Monday, August 06, 2007

There's No Denying It...

I am a runner.

No really, a real runner. I know this for one reason and one reason only. Only someone as stubborn as a runner would be stupid enough to go on a TWENTY MILE run, their FIRST twenty mile run, in Miami in August when it just so happens to be the day that Miami is setting a RECORD BREAKING TEMPURATURE...FOR MIAMI!

I never did win any awards for being smart.

But I am training for a marathon and I do live in Miami. It's not like I am the only person to ever run 20 miles in the heat, so I did what I had to do. I kept running.

And running, and running...and drinking, and running and some walking. A little whining too, lets not lie. I even came up with a new mantra:

"Every step is one step closer to the end."

Maybe not the best mantra for say, life in general, but a pretty damn good one for running. Maybe even the best I had ever heard. And it actually WORKED. I am not a mantra/positive speaking type of gal. But repeating this new phrase over and over to myself as the tempuratures gradually rose and every ounce of salt seeped through my pores actually kept me going. Maybe because it's not so much positve as it is common sense. I may even make tshirts. I can sell them to runners, runners and owners of funeral parlors. I'll make millions.

I came up with it after we had just crossed the Rickenbacker Causeway for the second time around mile 11 and J and I were both feeling pretty much done. But we couldn't stop, we were NINE MILES from home. We couldn't walk, it would have taken forever. And give up? How could I finish a marathon if I can't run through a little heat? So we kept going because the sooner we got there, the sooner it would be over. Ahhh, the power of positive thinking!

Overall, the run was ok. I got plenty of sleep. We started running at 4:45am. The temp was 82 degrees with 80% humidity...BEFORE 5am. Sigh. Whatever, the problem was that it just got so much warmer so much faster than normal. I felt great for a long time. Our pace was good (between a 10:30 and 11:00) and the sun didn't start rising until mile 9. Then we crossed the bridge. It was hard, but not impossible. Then we turned around at mile 10 and crossed it again. Thats when it all went downhill, literally.

My stomach felt pretty good the whole time so that was alright. We drank a ton of water (almost every 5 minutes and I took three Gu's on top of the mini cliff bar before I ran so I was OK there. However, I really need new shoes and was getting a blister on a heel spur that I have. The spur actually dug a hole into the back of my shoe that I have to stuff with cotton before I run (I know, I know). Anyway, it started bothering me around mile 7 so I knew I was in trouble. Then there was the bridge fiasco. Then the sun was up and BLAZING. Absolutely NO cloud coverage. It was completely draining. Then around mile 17.5 we got back to a park where we had hidden a couple of bottles of Gatorade in a tree. They were still there when we got there (I believe someone above was answering my prayers). That helped a little, but it was pretty much too late. Those last two and a half miles were some of the most intense, self-actualizing moments of my life. It really is a testament to how much I have changed in the past year due to my running.

The old me would have NEVER finished this run. I don't even know what came over me. I just kept plugging along. I was so beyond hot that I didn't even notice it anymore. Mainly because I was soaked from head to toe. I mean, my feet were actually "sloshing". I was on the verge of hallucinating and would just zone in and out. I actually even had moments where I forgot I was running. When I had to stop to take a walk break I would almost start crying from the tightening in my legs, but I had no water left in me to come out of my eyes and was too tired to make any noise so I just sort of panted really hard. Yes, it was quite a sight. Running is sooo sexy.

However, I never felt sick or dizzy and I never got chills. I also had no actual "pains" other than the blister and my legs becoming two balls of flaming knots, so I knew I was technically OK and had no real reason to quit.

And thank goodness for Jeremy. He was so awesome and knew right when to stay quiet and right when to chime in with:

"You got this. If you can do run 20 in this weather an Ohio marathon in October will be nothing."

Or my favorite,

"Twenty miles is not supposed to feel good."

Smart ass.

It was exactly what I needed to hear though. Come to find out later he wanted to give up at mile 9 because he was so exhausted and only kept going because he knew that mentally, I needed to get in 20. He told me he was really shocked to see how how tough I was and that it made him sort of feel bad that he wanted to give up. Awww :)

When the run was finally over the hardest part was walking the .25 mile back to my house (we start and end the runs at the end of our street and use our street as a warm-up/cool-down). Although, it would be a bit ambitious to classify what i was doing as "walking". It was more of a dragging/waddling/shuffling/sort of movement. I now know what it feels like to be 90.

