Saturday, November 7, 2009

Uncharted Territory

Prior to today, the longest I had ever run in one stretch was 10.5 miles. That was as far as Megan and I got in our long runs last year. And I don't think we even got that far in last year's half before we took a walk break.

But this morning, starting at 6:00 am, I completed my first 12 mile run. Twelve miles. Two hours, seventeen minutes, and forty-four seconds. OF RUNNING.

So I'm in some pain right now.

My new shoes worked wonders on my joints, and I'm happy to report that I'm currently experiencing minimal knee and ankle pain. But my feet. My feet started to hurt about 4 miles in. Damn those hard new shoes! I remember last year after the half, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I could not stand up straight my feet and knees hurt so badly. So I'm guessing I won't know the full level of damage I've done to myself today until I wake up in the middle of the night tonight.

About 8 miles, I hit a low point and basically wanted to die. But around 9 there was a water break, and we stopped for about 20 seconds to down a cup (since this is not like a race where you can drink as you run and just throw your cup to the side of the road...this is the extremely nice people at Breakaway spending their Saturday morning standing around waiting for our sorry selves to drag in to the water stand they've set up) and after that, I felt a lot better.

I was running with two friends I run with most weeks, but this week they added the variable of complaining. A lot. About everything. And on the last leg of a run, it is a horrible, horrible thing to have to listen to people talk about how bad things are. I already knew how bad things were. I could feel it in my body. The only way my body could keep going was if my mind muted its complaints, and it was hard to do that when my mind was being inundated by negative conversation!

I left them in the last mile or so, running just far enough ahead so I couldn't hear them.

We were running a 6 mile loop twice and to break up the monotony the three of us decided to run the loop backwards the second time. The second mile of the loop was extremely hilly, so the downside to our plan was that going backwards put those hills in our 11th mile (instead of our 7th). Again, I felt like dying a little. (And this was the point at which I made a conscious effort to get ahead of the others.)

The other thing is that (as you know) I always wear a pedometer when I run because our routes are mapped by Google and the distances always clock in a tad longer than estimated. We didn't quite complete the first loop before we turned around because, after being asked, I checked my pedometer and we were at 6.2 miles. So we were fine to go ahead and turn around.

But my running mates kept asking for the distance! "How far, Becky?" "What mile are we on, Becky?" "Let us know when we hit 12 miles, Becky!" I never, ever look at my pedometer while I run (too psychologically damaging), but I think that opening and closing it while I was running screwed up the mileage because we were just at 12 miles when we finished when we should have been at at least 12.5.

So really, I have no idea how the hell long I ran, but I'm going to conservatively say 12 because that's what I was supposed to have done.

The lesson of the day is that I may actually prefer running solo to running with people who are talking about the wrong things.

I went to Walgreens yesterday and bought myself a bag of Skittles as an after-run treat. A lot of runners are all like, "Oh, I only eat fruit after I run." Like that makes them awesome people or something.

Fuck that. I just ran 12 miles. I have EARNED these Skittles.

And, um, I think I'm going to go take an ibuprofen or twelve now...


  1. 12 mile *dies* I'd never be able to run that far! I'm glad your new shoes are better for you!

  2. It's only been three days and already I feel like that was a lifetime ago, and I was some different person then who could do amazing physical feats that I never could now! That's a long damn way. I'll run tonight for the first time this week...but I'll take it slow. It takes your body a while to recover after something like that!