The good news about being someone who is recognized by other runners is that it's fun to meet people and chat. The BAD news is that everyone knows what kind of run I'm having and there's no way to embellish the truth. To the young man that I met near the end of this run - thank you for boosting my spirit at a time when I desperately needed it.
I am NOT having a good training season with my long runs. The daily runs are fine. Good actually. I've been enjoying my running more than I have in years. But the long runs have - well - they have just SUCKED. And today was no exception.
The schedule called for 16 miles. I'd done 14 just 10 days earlier [and had fallen apart at about 12] and had been dancing around the 30 mile-week threshold for a while. But, with my travel schedule going into full swing this week I really needed to get it in.
I ran with Jenny's training group. We were doing R4/W2's and everything started off just fine. At a bathroom break, one guy and I decided to keep moving and pick up the pace just a little. We made it to the turn-around and were headed back when one of the other runners joined us. Soon, those two took off and I was one my own.
Somewhere around mile 13 things began to go bad. I was hungry - which is unusual for me on a run - my feet were killing me [I was experimenting with a different "marathon" shoe. I can't tell you the brand, but for ME they will never work] - I got behind in my hydration early and wasn't catching up - I forgot to stop and buy some more Gatorade even though I had the money in my pocket - and was generally getting down on the whole experience.
Around mile 14 I new it was over. Not just sort of over. OVER. I tried going to R3/W2 - didn't work. I tried just "running to the next sign post" - didn't work. I tried running behind people to pick up their pace. DIDN'T WORK.
So, at that point it's a death march. I've been there before. I know the feeling. I don't like it. But I know it.
Analysis: Didn't eat enough breakfast. Wrong shoes. Didn't hydrate early and often. Went out too fast. Didn't pay attention. The good news is that I made ALL of those mistakes on a TRAINING run, not in the event.
ORN: 16 miles. R4/W2 for 14. Walk for 2. 4 hours, 7 minutes.