The rest of the the afternoon was filled with icebaths, snacks, Gatorade and naps. I couldn't function until about 10pm last night when I finally got the feeling back in my legs and could get up from the couch without feeling as though my kneecaps were going to explode. I must have done something right though, because I feel great today. No problems whatsoever. I wasn't even tired. That's right, I'm a badass! ;)

The rest of the week was good. We had our first training day for the Miami Marathon Group on Saturday. There are about 12-15 people in our group and it is supposed to grow over the next few weeks. I kind of just tagged along and let the the main leader take over as we did our initial 3 mile run. Of course I felt stupid later when he took off and left me and the other female leader to go over stretching with the group. The other leader didn't know any streches, so I had to pretend like I knew what I was talking about. Here's me:

"Uhhh...errr...this one is good for your...uh...groin. Yeah, sit like this and put your feet together. Pull, yeah, not too'll break yourself."

Soooo, professional. Remember how I said I never won any awards?!?! So yeah, I need to learn some stretches. I just know a few and I'm no doctor. I mean, I don't know a lot of the names of all the muscles or the stretches for that matter. I just know what feels good and not to overdo it. These poor people are probably wtf kind of marathon "leader" is this?!? Sigh.

Wednesday, 8/1 - 3.22 miles/29:51 - 9:16 pace
Thursday, 8/2 - 5.65 miles/55:01 - 9:44 pace
Saturday, 8/4 - 3 miles/31:40 - 10:33 pace
Sunday, 8/5 - 20 miles/3:38:07 - 10:53 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 31.87


Michelle said...

OK, THAT is impressive!! Twenty miles!!! You are soooo going to do well in the marathon!!! I can't even imagine running 20 miles in one day. Great, great job!!!!!

Marcy said...

You ARE a runner! And a badass one at that! I absolutely agree with Jeremy, if you can run 20 miles in THAT weather, you can run the 26.2 miles in Ohio like it's nothing. Next stop, we'll have you running Badwater ;-)

I need that mantra on a shirt and "The faster you run=faster you get home" I'd totally buy them!

You rock!!!!

Runner Leana said...

It sounds like that was some character building run for sure. Way to go on sticking it out.

Before I'm 35 said...

Congratulations!! I'm so proud of you.

And how wussy am I for complaining about a 3 miler in the heat of Tennessee! LOL

ws said...

but isn't the weather beautiful here? and those causeways in Miami are totally deceptive, they seem like short inclines but they last forever and ever. That sloshing in the sneakers from dripping sweat is absolutely the worst. great job working through the 20 miler - it sucks, but you are all set for a full marathon in ohio in reasonable weather.

Sonia said...

clap clap clap! Can you hear my applause?! Congrats on the 20 miler! And in those conditions, that'S what I call crazy runner right there! =) Did you see your pace too? Seriously, under 11 min/mile with that heat. You ROCK GIRL!!!

Lori said...

You freaking rock! That marathon will be nothing for you after these training runs. Ohio in October after August in Miami? You will need to run in parkas ;) That is really really sweet that Jeremy was beat after 9, but kept going just for you!

zanne said...

hey .. found your blog through angie's ... love it. great effort on your 20 miler!

i'm running Columbus too ...

zanne said...

hey laurel, to answer your question in my comments - yes, using Columbus as my BQ (this will be my second marathon & second time doing Columbus)... live in Louisville, KY.

columbus is flat & won't be so hot!!!

Amy said...

When I ran the San Diego marathon I had never thought about how my training in Georgia would help...but when I got there, the "unbearable heat" and the "huge hills" around Mission Bay were a breeze for me...and the heat (or lack of it) will be a breeze for you too!

Happy Running!

My Life said...

Wow Laurel - you have turned into such an awesome, amazing runner girl!! Congratulations on your 20 miler! You seriously rock!

Jolene said...

The 20 miles was impressive to be sure, but like you said- running has the power to transform. So many of us once told ourselves we could never even walk 5 miles in the heat, and now we can run 20! I think runs like these are as rewarding as finishing a marathon! You should feel like a proud, bad ass!

Irish Blue said...

YOU are a total badass!!! Ohio weather is going to be so kind to you. For that kind of heat, your pace was excellent.

YOU are a runner!

Anonymous said...

So impressed with you guts and strength to continue after 11 miles...

Don't ever use the phrase, "I'm not a runner" again in the company of the rest of us. You're a major runner.

The advice you were given is true about running in Columbus--it will be 50+ degrees cooler!

Keep up the amazing progress!

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