As a OB/GYN, my life is rather unpredictable. I can’t really tell my patients, “Hey hold that baby in for another hour, while I log 4 more miles.” This week was one of those crazier weeks at the office, causing me to miss one of my runs and reschedule a crossfit workout to Thursday.
In addition to work’s stress, this weekend’s impending 14 miles long run was haunting my thoughts all week. It would be the farthest I ever ran.
My Thursday WOD (workout of the day) was insane. It included 100 wallballs, 75 burpees, and a new exercise that KILLED my quads called ‘little man in a tree’. I hate that little man. Luckily, I had Friday as a recovery/rest day.
When I took my first step down the stairs on Friday, my quads nearly buckled out from under with me. The pain felt like a thousand tiny daggers were stabbing me in the leg. I was not injured, merely sore. So stupidly sore that I had to walk down stairs side ways.
I realized, in the famous words of GOB Bluth, “I’d made a huge mistake.”
Friday I hydrated, carb loaded and stretched to get ready for the big run, reassuring myself I would feel better by the next morning.
Long Run: Bongo to Bongo with the Nashville Striders
I was hobbling Saturday morning, but the long run was still almost perfect. After weeks of running circles around or neighborhood in the freezing dark, we got to run 14 miles in 45 degrees through the heart of Nashville.
Nashville striders organizes training runs for the Marathon, complete with water stops and signs. It was great to simply show up and run and not have to worry about the course or getting lost.
The course was 7 miles out and back from Bongo Java in East Nashville to Bongo Java in West Nashville. My legs were really sore and tired from the beginning. I was hoping they would loosen up in a few miles. While the sharp pain with each stride went away at about three miles, they felt sore the entire time.
My favorite stretch was running past LP field right after sunrise. It was light enough to dodge the road kill, but left over shimmers of pink and orange were still peaking over the horizon.(this picture does not do the view justice).
The energy of running with the crowd (and also lots of goo) really helped me get over my tired legs and the mental challenge of running further than I’ve ever gone.
The course took us through the heart of downtown, so there was always something to look at, distracting us from from the fact we were running so far.
The final 2 miles were the toughest. Last weekend when we did 12, and I remembered how tired my legs were. I wondered how I could do another 2 on top of that, especially since my legs felt like crap. My friend Shannon is the training for her fourth marathon (the rest of us are newbies) and had the best advice. She encouraged me the the last mile always feels like your legs are dead, no matter if you’re running 10, 15 or 20. So much of it is mental, just push on through. The last few miles were also ridiculously hilly, but her words kept me going all the way back to the coffee shop.
We got back to Bongo Java and cooled down. I’m so thankful for them letting us use their facility, they even provided free coffee (that I accidentally poured in my water bottle as I was still in my post run delirium).
We made it ALL 14 miles. The farthest we’ve ever been. It really helps that we are doing this together. Honestly, 15 next week doesn’t seem quite so scary now.