As I was leaving the house, I told The Pilot I was planning to run somewhere between 9 and 12 miles. After rolling my ankle, I didn't want to push it too hard. Mentally, I wanted to get in another 12 miler. I tend to hit the wall at 10 miles and by pushing past that in training, it makes it easier to push past it during the race. It's technically taper time though so getting in fewer than 12 miles is not a big deal.
I got off to a rough start. After my usual warm up walk, it felt like I was learning to run all over again. My legs felt heavy! I was instantly regretting the lack of water and sleep the day before. Oh well, I kept pushing, knowing that by mile 3 or 4, I would start to feel better.
The thing is, I really struggled through the entire thing. When I got to mile 4, I was already dragging. I made the decision to turn around at 4.5 so I could finish up with a total of 9. No shame in a 9 mile run on a holiday, during what should be the taper period, right? Miles 4-6 weren't too bad but after that, my stomach started to feel a little hollow and I was dragging. By mile 7, I started a run/walk. My walk breaks were only about 30 seconds but with my energy levels dropping quickly, those 30 seconds were much needed. I know that on race day, I won't be feeling this way. I'll be properly hydrated and rested the day before and I'll properly fuel during the race. I don't mess around before/during a race when I have a specific goal in mind.
The last mile felt like it lasted an eternity, even though I was averaging race pace for that mile. I was ready to be done and go home and spend time with The Pilot.
Despite the entire 9 miles dragging on an on and feeling worse than last weekend's 12 miler, I still finished in 1:56. Just a few seconds off race pace. Again, very reassuring since I took several walk breaks.
For the rest of the day (and even into Christmas day), my legs felt heavy. They were fatigued, tight and sore. Boo! I didn't expect that. Let the taper madness begin! I did remind myself that it was nothing like what I was feeling last Christmas when I was chugging through my peak week and then taper madness right before the Goofy Challenge. Never.again.
Despite the set backs in the last couple weeks, I'm feeling pretty confident that I will nail this PR in 10 days. We also found out that The Pilot will be able to be my