Saturday, November 14, 2009

23 miles - the pain begins

23 mi / 05:00 13:02 pace
just a 5k short of a marathon! However, time will tell if this was a good decision or not. It was freezing cold, temps down in the 40s, I started out the run with compression pants under my camo shorts, gloves, cap, etc. Steve felt pretty confident and started out aggressive. Our first splits were too fast, but I figured we'd be ok. (11:17 or so) took our first WB crossing the river and kept a steady pace. Somewhere around mile 6 or so, I felt a numbing pain in my foot, and pain in my right leg. I winced, figured it might be a shoe issue . Adjusted the laces, still nothing. Searching for an explanation, I darted into a porta potty and switched out of the compression pants and into shorts. (I thought that maybe the tightness of the shorts/pants might have cut off circulation) Still nothing. We slogged on through, passing unmanned aid stations and other runners also on their long runs (the water bottles and looks of determination are a dead giveaway, and the CIM tshirts are also a hint!)
When we got to the halfway point I stretched and it seemed to offer a tiny bit of relief, we turned around and headed home. We didn't see any wildlife on the parkway this time around.
The pain which was at about a level 7 spiked up to a level 9 or 9.5. I couldn't NOT think about it.
Every single signal in my body told me "stop" but the thought of NOT completing 23 miles and my anger at the whole situation pushed me on.

"hatred, drives me onwards, across the desolation"

This was the most painful run I'd ever done in my life. I was praying for my other leg to ache so it would take my mind off of my right leg, I sang songs in my head to stay distracted, instead of speaking I just told myself "One more mile and you can walk, get a walk break, stretch" and kept this up for the next hour or so. There was no relief. If I was running alone, I'd have called Amy and gone home. If I wasn't running alone, I'd have allowed myself the luxury of crying.

3 miles away from Discovery park, we finally saw volunteers at an aid station and surprised them.
They were kind enough to share some water, I stretched and winced and wondered if I should just give up and got a text from Amy "You are almost done!"
I sighed and broke down the remaining distance into segments I could wrap my mind around.
3 more miles, a simple 5k. Two of those and I'm home!
Normally at this point in our runs, it hurts more to stop than to keep running. Now, everything hurt, stopping, running, stretching - with running being only SLIGHTLY less painful than everything else. Steve was a trooper and kept telling me "hey it's only X left" "we can totally do this" etc . Mile 21 we both took a walk break and cussed the entire time. I leaned over a railing on the I street bridge and heaved but nothing came out. We trudged up to the top and shuffled on. 22 miles, now I was the cheerleader. Steve began to take walk breaks and I told him "come on we have 1 more to go!" I couldn't stop - it hurt too much. I turned on some music on my iphone and forced myself to run one more mile. I was done. The training was done. All that was left was the taper, the recovery and the race itself. Amy brought us fruit, chocolate silk, and raisin bread.
I stretched and got in an ice bath for the first time, hoping it would heal my right leg but I found out later that I am suffering from IT Band issues. So now I am 3 weeks away from my first marathon and must begin the process of healing, repair and recovery. Pray for me.

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