Week 10 –  17 miles

This week was my first LONG run. All week I’ve been kinda dreading this run. It’s rare that I dread a Saturday, but I was not looking forward to this one. The only consolation was that I wasn’t going to have run it by myself.

Plan A: Run with buddy.

But unfortunately, after recovering from an injury and traveling for a week, she was not feeling up to running the whole thing. So then we agreed that I’d run 6 miles and she’d meet me at my house to run the remaining 11. Okay. Cool.

Except she forgot about a previously planned church activity. Which I’m pretty sure was alot more fun than running for multiple hours.

Meaning I was on my own. Or I needed a Plan B.

Actually, plan B did not involve my dog. Although he probably would have enjoyed running, 17 miles probably would have done him in, if a car didn’t run him over. Or if I didn’t let him off the leash after being pulled for the 12837th time, whichever comes first.

But I digress. So I got in contact with another runner who was, luckily, willing to run 10 with me.

So I ran the first 6 alone. No big deal.  I tend to run along busy roads, because running 17 laps around my neighborhood just doesn’t really appeal to me. (hey! a house! hey, the same house! hey, the same house again!) I’m used to funny looks and honks, but today someone actually slowed down as I was running and shouted out the window “hey, how far are you running?”. Realizing he couldn’t possibly be talking to anyone else and relieved he wasn’t attempting to kidnap me by offering me candy, I answered “17 miles”. Funny that he caught me on my long day. He goes “wow…..I can only run 3.” I said “hey, its still something” and then he wished me a good day and drove away. In all the runs I’ve done, thats the first time someone has actually stopped and talked to me. And didn’t honk or whistle or give me a WTF are you doing? kind of look. (Well, since you’re asking, I’m actually on a spy mission, posing as a long distance runner)

So then I run to John’s house and we continue along. Faster. Crap. I totally forgot that he tends to run like, a minute per mile faster than I do. This should be interesting. But I figure I’ll either keep up or I’ll run some at the end on my own. I try to keep my mind occupied asking about his recent marathon, telling my half marathon story and exchanging other random musings about running, training, and other peoples’ training. (Runners talk about running while running alot – you’d think we would have other things to discuss…you’d be right, but even when we do, the conversation tends to still veer towards running at some point)

I was thankful today for my non squeeze water bottle because it allowed me a few excuses to walk (I need a water break and I don’t want to choke!). I actually felt pretty good until about mile 15, when the back of my legs and calves started to tighten up.

The rest of the run went like this in my head: ow. are we there yet? ow. are we done yet? ow….you get the idea.

It was the final mile that any change in terrain became increasingly difficult. Curbs? Ow. Rocks? Ow. Moving? Ow. I would have expected my lungs to complain, but it was actually my legs. All in all though, it went better than I dreaded, finishing in 2:31:16. or an 8:52 min/mile including a few short drink breaks. Not bad. But definitely too fast for a full marathon pace.

When I got home and cooled down my calves finally decided to really rebel. (Did I mention ow?) After a shower….because not only did I feel like I ran for 17 miles, I also smelled like it, I spent about 30 min on frozen vegetables. (The only time I really appreciate spinach)

That combined with 3 ibproufen and I feel good as new.

Ok that’s a lie.I’m worn out. But at least without calf pain.

And thanks to what I can only guess is running induced amnesia, plan to do it again next week!

Any takers?