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.
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!
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…
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?