Tuesday, December 20, 2011

11 miles...

It's the week of Christmas and I've already had 4 Christmas celebrations (5 if you count the luncheon at work) in addition to all of the sicknesses. That's my excuse for lack of blog posts and I'm sticking with it.

On December 10 I headed out for what I was hoping to be an 11 miler. I had somewhat low expectations because I was recovering from both the sinus infection that turned into a cold. I loaded up on antibiotics, Dayquil and headed out the door. This girl has a PR to smash.

I headed out early so I could get in some miles before meeting up with my teammates. With the wind chill it felt like 11 degrees. Chilly! I did my usual 3 minute warm up walk and then tried to run. The lungs and the legs both felt like they had never run before. Adding to the challenge was this:
Large portions of the trail were flooded and because it was so cold, it looked like a skating rink. After climbing through the bushes to get around some of the water/ice, I kept heading north until I saw this:
Crap. I went onto the mulch path that runs parallel to the paved trail (and further from the river) but I prefer the pavement. The mulch would normally act as a cushion which is good but the ground was frozen so it just made it difficult and unstable to run on. I felt like I was going to roll my ankle so after about nearly 2 miles, I turned around to head back to the team's meeting place. I also texted the other coaches and suggested the team head south on the trail and hoped there wasn't as much flooding in that direction.

I took a short break after close to 4 miles to meet up with the team briefly and then headed back out to finish up the remaining 7 miles. My normal run buddies weren't there but it was nice that the others were out there because as I was still heading out, the others started to turn around and pass me in the opposite direction. It's nice to have familiar faces to wave to and cheer for. Maybe that's just a TNT thing. We don't just say hi, we almost always exchange encouraging words. And I needed it. I was a snotfest. The lingering cold was really putting a damper on my run. I was sort of bummed out that I was still not 100% but at the same time, it felt great to be getting some fresh air and some time to clear my head.

When I made it back to the starting point, I somehow still had 1/2 mile to go. Crap. Some of my fellow coaches and teammates were still standing around and started cheering for me when they saw me coming closer. I love them! I yelled out that I still had 1/2 mile to go and kept running on by. When the Garmin said I had traveled another .25, I turned around. When I got back to where everyone was waiting though, that darn thing said 10.99 miles. Pre-Garmin I would have said close enough (well, pre-Garmin I won't have known I had shorted the run by such a small amount) but I couldn't very well post a picture of my Garmin with a 10.99 reading and called this blog post 11 miles now could I? So I jogged around in circles until that Garmin showed this:

11 miles in 2:25. Not race pace but considering the trek through the bushes, slowing down for icy patches and the snotfest in general, I was ok with the average time. I was pleased just to get 11 miles done!

Through the afternoon, I felt pretty good. Not too much soreness from the run and my snotfest seemed to have finally ended. And then it went to hell again. Right around bed time I started to feel a little nauseous. And then a lot nauseous. I then spend the next 4 days not able to eat real food but I already whined about that. I'm not really catching a break during this PR smashing training season but I'm still plugging along. I like to think that I'll be mentally tough come race day because of all of the challenges!


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