Oh, God, I Hit the Wall
I have heard comments from runners who love the weekly long runs because of the peace it brings them. I would not describe my mental state during a long run as peaceful. Sure, I feel brief moments of Zen and entertain thoughts like “may your stride be long like the road and fluid as the river” or “A running shoe does not know pain” In more than 3 hours of running I experience everything from elation from being fit enough to run 22 miles, to deep self-doubt as to why I’m even out at dawn in the first place.
Yesterday I accomplished a 22 mile run in a bit less than 3:15. The beginning of the run was not, not, not fun at all and could have been partly attributed to the fact that I got up at 5:30A.M. to do it. Maybe I could be morning runner, but it sure doesn’t come naturally.
The rest of the run was fairly good while the last 1.5 miles felt like I was doing a death shuffle. Not a pretty sight. My feet ached, my legs wobbled, and my eyes screwed up against the stinging sweat flowing into them. I didn’t feel like a fluid Kenyan runner you see flying through the last 5k of a marathon. I kept running (shuffling along) because I didn’t want to call my Dad and have him come pick me up (humiliating!) The last 1/2 mile seemed the hardest. I kept saying, It’s only 2 laps around the track, now less than 2 laps around the track, less than 2 laps… I also tried to keep in mind that while it might hurt now it was helping me build for the marathon. Sweet, sweet relief flooded me when I finally spied the “Extremely Dangerous When Wet, Beware Ice” sign that lets me know I’m less than 10 meters from the finish.
Then, after all that, I didn’t stretch or cool-down.
That was stupid.
Today I ache all over.