she called and said, 'Where are you?"  We quickly changed course and met up for the last part of the run.

Melissa said, "Will this give you 16?"  I said no, that it would give me 15, but that I was going to take it and be happy.  And we finished the last three miles with me stopping every 8 minutes or so for a break.  I did keep the walk breaks under a minute, but I couldn't have run the last few miles without them.

Now I'm sitting on the couch with a heating pad (and two chihuahuas) on my stomach.  I wish I'd had an extra mile in me, but today I just didn't.  I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm coming off of an illness, or just an off day, or if maybe I'm not as fit as I think I am.  Or perhaps some combination of those factors.

At any rate, I am running the Disney Marathon on January 9.  I had already made up my mind that, because I love Disney, I was going to make this run about fun and not about time.  I want to stop for every character, and I want to run nice and slow through each of the four parks and just soak up the atmosphere.  Until I have grandchildren I don't have little children as an excuse to visit Disney (although I may steal the Princess next summer for a short trip - don't tell her!), so this is probably the only chance I'll have to hang out and play in the Disney theme parks on my terms for quite some time.

I guess if I have to, I'll take frequent walk breaks in the Galloway style and just finish the race.  But I really hope next week's long run is better than this week's.  Have a great week, everyone!


  1. I'm sorry your run today didn't go as planned. I think you are a total rock star though! I did good to get out those 5 yesterday. I look forward to the day when I can call something more than 6 miles a long run!!!
    Disney sounds tons of fun!
    I hope you get over the viral stuff soon! I hate how that stuff seems to linger.

  2. You rocked that five miler yesterday! :) Thursday is going to be great! I am feeling somewhat better - I'm sure this is the end of it!

  3. wow sounds like a VERY tough run! this will just be money in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank for disney.

    hope that you start to feel better

  4. Thanks, girl! :) I appreciate it - I am trying to remind myself that the tough runs are where you get some of your best gains!

  5. Thanks for your comment on my weekly wrap up post. I'm sure I am too hard on myself. I think many of us are. As for your long run, a hard 15 = an easy 20, so I would not at all sweat not getting in that extra mile! As long as you remember that fun is your goal at Disney, I'm sure you can do just that, regardless of if you are a bit 'off' on your long runs.

  6. Thank you - I know I am too hard on myself. I'm hoping all will be well at Disney - I can always run another, local (read: less fun!) marathon for time next year.

  7. Hope you feel better. 15 miles is rocking!! You are going to love Disney.. Jan is a fantastic time to go! keep up the awesome job!!

  8. I am just in awe of 15 miles when I am stressing about a 5K on Turkey Day! I bow to you!
    Thanks for subscribing to me! I miss getting new readers with having to make the blog private but while I am still employed with this crazy church, it has to be that way. I am job hunting and once I find something, I will go public again!

  9. Thank you, Kim! My head is (almost) clear!

    Kimberly, I just can't imagine what you've been through - I hope you're able to relax and enjoy your 5k!

  10. Sorry to hear about the run Terri. I hate it when you feel like you are going to have a decent run and then it doesn't happen.

    Hope you get to feeling better soon.

  11. Thanks, Susie. How's your back?