Okay, back to crushing souls and lifting spirits. I woke up Monday morning with an adorable summer cold. You know, the one that starts with sneezing fits, and then takes a quick turn into snotsville? Yep, that happened. The good news is that the cold seems to be confined just to my head, so it could be a lot worse. I went on with my planned miles, and just slowed it down as needed (I friends, have set the benchmark this week for how slow one can actually run while still calling it "running"; I dare anyone to challenge me on this).
Yesterday I went out for my first long run of the weekend; I needed to do a road run, as time didn't allow for me to drive to the woods and run. I took a full 32oz of fluid with me, as I knew it would be hot out, and I would need extra liquid to make up for the snot and sweat I was losing. The first 12 miles felt surprisingly decent; I just plodded along, doing my thang. I was definitely taking in more fluid, and my snot rocket per mile ratio was astounding. It was somewhere about mile 16ish when everything started unraveling; I felt like crap, my legs felt like lead, I was incredibly hot, and my body just wanted to be done. I tried every mind trick in the book, and then I just tried quieting my mind. Nothing was working. In comes the negotiation phase that every runner has gone through (don't lie to me and tell me you've never done this): "If you can run just ONE mile, I'll give you a 30 second walk break". "If you get me home, I promise lots of watermelon and ice cold water".. You know the drill. Then I ran out of fluid at mile 17, as I was in a spot w/ no shade and felt like my skin was going to burst into flames. Miles 17-20 felt like they took a decade to complete. Somehow I managed to still be coherent when my Garmin clicked over to 20 miles. My tweet when I came back in the house was "I think I left my soul somewhere around mile 17.. Good God that was a hard run.. BUT I finished.. And now I shall die (hows your dramatic?). I think it was a combo of my cold, the heat, and frankly, not having a gigantic base to build off of. Either way, I checked that run off the list, and I don't intend to repeat that anytime soon.
My second long run was on tap this morning, a 12 miler. I went to bed at 8:15 last night (yes, 8:15!), after pounding some cold medicine, and some Gatorade. I slept about 9.5 hours and woke up feeling pretty good. The legs were tired (duh), but I went through the motions. If I had stopped to think about it, I'm sure I could have come up with 64 reasons why to put off my run. I chose a loop that goes by 3 firehouses (because seriously, how can you have a bad run when you're running by an abundance of firefighters??) and headed out. I flipped the Garmin to the inside of my wrist, and make the executive decision to not look at it; it's not like it was going to magically tell me I was running 8 min/miles after running 20 miles yesterday. For some bizarro reason, the legs were onboard this morning. I wouldn't call them zippy, but they definitely did their part. They whined a little when I had to add on the silly little 2 mile loop to get 12, but they hung in there. It was such a stark difference from yesterday's run, and I finished the run feeling pretty strong (it's all relative....).
Despite having a less than ideal 20 miler yesterday, I'm proud of myself for getting through these runs. I'm craving some social long runs, as I've been doing way too many of these solo; however I do think that for me, it's been good to have to tough these out without anyone to use as a crutch.
And for us New Englanders, I have a feeling that this fall, we're all going to feel like rockstars after toughing it out through this heat and humidity!