You may recall, last week my attempt at a 19 miler, well, SUCKED. It seemed I did everything wrong and it showed at my failed performance.
So, after much discussion, and advice from you my fabulous friends, I decided to attempt to 18 miles this past weekend. This time it will go better. This time I will finish it. THIS TIME I WILL FIX THE MISTAKES I MADE LAST WEEK! …yeah, that was a lie.
On Saturday I had a CrossFit competition. Doing this the day before attempting 18 miles may seem like a mistake, but I’m doing Goofy. I just saw the competition almost as my half training run the day before. Plus I didn’t do all the much during my competition (which will be explained in a later post) so it wasn’t that big of a deal. However, I also had a Christmas party that night. A Christmas party where I only ate a small SMALL bowl of chili for dinner, and perhaps had more Oktoberfests and Bailey’s Balls than I should have (OMG those things were SO AMAZING!). This would also make it my 3rd late night out in a row.
I was meeting my dad at 8:15 in the morning. He was going to cover 6-7 miles with me and I was thankful for the company. Which is why I was up and out at 8:15 despite my late nights…I couldn’t talk my dad into a 9am start. I was lucky I got him out later than 7am.
Since I was at the competition all day on Saturday, I asked Doug if he could grab me a bagel for me to have in the morning. Apparently, my wonderful husband forgot to get me said bagel…which I wasn’t aware of until 8am when I asked him if he would put peanut butter on it for me. So, strike 2, no bagel with peanut butter which is my usual pre-long run breakfast (yes he felt horrible about it). I had to scarf down a Luna protein bar because that’s all I had and I was off.
Strike 3 was my rushing around. I didn’t prepare everything I would need for my run the night before and the morning I was scrounging around frantically to get everything together. I was already dooming myself for this run. I was begging Doug to run some of it with me after my dad left, to which his response was “but it’s cold outside.” I don’t blame him. He really is wonderful. I just wish he would have said yes.
Because of my late start, I didn’t hydrate enough before I started my run. I drink a LOT of liquids when I run. I mean A LOT. I sweat like nobody’s business no matter what the temperature, so I need to replenish. When I ran out I only had my 1 bottle of water and half a bottle in my car. All the fuel I had was that bar and a bag of gummi bears (which half of emptied on the course…I would run by my poor spilled gummi bears multiple times).
So, I was not off to a great start. I met up with my dad. I was going to do 4:1 intervals (which is my plan for race day), my dad was going to straight run, but his pace was such that I could catch up with him and still run the majority of the run interval with him. My intervals were a bit of a mess mile 3-4. Because of my limited water, I was trying to conserve my sips. We had a steep uphill and my walk interval fell on the way back down it. Wanting to take advantage of the downhill, I decided to skip the walk and keep running. As a result I got a HORRIBLE cramp in my side. It was bad. At the bottom of the hill, I took an early, or late, walk break. I took longer than a minute. I couldn’t stand up right it was that bad. I drank more of my water than I wanted to and struggled to catch back up to my dad.
By around mile 4 my dad would take his short walk break and told me to go on without him and he’ll catch up. Still suffering the effects of my cramp, I opted to walk with him as well.
At some point my cramp went away and my intervals got back on track. The time running with my dad definitely passed fast and before I knew it, his shift was over. I walked with him for a little bit and ate some gummi bears. Yeah, waiting until mile 6-7 to start consuming some energy (also not that wise).
My dad had covered almost 7 miles with me. This left “only” 11 for me to do on my own. I can TOTALLY do 11 on my own. I mean, that’s less than a half marathon! I got this!
Spoiler alert: I don’t got this.
My water was all done at this point so I stopped off at my car to get what little I had left. There was no way I was surviving double digits on this, but I would try.
It was colder and dismal outside. And for whatever reason, it was getting colder. When the wind started blowing it was downright unbearable. I felt like my legs were hardly moving. I ate some more gummi bears, but it wasn’t enough. With about 5 miles left I called Doug to plead with him to bring me some more water. He did, but, well, that conversation kinda left me feeling like crap.
“Only” 5 miles to go and I was feeling like a failure. I mean, I basically did a half marathon. I never struggled this much with a half. On my own, I was convinced my running was slower than my walking. Doug showed up with my water, but I ended up feeling worse after that.
I struggled…and mostly walked…another 1.5 miles and then just decided I couldn’t be outside any more. I was freezing. My legs were numb. My face was numb. I had gone through an entire packet of tissues and still couldn’t breath. I was a mess.
My the time I got to my car, I had only done 16.6 miles. I still had about 1.5 to go.
I got in the car, got home, immediately walked by Doug and hopped on my treadmill. He was telling me I had done enough. I’m pretty sure that I yelled at him and said “No! I have to do 18 dammit! That’s the whole point! I know I can do 16, I need to do 18!” (yes, I apologized to him later, but he understood I was physically and emotionally drained at that point and didn’t take it personally…)
After sitting in a car, even for only 5-10 minutes, getting moving again was tough. But DAMMIT I WAS DOING 18 MILES IF IT KILLED ME! I just wanted to get it done. I switched to 1:1 intervals. And then…finally…I was done.
It took WAY longer than I wanted, had WAY more emotional breakdowns during it that I would like, walked WAY more of it than I wanted to, and pretty much didn’t do ANYTHING right with this run in terms of fueling, liquids and sleep, but I did it. My legs got in 18 miles. It was ugly. It was slow (even for me). It sucked. And I pretty much have ZERO confidence in finishing a full marathon at this point.
BUT Doug made a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for me when I was done and it was the most delicious thing EVER. No seriously, he makes them pretty good to begin with, but this one was beyond exceptionally yummy.
My attempt at 20 may kill me. Here’s hoping the bad dress rehearsals equal phenomenal race day performances!