Sunday, February 10, 2013

20 Miles in the rain and wind

Well today's run was miserable, which I expected.  It was cold, windy and rainy.  And it was the longest run of the training program so far, which means it hurt.  Oh, and my Mp3 player wouldn't turn on, so it was also boring because I couldn't listen to my book.  Thank God it's over.

I expected, after my 18-miler two weeks ago, in which I death-marched it in the last three or four miles, that today's run was going to be similar:  painful, especially in my hip flexor/groin, which is where I am always the most sore after long runs.  Today, though, there was no death march.  And I think I know why, which is even better!  On my 18-miler, I think I started off with a pace that was just a little too fast, which led to slower second half averages and a decided decline in pace in the last couple miles.  Today, my average first half time was slower, which bothered me a little bit at the beginning, but I was able to maintain that pace pretty consistently throughout the entirety of the run, finishing without hitting the wall or feeling any pain out of the ordinary long run pain.  Yay!  A little disappointing is the fact that in previous marathon training programs, I've run the 20-milers at faster paces, but I have to take into account that those 20-milers didn't come until three or four months into the training program, and I'm currently about a month and a half to two months in, without building much of a base prior to starting this program.  So, I'm okay with it.  I have plenty of long runs throughout the program.  And as soon as I get on the trails, there won't be any comparison anyway.  It'll be all learning from scratch, with nothing to judge against.  And I haven't started practicing any run/walk strategies yet.  So, that, too, will slow down my overall pace.

So today was in the mid-30's for most of my run, with 20mph winds, so the windchill was down in the 20's.  and it was raining.  It rained the entire run.  It started raining hours before my run, and it's still raining now, hours after my run.  At times, just a drizzle, at times, really coming down.  I was soaked a few miles in.  I tried to keep from running into any puddles to keep my feet as relatively dry as possible for as long as possible, but pretty soon I was hearing the squishing, and feeling it in between my toes, and I just hoped that the softening of the skin from the water wasn't going to lead to blisters.  I think I might be okay.  A few toes had some tender spots in between them, but no full blown blisters, yet, so I think I lucked out.  It might not have been as bad if it hadn't been so windy.  It was hard to run with the rain blowing into my face.  And hard to breath, and eat and see.  I was sniffling most of the run, my nose was running so bad.  I should really learn to blow snot AND ockets.  I spent most of the run hunched over, just looking about two feet in front of my feet, sometimes not even that far.  I was not a defensive runner at all today.  Usually I'm paying very careful attention to the cars, but today I just hugged the side of the road and gave no more than a cursory glance at the cars as they neared. 

The other major bummer about today's run was that my mp3 player wouldn't turn on for some reason.  I think somehow it unformatted and the content got deleted.  Happily, I only have one book on it right now and I just downloaded it from the library this week, so I was still able to transfer it to my mp3 player.  After a week it goes back to the library.  Most of the books I listen to I have to get on a weeks-long waiting list and so it could have been quite inconvenient.  So I re-transfered my book over to it and it's working fine now.  I don't know what happened.  But it's too bad that it did, because my run seemed long.  I like listening to books because they keep my mind occupied and make the miles go by a little quicker.  Not today.  Today I had nothing but my thoughts.  And they were boring, lol!

So, overall, it was one of the most miserable long runs I've had.  I can think of one or two ways in which it could have been worse, but not any more than one or two ways.  At least there was traction today.  Last weekend we'd just gotten all that snow, and there were parts of the roads that led to treacherous footing.  I didn't have that problem today, so there, it could have been worse.   But it's over and now I'm warm and dry and showered and cooking food because I'm famished and can't wait to eat.  Next weekend I have a 5K race on Sunday, so my long run will be on Saturday, but it's only 14 miles, and hopefully we'll have some better weather.

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