When it comes to my long runs, I just go with the flow. If the boys want to start early, I start early; if they want to run hills, I run hills. We are, though, able to negotiate distance.
The three of them are Boston-bound so their distance is higher than mine. Over the past few weeks, they have accommodated this by starting earlier and I would hook up with them for the end. When Friday’s e-mail came, suggesting that I run the first half with them and turn around, I asked them to consider sandwiching me: warm-up, run with me, and finish alone. And that became our plan, giving a total of 36K to the boys and 30K to me.
On Saturday morning, before the sun even started to peek, I drove down to our meeting spot by the lake, parked the car, and waited for them to show. Had I been thinking the night before, I would have asked what direction they were coming from so that I could run to meet them. Instead, I waited on the road – the dark, spooky road.
But I didn’t have to wait long and we headed east. Within the first half hour, I noticed my right ankle, which was sore from a massage on Thursday night, and wondered how long it would take to loosen up.
Over the run, we talked about fluid replacement (something I’m learning to do while running), pacing (thanks to G’s Garmin, I’m being held back so that I have more for the end), hockey (thanks, Leah, for the heads-up) and massage. That’s when I told them that my ankle was killing me and why. “She spent a lot of time on my ankles and I don’t know why. They didn’t seem sore before but they sure did after.”
After passing what I thought was our turn-around point, G. commented that the run would give me 33.5K. “Is that okay, Cynthia?”
“Yup.” I can suck it up.
“Good,” S. joked, “because it’s our way or go home.”
“Great, I can already see Tuesday’s paper,” I added. “Female jogger found ditched on roadside. That’s going to make headlines and I’ll be pissed because they called me a jogger.”
And on we went. But, sure enough, with less than 20 minutes left, I couldn’t suck it up anymore. I had to let them go.
“Are you sure?”
“I’ll be fine. My ankle is really sore and I’m holding you back.”
I watched the two of them pull away and I ran/walked the last two miles, likely walking just under a kilometre. During that time, I realized I had no money and no i.d. Brilliant, just brilliant.
When I got home, the first thing I did was get on the computer to see how far I really did run and, sure enough, I ran 33.4K (or 20.89 miles) – a huge jump from last week’s 27.4K. It is no wonder that I was done with two miles left.
We do our long runs to train us for Marathon Day. Yesterday, I was gently reminded about the importance of respecting the distance, about using your head and digging deep to get you through the tough spots.
More importantly, though, yesterday gave me another shot of confidence. I wanted to run 30K to prep for next Sunday’s race and I did more than that; I know I can run Hamilton. And time-wise, I ran 18 miles with two 3:20 runners, and that has also given me a better sense of my potential with longer distances.
Since late yesterday morning, I’ve been resting, icing and elevating my leg, and icing it some more. Today, I could put my body weight on it; tonight, I cycled for 50 minutes; tomorrow, I hope to run.