Twelve Point Five

You’re running how….far….?

My 11 mile run a couple weeks ago was a bit rough.  I recovered relatively quickly but I was pretty wrecked in the last couple miles and for the rest of the day.  I had some unusual aches and pinches at the end of that run which I attributed to not attending Dailey Method the week before while I was on vacation.

12.5 miles was on the plan for this morning.  Can we just take a moment to agree that 12.5 is stupidly close to 13.1?  Cool.  Thanks!

I considered possible routes and for some reason chose one that would be a total mindf*ck:

4 loops of Lake Merritt.

Pretty! NOT THE SECOND, THIRD, OR FOURTH TIME.

I know, I know.  It’s Sisyphean.  I expected it to be as mentally hard as it would be physically.  I’ll save you the epic recap and just break it down by loop:

Loop one:  Took me awhile to warm up.  My hips felt super tight and legs were heavy.  It was a bit weird to run at my long run pace on a route I usually run quite a bit faster.  The sun was also strong, even though it was only 7:30-8am.  Yikes.  This loop was more challenging than I anticipated.

Loop two:  Pretty tough mentally.  Nearing the end, I doubted that I could do two more but I realized that on each long run I’ve done,  my morale has been low just before the halfway point.  I was a bit more warmed up on this loop but it was still surprisingly challenging physically.

Loop three:  Found a bit of a groove for the first half but that quickly wore off.  I pulled my headphones out of my ears at a couple points because I felt like my music was yelling at me instead of supporting me.  The quiet was soothing.

Loop four:  This one took heart.  I’m not going to lie – I was so tired, I almost cried.  I took a Shot Blok and water at the beginning of the second, third, and fourth loops but in retrospect, I could have taken a bit more fuel and definitely more water.  Right around mile 12 (home stretch!), I suddenly got a terrible abdominal cramp.  Noooooo! I slowed my pace down to a shuffle and literally held up my abdominal wall to try to get the cramp to release.  It took all the strength I could muster to keep trudging forward for the last half mile but I made it!

Did I do that?  #urkel

Each loop was about 3.2 miles so I ended up walking quite a ways back to my car after RunKeeper hit 12.5.  Compared to my last long run, I felt decent.  My calves were noticeably tired and I was a bit achy but the fatigue was general.  No specific pains.  I had a good stretch by the car and guzzled an entire bottle of water before heading home to stretch more, foam roll, ice, and repeat.  Et cetera…

Don’t you judge me.

It was a long, long, long run.  It was hard.  It was great.  I had a couple moments where I genuinely wasn’t sure I could finish and about two hours worth of moments where I knew that I could.  Sometimes it’s fun to see the proof:

How were your long runs this weekend? 

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4 thoughts on “Twelve Point Five

  1. Anna says:

    Great JOB! You did awesome!
    I have just been thinking about this mentally hard part. I often run out and backs (one loop is 4.2 miles) and after I finish one loop I always want to stop. A few times I have actually given in but this training cycle? Not going to happen.
    I think I need a running friend of my pace who`d join me and keep me from thinking stupid things. Also, I often pull out my headphones after a few miles because it feels like the music is just sooo annoying and loud even though you can barely hear it. I was wondering if an audiobook would be more soothing and more like an actual person?
    Anyways, my longest run so far has been 12 miles on a treadmill and that was a pain! My weekends LR was 90 minutes and it was great.
    Congratulations on this new distance!!

    • Shauna says:

      The mental challenge is exactly why I chose the four loops! If I’d had any option at all, I would have dropped out after the second loop. 😀

      That’s amazing that you did 12 miles on a TREADMILL. I can barely do half a mile. Those things make me insane!

  2. Julie says:

    Wow, 12 miles on a treadmill!? That kind of mental motivation is exactly why I hate treadmill runs. It’s too easy to slow down. It’s too easy to stop. And it’s dang boring unless there’s a terrible romantic comedy on a tv closeby.

    I do laps around my neighborhood, so I feel your pain, Shauna. You should be so proud of yourself, not just for running insanely far, but because you passed an easy stopping point and kept going 3 TIMES! That’s amazing.

    I’ve noticed the same thing about all my cardio workouts. After about 5 minutes I really want to stop, but once I get to the halfway point it’s like my body just chills out and I guess it’s like a mental downhill, right? Haha. Hope you’re feeling ok today. My first half killed my calves. I wanted to cry in the last mile, but I powered through. It sucks when you’re almost done and some kind of pain starts. Way to push through!

    Do you sometimes feel like a fit body is a way to outwardly show how mentally strong you are? Because it takes a lot, right? Brain power!

  3. […] goal for the run was to simulate race conditions as closely as possible.  I struggled a bit in my last long run which I attributed to fueling issues.  I don’t typically eat many carbs so I loaded up on […]

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