Outside of organizing the best virtual race around (that would be the Cupcake Classic!), I'm training for a little thing called a MARATHON. The Route 66 Marathon on Nov. 18 to be exact. Recovering from my clumsy toe injury has been smooth, but I definitely feel behind in training... and I'm trying to catch up. It feels like all the endurance I built up this summer is gone. That became crystal clear this weekend as I attempted 18 long miles.
The ideal situation was set-up. I was scheduled to run 10 solo miles early Saturday morning and then a running buddy was meeting me to carry me for the last 8. Unfortunately, I was up all stinkin' night with some gallbladder pain (odd, but it's been happening on and off to me lately?). Needless to say, I had to cancel those early run plans. By afternoon, I was feeling better (weak, but no longer in pain), so I decided to squeeze in my 18 miler. Probably not wise, but it was really my only option this weekend besides skipping it completely.
It was chilly here on Saturday, but the sun peeked out occasionally to make my first 8 mile loop a really nice run. My average pace for the first 8 miles was right around the 10:00 min/mile mark. A little faster than where I should be, but it didn't feel pushed. I stopped off at my car to refuel with GU Brew and chomps... and then continued up the trail for an out and back.
To pass the time, I turned my iPhone on and found the Wisconsin Badgers football game. Just recently, I've found listening to games to be a great distraction on the run (when needed). I greatly enjoy running solo, but 18 can get down right boring... especially when you're not "in the mood" as I was not on Saturday.
Pictures from my run
Autumn nature is gorgeous this time of year and I loved being out on the trails. However, not even the pretty scenery could distract what was going on with my legs. My quads were aching early in this long run. Everything from my feet, ankles and even IT band were hollering at me. (This is really abnormal for me.) By mile 12, I was already counting down the miles. It was aggravating to feel this way so early in a long run. Geesh, I wasn't even at the half-mary mark yet.
For some reason, I got the song Cat Scratch Fever in my head... and THAT is exactly where I was mentally and physically for the last 5 miles... scratching and clawing to stay on my feet. Have you ever tried to lay a cat down on its back? Yeah, they don't comply very well. They squirm, twist and fight to land on their feet. That vision kept going through my head as I fought to keep putting one foot in front of another.
Eventually, I finished 18.2 miles in 3:15. I literally felt like I was shuffling in the final mile. My quads burned so badly that I actually had to walk up a few inclines. It was so demoralizing on my runner mojo.
My body's reaction to the whole run was just weird. I practically felt "sore" from the long run before it was even over. That soreness grew worse throughout the evening, but by the next morning, I was recovering already. This is not the norm for me... at all. Usually I'm tired the rest of the day, but no muscle aches until the following morning. Any insight?