I’m sure it comes to no one’s surprise that I didn’t wake up at 7 a.m. Not even close. I snoozed my alarm every 30 minutes until 9:30 a.m. Training lesson #1: Don’t stay up until 2 a.m. launching a blog before an early morning long run.
I did everything else right. I ate a well-balanced (ish) meal of carbs and protein for dinner. I got into bed early, instead of staying out with friends. I hydrated profusely. Nevertheless, the self-induced lack of sleep and/or noticeably hotter time at which I started my run made today’s 11-miler absolutely brutal.
The run started okay, kicking off on West Avenue in the direction of the beachwalk via Lincoln Road. My legs—primarily my ankles—felt tight so I began at a 10:30 min/mi pace. Around mile 4, they started to loosen up and I got into a groove as I made it onto the eastbound shoulder of the MacArthur Causeway.
Then, as I was closing in on mile 7, I hit the MacArthur Causeway bridge on the way back and hit a wall. The rest of the run I looked like I was being tortured. I’m usually a very animated runner that dances, plays the air drums, sings to passing cars, and even raps. During the second half of todays run, every movement was carefully calculated. Even the deep frown on my face was crafted so as to require minimum energy expenditure.
I finished by breaking the remaining route into smaller segments and celebrating as I finished each one. It’s a mental trick that really works for me. Another strategy that helped was reminding myself that I have run 11 miles before with ease. Alas, I completed today’s long run training in 1 hour and 50 minutes.
According to Roy, “sometimes hitting the wall is a good thing” because your body adapts to suffering and it makes you stronger for the next run. Here’s to hoping he’s right. (He’s been right about most everything else so the odds are in his favor.) I’m definitely keeping it in mind as I go into a new week of training.
P.S. I came upon an interesting conundrum during today’s run and am polling runners on what they would do. Leave your answer in the comments below or submit it via Twitter.
Mid-run (around mile 6 of 11) I ran into a group of people who wanted me to stop to take their picture. Would you have stopped?
— Margarita Wells (@margaritaruns) December 16, 2017