Rain dripped off my visor as I pounded out 17.1 miles this morning. By myself. I survived.
I almost did not go because it started to drizzle and I calculated I could go later in the day when the forecast was for clearing. That sounded to me like the genesis of a poor excuse not to run at all. I HAD to go long today. It was vital after slacking a couple weeks. My mileage slipped from 42 miles the week of Thanksgiving to 31 including the half marathon and then just 27 last week.
I was dressed to go and fueled up. I sat at my laptop and plotted a double route run. The first lap was tight around the lake for six miles and then a scenic diversion route of 11.1 on the second lap, my usual Sunday run.
The first six miles were easy for me. I was thinking I'd try to keep it slow for the first 14 miles. I stole the idea out of January's Runners World to go slow, then lower the pace by 10 seconds each of the last three miles. I stopped at M6 for some Gatorade. At M10 I had half a pack of some tasty orange Gu and water. It may not have been enough fluid. From M12-14 I was cramping in my right calf a lot and showing poor form. Then the rain started coming down too. I told myself this was good; that I needed some adversity to prepare for the full marathon.
At M14 I stopped at a park, with a steady drizzle, and found somebody's cooler with an ample supply of Gatorade so I had a good 10 ounces with the rest of my Gu. It didn't take long for the glycogens to restock and keep me moving, cramp free. I covered the last three miles at an increased pace, although I didn't mark time to measure my splits.
As soon as I got home I grabbed a Gatorade, peeled off the wet shirt and everything else and jumped in the shower. I couldn't wait. My hands were so cold the water felt like it was burning them. I threw on some shorts and a t-shirt and got back into bed, under the covers with my knees elevated. I fell right to sleep for 30 minutes.
Stretching was easy except for my right calf and Achilles. Even my back felt good. I did concentrate on good running form many times out there today.
A PB&J sandwich with water and some yogurt revived me. I have to say it was a sneak peak at what 26.1 may feel like. I covered the 17.1 today in 2:43:38 which is a 9:34 pace (which included a couple stops). That's my goal pace. I was supposed to run slower than that today but didn't. Oh well.