Quote of the Day: “Sometimes I just want to be held.”
- The Last Things Any Man Would Ever Say
A couple of weeks ago when I ran 36 miles, I got the same question over and over and over again: why?
Why would you put yourself through that? Someone even questioned my sanity of preparing for a 26.2 mile race with a 36 mile training run.
Well, today’s run is the answer to all these inquiries. I hade the BEST training run of my life today. It was the easiest 18 miles I have ever run.
I am aware of how weird that sounds (I’m not THAT far gone) and I know this is analogous to hitting your head with a hammer over and over again because it feels so good when you stop, but after going through the living Hell of 36 gruelling miles, the 18 I did today was a cake walk.
I shouldn’t have even been doing that many miles a mere week before my marathon on March 19th but I only ran on Tuesday and Thursday last week and cheesed out of my run on Friday. In fact, I didn’t even work out so that last exercise I had was on Thursday.
Because of all that, I thought I had better do the 8 miles I should have done on Friday and add them to the normal 6 mile run. But I had also talked myself out of last weekend’s run altogether (after my medical brew-ha-ha) so it seemed logical to just go with the out-and-back 18 miler today.
I got up somewhat early (for me lately) and was out on the course by 0900. I ate my normal pre-long-run torture of oatmeal, which I follow every single bite with a large gulp of water so that afterward, my gut is a big basketball full of oatmeal and water.
It also seemed like a good idea to stop at Starbuck’s and get a small mocha. Hey, I normally have a cup of coffee but was too lazy to make it so when the Starbuck’s god bored its way into my skull, I knew I had to follow his demands or else.
Getting to the course, I felt pretty good. The weather was incredible, hovering somewhere in the 60s and for the first time in months, I was able to run outside without a running jacket. It was sunny, no wind, and I just had “it.”
No, that’s not a case of violent diarrhea. It’s the feeling that everything in the Universe was lining up for a good run.
For the first 2 miles, the Universe was still lining up because the mocha was not getting along with the oatmeal slew. And the Gu shot was bickering with everyone so things didn’t settle down until after mile 2 and then life was good.
I made it to the halfway point in a record 1 hour 24 minutes but what was more bizarre was that I wasn’t even feeling it. I had brought my standard Red Bull for the halfway point but didn’t feel like I absolutely had to have it (I drank it anyway). I didn’t feel the need to sit down or remove my shoes, as was my standard behavior at this point.
I simply was not sore, tired, or winded.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence this would last but on the way back, I only hit a couple of very minor rough spots that were miniscule compared to my normal monsters I meet out there. The heat was climbing into the mid to high 70s but the only thing that caused was that my feet were hotter than normal.
When I got back, I looked at my watch and was amazed that I had clocked a 1:25 for the return trip!!!! That’s only 1 minute slower than the trip out!!!
The freak show continued after I finished because I. WAS. NOT. TIRED!!!
Wait, let me go over that again…
I. WAS. NOT. TIRED!!!
I think I’m ready for the marathon next week.
But I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pull some bonehead move. When I got done, I took off my soaking wet Under Armour (PROTECT THIS HOUSE!) hat and put it on the trunk of my Saturn as I cooled down, walking the parking lot. I remember thinking that I should put it in the car but I didn’t want to get the seat sweaty. I even pulled out a plastic bag from my gear bag and was going to put it in there but there was a roll of toilet paper (don’t ask) and for some reason, the thought of getting the TP wet overrode the logical thought of taking the TP out and putting the wet hat in the bag.
Unless you’re a complete idiot, you know where this is going.
So I’m zooming down I-95 going about 80 when the thought hits me, “Shit, my hat.”
Needless to say, it wasn’t there when I got home.
But I didn’t care. I had run the training run of my life and I was able to get out of my car without assistance.
Wait… let’s review THAT again.
I was able to get out of my car WITHOUT ASSISTANCE.
That’s right, I didn’t have to use my cell phone to call Carrie and have her meet me in the driveway to help me into the house. Hell, she wasn’t even home!!! She was at church praying for her heathen husband and I was able to not only get into the house but to actually make my famous concoction of Raman Noodles with a can of vegetable beef soup mixed in (my own invention that kept me alive in the 1st Gulf War.)
Yes folks, I was self-sufficient. I know, crazy.
I ate, took a shower, and through sheer habit, took a short nap but when I got up and for the rest of the day, if I wouldn’t have known I had run 18 miles today, I would not have been able to tell.
No soreness, no fatigue for the rest of the day.
This is like scary, people.
Free Advice for Today: “At least once a month, get real dirty and sweaty.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.