Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I used to hate it, but I'm learning to love it.

I survived my 20 miler last weekend and made it to the taper.  It wasn't the best 20 miler I've ever run, but I felt pretty good.  I was in good spirits, my pace was decent, not fast, but comfortable.  The weather was even cooperating.  It was in the 40s and sunny.  I checked the weather one last time before I headed out and I'm glad I did because although it was in the 40s the 'feels like' temperature was 18 degrees because of wind.  I threw on an extra layer and grabbed my gloves and headband.  Boy am I glad I did.  It was COLD out.

I took it nice and easy in the first 3 miles, just eased into the run.  Based on my heart rate the previous week I wanted to sort of test the waters and see how my body was reacting.  My heart rate was a lot closer to normal averaging in the 140s only going up slightly when I got to the hills.  After the first 4 miles which are pretty solid climbing the whole way, I settled into a nice pace for the rolling hills in the middle of the run.  Slowed a bit at the hill from mile 6-7 then settled back for a few more miles.  Past the Andover Fire station towards the Andover Country Club, I love my run because I go past million dollar mansions and farms and golf courses and wooded areas.  It's never boring.

After the Andover Country Club I work my way back to route 133 and start the journey back to my house through Tweksbury and over the hills I love to hate.  I stopped at a Mobil station to refill my water bottles.  Feeling really good at this point, about 8 more miles to go and I was averaging 10:40s (not where I'd like to be, but I don't care, I felt good).  Once I make the turn onto the back roads through Tewksbury the climbing starts.  Of the 7 miles in the end of the run 6 of them are uphill.
I still felt really good and in comparison to the previous weeks I was really happy about it.  By the time I had hit these hills during my 18 milers I was not a happy camper so it felt really good to be running them and still have a lot of energy and a positive mindset.  I was a little cold and the wind was whipping me, but I was ok.  I got to the last 3 miles and the voice of Kim popped into my head saying "Anyone can run a 5K", but my body begged to differ.  I was spent.  My hips and glutes started screaming from all the hills and on the one downhill I got the pain became too much to take.  Every stride was agony.  I tried walking down the hill or even walking backwards, but my hip flexors and glutes and quads wanted nothing to do with it.  The action of resisting gravity and supporting my body weight pounding down the hill just HURT.  Here's what the elevation looks like, it's a lot of up and down:

I got to the bottom of the hill and tried to start jogging again, but by then my body was done.  Only 2 miles left til I could begin the taper and let my body recover and prepare for doing this all over again plus another 6.2 miles.  I gutted it out and even sort of picked up the pace in the last mile, but I was really walking at that point so it was still a slow shuffle.  I reached my goal and finished the 20 miles and overall I did really well.  I averaged 10:45s for the first 17 miles, mostly 10:30s except for the hills.  The last 3 miles were a slow shuffle around 14 minute miles.  I'll take it though.  I finished!  I skipped the ice bath, I know I should have just done it, but I was really cold and had already cooled down basically walking the last 3 miles so the idea of driving to the store getting ice and waiting for the tub to fill wasn't appealing.  I took a hot shower and presto I was back to 'normal'. 

Made plans with Denise, from this year's Disney trip, to do some shopping and get dinner.  We walked around the mall in search of a semi-formal dress for her to wear and found some horrible dresses in the process that were good for a laugh.  They were in the 'Prom' section of one of the department stores.  There was a whole rack of dresses made from running type material and they were on sale for $30. They were flourescent colors and some patterned with very 70s disco type prints. We were tempted to buy those and wear them in a race at some point, but couldn't think of a race that would be appropriate.  Some of them were really scandalous, seriously? Teenage girls wear this stuff?  And their parents let them? 
After the shopping adventure, we went back to Lowell for dinner and tried this place I've been dying to try out.  Fuse Bistro, it's in an old Fire Station building in downtown and the menu is all local organic stuff and sort of fancy, but not ridiculous.  It's intriguing and I've been eying it for a while.  Denise agreed to try it out with me.  It was AMAZING.  We got a three cheese fondue appetizer that came with apple slices, sweet potato fries, and toasted focaccia bread.  I wanted to order a vat of the cheese and just eat it with a spoon.  It was so good.  We asked what 3 cheese were in it, fontina, gruyere, and smoked cheddar.  YUM!!!  Then I got a grassfed steak with wilted spinach, it was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth.  We split two desserts and got a molten chocolate cake and apple crisp.  Both were pretty awesome.  We will definitely be going back there again.

Sunday I rested.  Made a trip to Trader Joes and a few craft stores for some scrapbook stuff and spent the afternoon working on my 2012 scrapbook of running stuff and watching a marathon of NCIS on A&E or TNT or one of those stations.  Monday I went for a run along the Charles after work.  Spring is here finally.  It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze.  I did 6 miles.  Averaged a 10:18 pace, but my heart rate was through the roof again and I felt sluggish and uncomfortable the whole time. 

Yesterday I had a few meetings throughout the day, but the most important one (in my opinion) was one I scheduled with myself to register for Disney at noon.  I got on the website before noon, ready to hit the button as soon as the clock ticked 12:00, then the site crashed.  I hit refresh.  I tried going directly to  I tried googling 'rundisney' and going that way.  I tried going back to my favorite and clicking that way.  NOTHING!  The website would not load.  I was freaking out.  It took half an hour before I could get the page to work and I was terrified that it would crash again and I would not get in because so many other races have sold out in record times lately.  I feverishly started filling in the form and entered my credit card info and hit process.............watched the little hour glass on the screen and waited.............. and I'm IN!!!!

I registered for the NEW Dopey Challenge.  4 races, 4 days, 48.6 miles - 6 MEDALS.  It's a 5K, 10K, half Marathon, and full Marathon.  So, it's Goofy plus two more races.  So excited!!!

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