Sunday, September 11, 2011

Curse of the 18

GBA RULE of Running #18:
When running an 18 mile training run with MTT, BEWARE THE HOT RUNNING COACH.

So... Did I ever tell you about that 18 miler last year when I got caught up in a conversation with that hot running coach I didn't really know very well and went out too fast and then totally crashed and burned at mile 14 and swore I would NEVER EVER make that mistake again no matter how entertaining or hot the coach was...? 



so yeah.

about that.

Last year, I *kinda* did that.  And I swore I wouldn't do it again.  I remember swearing it, over a cup of coffee with TMB.  I am not sure but I think a coffee pledge over a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee is a little like a blood sister promise, but I could be wrong.

Saturday's run was full of hope...  and then what happened?

And then, it was The Curse of the 18 Miler.

Let me just argue here for a minute that it's not my fault the coach is hot.  It's Virginia... and it was 93% humidity on Saturday.  True story.   just. sayin'.

Q, T, & g.
"Come run MTT, we ALWAYS have this much fun!"
So, as I said, on Saturday I connected with Q at the beginning of my run and we fell into a really good conversation.  That sometimes happens between runner friends who have a lot of running history but who haven't been running together in a while....

It just didn't feel THAT fast to me at the time... 'cos, yeah.  It just didn't.  It never does when this coach and I are running in the same cadence though...   And never mind that with humidity at the start of the run, we all probably should have been under achieving in the first few miles anyway....

Truly those first miles weren't that bad.  Splits on the watch don't lie.  But still, 18 miles, yada yada, the plan to start slow... so after a stern lecture at the first SAG (thanks T)... Q & I reconnected with TMB, 3L & KC, and enjoyed some good hearty laughs on the Nickol Bridge (*snicker snicker*).

Q left us on the first major climb of the route coming off the bridge, and we settled in for a tasty 18 miler.

The route was shady and scenic, with hills for the main dish... some hills on the side... topped with hills.

And we know I love hills.

I was having a great run.  Half way through and I was CHAMPION, even calling out Those People.  KC & 3L left me & T, NBD, even though I knew I was dropping T at mile 11, I wasn't worried.  I was *kinda* looking forward to running alone for a few miles.  I've had a lot on my mind, some "lonely" miles with 899 runners sounded nice.

Yup.  Dropped T, and I was ROCKING IT OUT.

I was dripping puddles of sweat, and stopped at every S.A.G. wagon to drink a silly amount of water, power aid and more power aid.  By mile 14 though... I was getting cramps through my diaphragm and shoulders.  By mile 15.... the cramps were full body, ranging from my calf muscles up through my triceps...  By mile 15.5 or so... I was literally screaming in pain and took stock of my run...

The BAD NEWS was that I was in agony, and every run step I took hurt as more than anything I've ever done, including 3X natural child birth.  I felt bad for Cass's Paul, as he was running with me by this point in the game.

no longer sweating, or smiling.
But Cass's Paul looks good.
The GOOD NEWS was that I was no longer being blinded by sweat.

Hold the phone.... is that good news?

How is this possible?  And that's when I realized that there wasn't any new sweat forming on my arms and running down and dripping off my elbows.  I wonder how long it had been...


The pain was crippling.  I actually (shh...) contemplated calling for a car.  Seriously.  I almost sat down and said, "yeah, go get a coach and fetch me in a car."

But I didn't.  Cos I'm stupid that's how I roll.

Practically crawled back to the Stadium, took a few minutes to flirt with my favorite People (at least I'm honest, though, sadly I wasn't in very good form, given the whole dehydration bit...), and then I limped home with KC (oh and don't worry about the fact that I accidentally spilled 280 oz of coffee in KC's Honda Pilot during the ride), and collapsed into an ice bath.... still screaming in pain, but then again, it's an ice bath, people in my house didn't even question it.

ice bath + coffee + ducky + clothing
while the camera was running.  hello,
people, it's a rated PG blog...
BUT as you people know, I'm not going to let a little thing like "a sucktastic run" get me down.  I'm not that kind of girl.

NO ONE comes into marathon training with the idea that all 680 miles (ok I admit I made that number up) of the training plan are going to be easy or free or light or fast.  Some runs are just going to suck.

There are going to be days when it's a slug-fest of pushing your feet forward one after the other.
There are going to be days when you think that running in the heat is insane.
There are going to be days like this.

And you know...

That's OK.

Because Saturday wasn't the marathon.  It was just a lesson.  A harsh lesson in humility, in preparation, in not taking 18 miles lightly, and, probably the most valuable lesson, (AGAIN) in....

Beware the Hot Running Coach.


Meredith said...

Love this and love that you share the good, the bad and even the ugly. Love that because of you I wasn't completed discouraged after my first insanely hard 18 miler. Love that even when 20 hurt, I knew that it was training, and like you said, not the marathon. Thank you for being real G! And, way to go on your mental training!

MCM Mama said...

I don't know if I should lecture you about the dehydration thing or be jealous of the company you keep...

Be careful out there, girly!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Love you G!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

All those miles, not all of them are beautiful! Maybe your blog should be the Real side of Running. ;-)

Anne said...

Your bad girl antics always make me smile widely :) Loved reading this...though I don't love the fact that you were dehydrated (you do know that can be dangerous right?)...sigh ;) Great pics...thanks for being so real!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

I had a Sucktastic Boston Marathon and First Marathon...would have TOTALLY traded those for a bad 18 miler. Head up my lady, you are a rockstar.

FYI FINALLY put the GBA stick on my Jeep, it is FANTASTIC..

Hugs to getting to the MArathon injury free and to hot coaches..

bobbi said...

I can't decide if this post makes me WANT a hot running coach, or GLAD I don't have one :)

Take care of you!

Julie D. said...

well, if it's beware the hot running coach?... i think you better start thinking about the fact that all the guys are saying 'beware of hot G" looking good girl. bad runs SUCK and its a good thing we all have 'em...or I might quit this whole running thing. :)