I'm registered for a 1/2 marathon that is one week from tomorrow. I haven't been completely focused on training for this because I've been busy, I needed a mental and physical break from all the triathlon training AND I didn't have to pay for the race registration. Because I didn't have to pay, I'm going into this thinking that if its too hot on race day or I just don't feel like racing, then I won't go. That has directly affected my lack of motivation to train hard. I'm hoping that the triathlon training and my previous race experience will get me through. I got the free race entry because I had a hissy fit after this same race last year. The 2009 Spirit of Columbus 1/2 marathon was poorly organized (which is an understatement) so I was sure to let them know what I thought. I did a play by play of that race and the only good thing about the whole day was that I got a personal record.
I did a 10 mile run/walk with a friend last weekend but the heat and humidity forced us to walk more than planned, despite the 7 am start time! I met up with some TNT alumni on Tuesday night for a 4 mile run that went fairly well. I had every intention of training with the Team on Thursday night but I decided to donate blood at lunch that day and that zapped all of my energy so I went home....and went to bed at 8:30!
So with one week to go, I decided that I really needed to get in one last long distance training. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone that was available and that is my pace (and willing to do a run/walk) so I headed out on my own.
The morning started off rough when I headed out about an hour later than I wanted to. I decided to do a 1/2 mile warm up walk since I hadn't done anything since Tuesday. Shin splints struck again! My 1/2 mile warm up turned into a mile. At the one mile mark, I started to run but my shins were on fire and my feet were slapping the ground. I forced myself to run to the 2 mile point, knowing that the shins usually only hurt for the first 3-4 miles when they do act up. I walked from mile 2 to 3 but then picked up my flopping feet and started to run. It was about this time that I realized that I had left my Shot Bloks on the kitchen counter. These are the "fuel" that I use for distances over 8 miles and I was planning to cover 12 miles.
I ran almost non-stop for the next 7 miles taking just a couple 30-second walk breaks to drink some water. I had nothing else to do other than shuffle along and obsess over what to do about my lack of nutrition. I decided that I would go to the 5 mile marker and turn around. If I felt OK, then I would head back out to cover the last 2 miles. By mile 7 though I was really starting to feel hungry and quickly getting lethargic. I was focused on getting back to the 2 mile marker and then I planned to walk the rest of the way in. I knew I couldn't cover 12 miles without some kind of nutrition.
It was almost time for me to stop running and walk the 2 miles back when a friend (well, I used to babysit her but now that she's a triathlete and a year from finishing her doctorate I'm going to call her a friend so I don't feel so old), Nicole, came up on roller blades. I felt bad for making her slow down so I just kept running as we chatted. Despite my lack of running skills, I can sort of have a winded conversation and keep running at the same time. I made it to the 1 mile marker and decided I had had enough and started walking. She stayed with me though and I was so glad! I was hot and starving by that point and just wanted to be done so she was a much needed distraction! I felt the need to have a "strong finish" so I ran the last 1/2 mile in. I really wanted to collapse and roll around on the ground when I was done but that would have been embarrassing for her and I was too hungry. I went right home to refuel and stretch.
I'm pretty worn out now (it's been a couple months since I've run that much) and I'm a little sore. I'll be coaching the TNT fall teams tomorrow morning and I'm hoping a 6 mile walk will help loosen up my angry running muscles.