February 11, 2009

They Can't Always be Easy

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. The temperature was already in the 5os by mid-morning and it was sunny and perfect. I had a long run on the schedule and was actually pretty excited about it. After all, my last two long runs were done on the treadmill (10 miles) and in frigid conditions (Manhattan Half Marathon).

I had breakfast and did some stretching. My legs were pretty tight when I woke up. Some time passed by so I had a snack before dressing and heading out. As I jogged down my street I felt really happy. It was great to be in the sun and be outside in shorts and a t-shirt. As it would turn out, that was the last time I'd be happy on this run.

I had worn my lightweight arm warmers and was overheating after only 1 mile. I knew I'd never make it 11 miles like this so I ran back and left them in the mailbox of a friend's place. The run to Prospect Park was ok, albeit all uphill and as noted before, slightly ugly through parts. I reached the park and picked up the pace and all seemed well until I started to get thirsty. Really, really thirsty. I didn't have any small bottles of water so I had brought money intending to simply buy some when I was ready. However, this is Brooklyn and unlike Central Park where the water sources are plenty, after deciding I needed water, I ran for about 2 more miles before I finally found a place to buy it. At this point I had been running for over an hour and was totally dehydrated. I ate my Hammer Gel, which by that point wasn't even close to enough, and downed about half the water. To add insult to injury, the small Poland Spring that is $1 just about everywhere in NYC was $1.07. Ah, nothing like having 93 cents rattling around in your running shorts. I ended up tossing it on the ground eventually.

I started running again after this slight detour and within moments the goosebumps came. I was freezing and couldn't seem to get my body temperature back up. I had wanted to switch my running direction in the park, but ended up at the opposite corner from where I began so I had to keep going. In an effort to change it up and avoid some hideous hills, I took a road called Center Drive thinking it would transverse the park and drop me on the other side. This was not the case. Not only did it lead to another slow uphill, but it ended right back where I started, in the corner of the park where the deli was. I nearly cried. At this point I was exhausted, in pain and still a bit cold. I just wanted to quit. I actually took a walk break to get out of the park, and I never walk during my long runs. If I weren't 2 miles from home I would have just quit.

I suffered through the remainder and was thankful it was at least downhill, although even then I couldn't generate any speed. My legs just wouldn't cooperate. I have never been more happy to see a run end.

After two days of really phenomenal workouts this was a huge letdown. Not only did I not enjoy it, but I was afraid of injury the entire time. It's too early in the season to be battling issues. I spent the rest of the day on the couch with my legs up and immediately contacted my coach to let him know it did not go well. Now my fingers are crossed that the next workout goes better.

Distance - 11.01 miles
Time - 1:39:33

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