Saturday, July 14, 2012

Long Marathon Training Run #1

My first "long" marathon training run. wow. so much to say about this run. I went all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the bridge into Manhattan, and then back home again. 8 miles! My longest run so far this year!

It was an overcast, relatively cool summer day, so I planned to go out around around 12pm. That didn't exactly happen as planned. Instead I sat around the apartment all day with a huge stomach ache and didn't make it out the door until nearly 6pm.

It wasn't easy. On the way my stomach aches persisted and gradually grew worse. I barely made it 2 miles when I stopped due to the intense pain/discomfort in my abdomen and nearly turned around to go back home. Somehow I managed to convince myself to keep going, so I started walking again, then gradually began jogging, and continued on my way. I picked up speed, fell into a relatively comfortable pace, and made it all the way over the bridge.

By the time I reached the end of the bridge, I had to stop to revive myself.  I took a quick break at the water fountain and popped some dried cherries while I deliberated over my next move.  I seriously contemplated taking the subway back home, then told myself that was dumb.  Part of me wanted to call it a day and get on the subway, but part of me wanted to forge onward and run/shuffle my way home.  I'd been out for 40 minutes and gone just under 4 miles.

My determination won out and I ran back over the bridge - the way back was so much easier. Surprisingly, the cherries helped my stomach feel better!  I fell into a groove, and since my stomach wasn't bothering me anymore.  I even zoned out a few times. However my feet started to hurt a lot. They kept banging up against the front of my shoe and my forefoot and toes were in pain. Either my feet have grown, or my new forefoot strike pushes my weight forward in a way that my feet aren't used to yet. Either way I need to purchase new running shoes. It's perhaps high time to get rid of the half a dozen - or more - old running shoes that I've been collecting, most of them are from 2008-2009 and are long past their mileage expiration. It's perhaps time to streamline my life with just one (maybe two) pairs of running shoes. So every time I stopped at a red light or intersection, I grew increasingly aware of the sharp pains in both feet.

Soon enough the pain transferred to my legs and I knew I had reached the point where my ability to finish my run would be a case of mind over matter. As long as I could keep running, I'd be fine, but the second I stopped my legs and feet would hurt so badly that I could barely walk. The only choice was to keep running, so I did, and I made it all the way home without stopping. Since I had taken it "easy" for the entire run, I had energy to spare at the the end and was able to pick up my pace for the last half mile and sprint at the very end.

I'm honestly shocked I lasted the full 8 miles. This is by far the farthest I've run all year, and I'm positive that if I can survive 8 miles then I can most certainly do 13. So I'm not worried about the half anymore. Not that I ever was worried in the first place... but it's comforting to know I can essentially just pop off the couch and run 8 miles. It wasn't effortless, and it certainly wasn't easy, but it really wasn't that hard either; for all intents and purposes, it was totally doable.

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