Yesterday, I ran my second 20-miler in this marathon training cycle. I had been worried about the run all week. Very unlike me.
Normally, I'm excited for these big runs. Bring it on! I'll think. Not this time. This time, my body was threatening to betray me. Threatening to sabotage the run. And I was fearful that I wouldn't be able to make it through 5 miles, let alone 20.
See, this week my doctor made some changes to my Lyme disease medication. It screwed me up. I was sick from it on Wednesday night and had a rotten day on Thursday. My feet and hands hurt more than they've hurt in a while. My low back ached and I had shooting pain down the front and back of my left leg. I couldn't lift my toddler. Advil and ice were hardly touching the pain.
But I had 20 on the schedule! How could I skip such an important run?
I took Thursday and Friday as full rest days -- because I seriously couldn't run. I stopped my medication. I loaded up on the Advil big time. I started to feel better.
On Saturday, I went out for an easy run to test out my back and legs. As long as I was moving, I felt good. And, afterward, I didn't feel too bad. I decided to stick with the long run plan.
Sunday morning, though, I wasn't so sure. The alarm went off at 6 and I climbed out of bed, only to feel the pain in my low back and my neck.
I debated canceling. But, cancel? Me? No. Not going to happen. I thought about all the work I've put in toward this marathon. How could I let that go to waste?
That's the truth!
So, at 7, I met up with Tami, Melissa, Karen and Sheila and we headed out. We ran a 7 mile loop first (Sheila wanted to run 9, so she ran the first loop and a mile of the second), which was about 2 straight miles of uphill. I have to admit that those first 5 or so miles were hard. I wasn't feeling it. I guess I had some residual doubts about being able to complete the run. I just couldn't get into much of a groove. But, I kept telling myself, "You've come too far to quit now." It worked. I ran on.
Sheila left us around mile 8, just as we were hitting the major hills of the second loop. I'm not kidding about the hills. Not kidding at all. They are long. And . . . long. And they just keep coming. Over and over.
We ran on. We conquered every hill that lay before us. We ran on.
Around mile 15 or so, something happened. I'd been feeling fine since mile 5 but around 15 I started to feel . . . good. I had renewed energy. It was certainly a second wind. I felt strong. Maybe it was being so close to the end of the run, maybe it was that I needed 15 miles to warm-up. Who knows? Who cares? It happened and I finished the run feeling great! Melissa and I ran together -- hard and strong -- over the last 3 miles.
Second 20 miles, run and done!
We finished in 3:18 -- 20.05 miles in 9:55 pace. Yahoo!
Since the run, I've felt pretty good. Tired, sure, but not in too much pain. I guess 20 miles is the prescription for weird Lyme nerve/back/neck pain!
I'm grateful for my running partners -- and for my strong running mamas group who gave me support this week when I was unsure about this run! My marathon training wouldn't be going half as well if I didn't have my running partners and the SRM group!! Thanks, all!
This weekend I just have 14 on the schedule and then I'm back up to 20 for the last time before the marathon. Five weeks 'til New Jersey!
Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!