On my long runs this summer, my attitude has been waffling between "I don't have anywhere to be all day so I'll just sleep in ridiculously late and torture myself running in the heat" and "I want my weekends free so bad that I'll wake up at 3:30 am and do my long run before work in the dark".
Today, I finally managed to hit a happy medium. I woke up at 6:30, drove to a paved/packed dirt trail, and was running by 7:30. I'm usually really lazy when it comes to driving places to run by myself (I'd rather just start and finish outside my front door) but the thought of doing another long run in my neighborhood made me want to puke.
Of course, last night's overnight low was 71, and the high today was 75, so I wasn't exactly beating the heat. The challenge Mother Nature threw at me this time was humidity. It was over 90% for my entire run. I was soaked before I hit 3 miles, and by the halfway point my feet were sloshing in my shoes. It goes without saying that I am enjoying some nasty chafing and blisters now.
This has been my longest run so far during this training cycle, and it was one of those really mentally challenging ones. The kind where you run about a tenth of a mile and then are like "wait, 22 miles, WTF? Who does that?". Logically, I knew I had run 20 miles just a few weeks ago and that my body could handle the distance, but I still had to play a lot of mind games with myself to get through 22 miles. Eric always thinks it's so weird that I get intimidated by long distances but seriously, I don't care how many times I've done it before, 22 miles is a long ass way. Especially when it feels like you're in a sauna.
|Random running humor|
Anyway, I completed 22 tough miles at 9:39 pace, still slow, but considering the humidity I'm on board with it. As soon as I got back to my car it started thundering, so the timing really was perfect. I went immediately to Wegmans to buy chocolate milk, a sub, and more chocolate for later (isn't it weird how much I've been talking about how slow I am even with my impeccable fueling?).
I thought training for a 50 mile race would be less time consuming than triathlon training since it's only one sport and doesn't require any equipment. I totally failed to consider how much more you need to pay attention to recovery with only one sport. By the time I ran, changed clothes, wandered around Wegmans in a stupor trying to talk myself out of buying everything because I broke our cardinal rule about not going to the grocery store hungry, drove home, took an ice bath, foam rolled, stretched, and yanked on compression gear, it was so late that I was forced to drink decaf coffee instead of regular. (I must have coffee every day, so even if it's 2pm and I've already gotten caffeine from Gus, I need my ritual).
Now we're about to dig into another wonderful Kari recipe for dinner, baked mac and cheese with pesto. Refueling with tons of cheese (or just eating tons of cheese in general) is always a good choice.
What distance is your WTF level (or are you on Eric's plan, once you run a distance than you are forever superior to it)? Mine is probably anything over 15 miles. I require a self pep talk about every half mile at that point.