Through countless race training periods, I’ve clearly identified that I’m a two-week taper girl.
I know that a lot of programs recommend three, but as my body thrives on routine, and I train alternating shorter and longer long runs, that third week breaks pattern. And I can’t do it.
So what that means is that yesterday was my peak run. And this was the mother of all peaks…this was the Everest of training runs.
The longest I’ve ever run that wasn’t a race…24 miles.
See for marathons I peak at 20. And since I’ll be running oh, 5 or 6 miles longer, I upped it to 24. Because I wasn’t going to do 26. I mean seriously, who would run a marathon that doesn’t count. Lol and I considered 25, but eh, 24 seemed plenty.
It all started out okay. I had prepped an aid station on my kitchen counter. (Those bottles contain heed and tailwind – yummy!?
I had my fancy new sparkle visor.
But despite my best efforts, I wasn’t completely prepared for the weather. Hot is hot no matter how you slice it. And 90 degrees and sun and an air quality alert would have kept a lesser woman inside.
But I have a mission…a mission to become ultra. (Plus I don’t have a treadmill). So I put on a brave face and headed out early.
And ran in circles. First on a 4.5 mile loop, and then a 1mile loop.
The first 3 loops went pretty well. I had my huckleberry hammer gel (YUM!!) and my heed. And I stopped between each loop to hit my aid station and grab what I needed for the next one.
And on that third loop the pavers I kept passing called out “how many times are you going around?” When I said this was three of five, they replied “sweet mother Mary. Good for you. Do an extra for me” lol
Always a great boost to be cheered on by a random stranger. 🙂
And speaking of random strangers… About a mile after the pavers, I hit a spot where a car refused to move over. Now I have no problem going onto a lawn where I can, but in this case it was trees and I had nowhere to go, and this car had lots of room yet didn’t budge and inch. And came by me so close it was scary. I turned and waved my arms and yelled some words I won’t print.
Well don’t ya know, about a half mile later I hear a car slow behind me – the same one. The driver came back to apologize! I was floored. Apparently she thought there was more room between us and hadn’t meant to scare me. I thanked her and kept going.
My fourth loop got a little rougher. I was oozing liquid sparkle and starting to walk shirt sections. And when I hit the town line decided I’d skip the fifth long loop and run the rest on my street where I could just keep my bottle on the ground and not have to carry it.
So I hit my aid station at mile 18 and started having a crisis of faith. I was getting really overheated. And the cookie I’d had wasn’t sitting well. So I texted my coach/sole sister. And merely said 18 done. 6 to go. Need to cool down first.
I grabbed a banana and some water and decided to walk mile 19. And got the “go. Go. Go” reponse text. Which meant she knew that I was struggling. And knew I needed encouragement. Because sole sisters know without saying. 🙂
I hit the end of 19 and ran 20. And then spent the next three running a 1/2 mile walking a 1/2 mile. All the while thinking “how am I gonna make 24” and even worse “how am I gonna do over 30 in two weeks”.
You know how? Baby steps. One mile at a time. Never before has the “run the mile you’re in” saying been more applicable.
Mile 24 I was going to walk all of. But then I needed to beat a car to an intersection and ran about a tenth of a mile. Then walked to 23.75. Said to myself “you CAN do this” and ran that last quarter mile.
Trudged up the hill to my house and laid down on the kitchen floor. For a while. With an ice pack. And an ice cold coke. 🙂 and the world’s cutest cheering section keeping me company.
And for a while seriously doubting if I will be able to survive the ultra. But you know what? I didn’t think I would survive the 24 and I did. And I can move as slowly as I need to to finish. Because I don’t give up.
And in 12 days when I get to the lake, I will do what I need to. To reach that new peak mileage. 🙂
Happy Monday! And happy running!!