I ran a difficult 20 miles yesterday.
I had limited time to get the distance in (Baseball game tickets in hand for that afternoon, and an alarm that didn’t go off for me), and an over-abundance of “don’t wanna” feelings. I opted to run on the treadmill at my office (yeah, I know, despite the negativity of that place…it’s a free gym, what can I say?).
I started on the “Mill O’ Torture” as soon as I got to there at 0730 AM. One of the nice
Miles 1 and 2 were slow…slower than normal for me on this thing. Normally, I hit the speed up to 6.7 and the incline to 1 or 1.5 and just rock out like running is easier than breathing. But today, ugh, today felt awful. I wasn’t hurting, the injuries weren’t acting up (yet). No, it just felt like a struggle. I dropped the incline to 0 and the speed backed down to 6.1…then to 5.9. Once I settled into this pace, things smoothed out a little. I still felt the struggle though. Around mile 4 I opened and took a small taste of a caffeinated cliff shot. Oh, man! The jolt! I was pumping the speed back up to 6.8 and felt so much better. I stopped at mile 7 (1 hour and some change into the run) to take in the whole cliff shot and water (and to refill water).
Miles 4-14, brought to you by caffeine.
The run was still feeling pretty meh. I tried swapping from my usual audio book entertainment to my workout music mix. I only made it 3 more miles before I started lagging again and decided that the music wasn’t really distracting me the way I needed it to. Back to the book.
Miles 14-18 brought to you by “ow, what the f**k?”
Around this time my foot injury started in. I realized early on (around mile 8) that the pain hadn’t started when it usually does, and I’m no idiot to believe that without proper recovery and rest that the injury was gone. I think there’s a point to training on the treadmill. As with all things, it’s a way to change up your surface type. The roads were bothering my foot, grass and dirt helped a bit, but the unevenness didn’t… enter the treadmill. When I was training for my first marathon, my friend and coach, Dave, told me that it was a good idea to hop on the treadmill some of the time in order to give everything (joints, muscles, mind) a break. I would go a step farther to say that treadmill running can also be a big help to your running mental game… learning to distract yourself in long miles…learning what works or doesn’t work to keep yourself from wanting to quit… Letting you actually “take a break” and instead of worrying about cars, bicycles, groups of asshat teens walking 20 abreast and trying to shove you when you go around them (Am I the only one that happened to?), and dogs (on and off-leash) – you can just turn your mind off a while…day dream… just … exist in the motion of running.
And, apparently, its good for coming back from injuries too.
Miles 16,17, and 18 were the worst. My calf/Achilles started aching so badly that I had to stop each mile and stretch it out. Coupled with the pain from the top of my other foot, I was breaking down to a determined look of pain.
Mile 18 was the worst. Almost a quarter mile into it, the calf ache became a full cramp….a “charlie horse”… as I tried to hobble through, a side-stitch started, and immediately on top of that, a cramp in my shoulder joint. I cried out with the pain it was so bad! I jumped off the treadmill immediately and lay on the foul floor of the gym trying not to cry (It would be my luck that a shitty co-worker would choose that moment to use the gym) and rubbing out the pain in my shoulder and calf. A shit-ton of water, another cliff shot, and a bit more time stretching and I was able to finish the final mile.
20 miles done. 2:56:47…. minus the fucking around parts and the stretching and that whole dying of cramps as my body rebelled against me.
Tough runs don’t last. Tough runners do.
You only get that way by sucking it up and pushing through the suck.
The ballgame was GREAT, by the way! My super-nerd of a husband wore a “sportball team” shirt and “baseball cap”…haha… and then he put on a sport coat and tucked the shirt in…one step at a time, I guess. Still! He came to a game with me and got totally into it! To the point of jeering and cheering along with the great crowd of people around us. Don’t worry. I let him pull me around a “BotCon” (transformers convention) all day the day before. This was such a great weekend, bad run included.