Friday, May 04, 2007


Journey and me, ready to run. The rope is to give her extra length for swimming. I have a retractable leash, but it's heavy to carry.

I set out for 20 miles yesterday, not sure of the route I'd take after completing my usual 10.5-mile loop. Maybe that was my first mistake, not having a plan. 2 loops for a total of 21 miles? One loop followed by 2 5-mile out-and-backs? One loop followed by one 10-mile out-and-back? I had all kinds of possibilities in mind. Stopping wasn't one of them, but having no concrete plan left the door open a crack for temptation to sneak in.

I stopped at home after the first loop, b/c I was cold, and hungry, and covered with sand from one of Journey's "shakes" after swimming, and it's supposed to be good for mental fortitude to stop and then go back out there. I got a longsleeved shirt and a sandwich, washed the sand off my legs (it was sticking to my vaseline, totally negating the intended purpose of the vaseline), re-lubed my feet, took some Tylenol, changed my socks. Rehearsing for an ultra for the first time, as well as a marathon for the 23rd time.

~Sigh~ The stop killed me.
~Sigh~ The longsleeved shirt wasn't enough.

As soon as I set out I could tell I had stiffened up. I jogged slowly but didn't loosen up. I stuck walk breaks in, walking hills per ultra-running strategy. It wasn't hard to start running after each of those, but my speed was gone. So was my energy. I thought, if I turn around at 2.5 for the 5-mile out-and-back, I'll never go out for the next one. So I'll keep going till the turnaround for the 10-mile out-and-back. But when I got there, I couldn't stand the thought of retracing in reverse the hills I'd just navigated. So I kept going, doing my original 10.5-mile Lake Loop in reverse.

Mistake. Out there on open roadway, along the lake shore, not protected by forest, I got cold again. Really cold. Headwind coming at me off the whitecapped lake... after a mile or so, it was getting the better of me. It was feeling like IM Florida.

If it had been a real event, I probably could have toughed it out for the remaining 4 or 5 miles, which shows it was probably more mental than physical, but I pulled out my cell phone, called my husband, and said, "Can you come get me? I'm freezing cold, I can't run like this." Kept jogging towards where he would meet me, and in about 10 minutes he was there. He had the heat cranked up in the truck. Journey and I jumped in and we went home. I ended up with 16 miles.

I wasn't shivering, which also shows more mental than physical. I took a hot shower and had some hot soup and put on heavy sweats and lay on the sofa snoozing for awhile with a soft, purring cat lying warm and heavy on my chest. Mmmmm.

I probably could have made it. I'd have turned out of the wind in another couple miles. I didn't want to. After IM Florida, I don't ever, ever want to run cold again ever. For a while, after that one, I couldn't even eat ice cream. I'd start and then give the rest to Steve, because it was making me cold inside. I don't ever want to be cold again.

So I'll have to take better precautions against getting cold. I still have another weekend left for doing the 20-miler. It will be in New Hampshire. I'll make sure I'm dressed adequately.

Seen along the way:

These born-organized people have their Christmas decorations out already :-D

One of oodles of mountain creeks


bunnygirl said...

It just wasn't your day. It happens. I'm sure your next go at it will be fine. :-)

Holly said...

Um... Ellie, why is your picture backwards? I guess it goes along with the hard run! Hey, 16 miles is better than none at all. Good luck on the next long run!