Okay, maybe it’s not the end yet, but I feel like in a lot of ways the training cycle is pretty much over after you hit the last long run. Some refer to it as the punctuation mark at the end of a training cycle.
My 20-miler was this morning. It was more of a SERIES of punctuation marks… $#%@!!!!!!!!
The wind whipped my ass all over town this morning, and it was much warmer than I’ve gotten used to the past few long runs. When you combine those two things, it did not equal a very pleasant long run for me at all.
I probably could have handled the temperature (66 and the sun disappeared after about mile 10), but that wind… OMG. It was brutal. I was maintaining a decent pace, but I was having to put forth soooo much effort to do so. If I had been smarter (and more humble), I would have just kept my exertion level where it usually is during a long run and just let the wind slow my pace down. But I didn’t, and I ended up hitting a wall at about mile 16. I stopped dead in my tracks, leaned over and put my hands on my knees, fought back tears, and seriously considered laying down in the road in front of the next passing semi. I eventually started back up, but I changed my route and headed home. I made it back to the house at mile 17.5 with plans of finishing up the last 2.5 on the treadmill. After getting something to drink, I hopped on. I just didn’t have it. I felt weak and heavy and tired, and I just. didn’t. have it. I paused it after one mile. A less stubborn person would have called it a day, but not this ol’ girl. I decided to just rest a few minutes and maybe get some more calories in me. I made my usual post-long run protein smoothie and sat down to rest. Well, when I stopped moving I got COLD, so I did what any normal person would do–pulled off my sweaty shirt and bra and covered up with a blanket on the couch while I had my smoothie and watched Andy Griffith. Next thing I knew, it was almost 12:00 and D was waking me up asking me what the hell I was doing asleep half nekkid on the couch. It’s a good thing he’s used to me doing random off-the-wall shit like that. Well, it’s amazing what that smoothie and that 45-minute break did for me. I got back on the treadmill (after I put on a bra, obviously) and finished up the last 1.5 at a faster pace than I had run all day, bringing the total to 20 miles, with energy to spare.
I’m really trying not to dwell on it too much, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sad that this training cycle ended on such a shitty note. Isn’t there an old saying in theater that if the dress rehearsal is a disaster then opening day will be perfect? Well, if that’s the case I’ll be qualifying for Boston in three weeks!