Well, I ran 18 miles yesterday…and it hurt…a lot. What’s odd about it is that I felt mentally fine, cardiovascularly fine, but my legs felt like they were going to snap off at the hip. It was quite surreal.
When I got home from my run, I was walking very gingerly (Parker was imitating my old lady gait quite accurately) because my ankles felt like they were going to break at any second. Truly, I was concerned that they might just break off. That’s a nice visual, isn’t it? But really, I have very skinny little ankles and I’m not sure that they’re equipped to carry my 5’11” frame over long distances. I’m sure they’ve filed a complaint with the proper authorities for the amount of abuse they’ve had to suffer through.
Anyway, I had a few objectives that I had to meet before I collapsed onto the couch: (1)A scalding hot shower; (2) three Advil; (3) nourishment (which consisted of a huge glass of chocolate milk and some homemade buttered popcorn); (4) a good deal of whimpering. Once all those things were accomplished, I blessedly got to put my tortured feet up and I promptly realized that I was having great difficulty staying awake. This shouldn’t be surprising considering that I ran for over three hours straight and burned more than 2,000 calories.
Fortunately, Parker was in a snuggly mood and after laying on me for 30 minutes (watching Thomas the Train, naturally), we both headed into the bedroom for a nice, long nap. I woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed and while my legs were still protesting any movement, I no longer felt as if they had been beaten with a sledgehammer.
In retrospect, it was time to pay the piper. This is the climax of my training (I have a 20 miler in two weeks) and these runs are definitely the ones that separate the quitters from the finishers…or the sane from the crazies – anyone want to venture a guess as to where I fall??
The marathon is only 5 weeks away and I am absolutely certain of one thing – I will be ready. This journey has been both a mental and physical struggle. My head is definitely in the game and my body is doing it’s best to hang in there. When I first signed up for the marathon, I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to complete these double-digit runs and while I knew that it wouldn’t be easy (obviously), I wasn’t prepared for the sheer mental toughness that it takes to keep going when every joint in your body is screaming, “STOP!” I think you have to be a little crazy to do this because when I hit that place, it just makes me want to keep going just to prove that I can. It’s nuts, I know.