Tuesday, April 10, 2012

24 miles...well, kinda

This weekend was my last big run before the marathon on May 6. I begin my slow 3-week taper (in running language, that's when you back off the long runs in anticipation of THE long run...aka, the race) now with small 6 and 7-mile runs on the weekends leading up to May 6. The day was GORGEOUS! God blessed us with a day in the mid-60s and plenty of warm sunshine, but not too warm. Andy, thankfully, was well enough on his foot to be able to ride his bike with me for the planned 24 miles on the trail. We headed out early and got going.

I was trying out these new compression calf sleeves that basically look like socks but don't go over your feet (see picture above). I've worn compression tights before, but not these new sleeves. The run was good until about mile 17 or so. My calves all of sudden felt completely separated from the rest of my body. They didn't hurt, but they didn't feel normal. Of course, this is really all in my head. That's my challenge - the mind games. From 17-22, I was hurting pretty badly. I whined, mostly to myself, a little to Andy, and a lot just at running in general. At 22, I was done running. I walked for 1.5 miles at that point while Andy rode to the car, loaded up his bike and picked me up (I'm so very blessed with a husband who was willing to do this - he's never ridden a bike more than a mile or two). So, I did 22 running, 1.5 walking, but that still leaves 2.7 miles that I will need to do on race day. Hmmmmm...I'm hoping adrenaline and the inability of someone driving the car to pick me up on the course will push me through to the end. And I won't be wearing the compression calf sleeves. :)

I did walk away with a lovely farmer's tan, which I will gladly accept. And my recovery was better than after my windy 20-mile run I did several weeks back. On Easter Sunday (HE IS RISEN!), my knees were still hurting a bit, but by Monday, they were in much better shape, and I was able to do a normal workout. Today, I ran 3 miles and felt great! So, I'm looking forward to May 6 with trepidation and excitement. I do believe this will be the only marathon I will ever run. I reserve the right to change my mind, but I don't think it's going to happen. I think 1/2 marathons and 10-milers might be more my style. I can get a great running workout, enjoy myself and not feel like I want to die by the end with those shorter distances. But who knows? I'm sure happy this thing is coming to a close. I am running the Sound to Narrows on behalf of my work in June, so that gives me something smaller to keep working toward.

One more exciting thing about May 6 being right around the corner? I get my 26.2 sticker to add to my car!

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