Saturday morning dark and early I met Bree at the Lafayette-Moraga Trail for our run. It was very cool, lowest 50s or so, but forecast to become much warmer, possibly 70s before we finished. I decided to wear shorts and a short sleeved top, but added throwaway gloves (which was good since I wore them on and off for the greater part of the run). The sun rose as we started out along the trail, both feeling pretty good.
Sixteen miles later I wasn't feeling quite as good. Don't get me wrong; nothing hurt. Even after several hours out on the trail, moving along, nothing hurt. That was astounding in itself. But I was very tired again, maybe just a little less than after the half last weekend. We stopped a few times along the way to refill bottles and potty but otherwise kept moving along.
Since the entire trail from the start at Reliez Station Road to the far end at Canyon Road is only about 7.5 miles, we had to do a bit of looping. We found a flat, shady area and turned around for some distance, then repeated it. We had been doing a good (slow) job of run:walking my normal 9:1 but when we got to about mile 14 or so we switched to 4:1. That only lasted minutes before I begged for 2:2 - I was really tired and my lungs just didn't want to keep up with my legs any longer. My legs again seemed to have more energy than the rest of me.
I wasn't really surprised that I was exhausted since I'd spent the past 2 days with undertheweatheritis. In fact, I was surprised that I managed to stay on my feet for that long. At one point I was a bit dizzy and almost stepped (tripped) off the edge of the trail and we were joking about how Bree would have to run quick quick back to her car to come pick me up. Then we decided a cab would be easier. It never came to that, I don't think we ever seriously thought there was a chance I couldn't finish. Too much "mind over matter" training, I guess. I did find that Bree was able to run much faster than I was, so she tried to hang behind my shoulder and not "rabbit."
Once I caught my breath, sat on my bumper and took off my shoes, had a drink, I realized I felt better after that run than I had after a run since -- well -- since all year, I think. It was the longest I've run this year and mentally it was a major step. Physically it was major too. I didn't even get a blister!
The rest of the day, through my afternoon of pampering, my massage (ahhhhhh) and facial/massage (ahhhhh) I waited for my back to start aching. Or for my knee to hurt. Or for my neck to get stiff. Or something to go wrong. It didn't. Finally, in the middle of dinner (and after a nice cold beer) I made the decision I'd been waiting for. Sunday, December 14 I'm going to run the full Dallas White Rock Marathon. Run, I tell ya. My plan is to stick with my normal 9:1 for the entire 26.2 miles and finish feeling strong. We have 2 more long runs and hopefully a bunch of shorter runs (and maybe a swim or two and a bike ride here and there) to keep building strength and endurance.
I'm so excited about planning a marathon that I'm ready to do the happy dance. Except I don't want to risk injuring my back!