Sunday, February 24, 2013

22 Miles and NYC

I have been slacking on my training runs the last two weeks.  I am sure there are silly little reasons why I didn't get up and go out four days a week like I should have, but I don't remember what they were and why. All I know is that I looked at my recorded runs and thought, "My goodness woman, you are slacking!"  There's no point in trying to figure out why I didn't run as much as I should have, instead I need to get my head back in the game and go.  

After my 20 mile run two weeks ago, I felt wonderful physically, but mentally I was in a tough place.  I had worked myself up and got so nervous about the 20 mile run. It ultimately made the nervous feelings about Boston grow bigger.  I met with my friend Ed for a Mental Toughness session.  (Feel free to check out his web page for inspiring words and tips.) He's a motivational speaker and he helps people sort through the mental game.  He works mostly with athletes, but his words apply to anyone. Our discussion was about how thoughts, good and bad, come and go so frequently and we should allow them to flow from one to another without giving too much weight to them. Keeping that in mind helps us to move on from those bad moments when we think we can't do something to the next moment. He said it far more eloquently than that, of course, but I let the idea simmer in my head. I put his theory to the test during a week of terrible PMS and during my 22 mile run on Thursday. In those cranky, raging lunatic women moments I remind myself that these thoughts of slapping everyone will pass soon.  And I really don't need ice cream, chocolates, cake, pie, and cookies all in one bowl.  Well maybe. Okay, I really don't need them at all.   

The 22 mile run was pretty decent.  I am sure it could have been better, but my ego kind of got in the way. The night before, we were at a kids birthday party with pizza and cake.  I had one tiny slice of pizza because I was hungry, but dairy and I do NOT get along so I left it at that. I also did not drink as much water as I should have. The next morning, I mentally prepare myself for the run, keeping in mind Ed's words. The left calf was causing some trouble but it finally settles into the run at mile 10 (yeah, finally) and then guess what? The right calf feels left out so it cries like a little child too. I run along laughing because my calves remind me of my children. You finally get one calm and happy and think you can get some peace and quite when the other one acts up. Oh well, maybe I can run this one out as well. I start climbing a hill, which is difficult enough, when fierce wind starts blowing down on me. I tell myself the universe is preparing me for Boston. This is bound to happen along the way, right? Yeah, that's likely so, NO PROBLEM.  I've got this! I continue on my merry little way, eating buttered sandwiches as I go. That's right, I carry sandwiches with me. Actually, it's the first time. I knew I would be in trouble because of dinner so I thought I'd give it a try and it seems to work. After mile 16, I switch into walk/run mode. The back of my left knee is hurting and I figure interspersing some walking would help. I don't stop at the place I intend to for a water refill as I am not running low. I tell myself I will stop at a place in the next town. When I get there, I can tell I still have fluid and think I can push through. At mile 18 I realize that was a bad idea so I try to ration the rest. The problem with this is that I contemplate drinking anything that might be in the discarded bottles and fast food cups along the road, or possibly sipping the water running along the road. I know, I know. I didn't, but it was so tempting. Nature is on my side this day. Every time I slow down to walk, a big gust of wind comes up from behind and pushes me along, encouraging me to keep going. Finally at mile 20, I run into a bagel shop and grab a bottle of water. Only two miles left, but I NEED it. The last two miles are hell. I have many thoughts of giving up and "I can't do this," but I know this will pass eventually and so I keep moving forward and finally make it home.  22 miles complete.  I crawl upstairs and roll into an epsom salt bath.

Recovery hasn't gone as well as I'd like. The calves have been tight and there's pain behind the left knee. I got a great massage, but I woke up in the middle of the night because I had multiple trigger points firing in the legs and the lower body wouldn't move.  They felt like cement. I know that if I just move I'll be fine. I think.
Last night my husband and I spent the evening out in NYC. We walked for miles and I felt fine until after dinner when my left knee began hurting once again. It felt like someone took a bat to it. I have been wanting to run through Central Park, and we planned to do so but I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible. 

My view running around the reservoir in Central Park
This morning I woke up far later than I intended to. Ted said I didn't have to run, but HELLO! WE ARE IN NYC! I HAVE TO! This will be a nice easy recovery jog with Ted. He's just starting to run and wants to go for an easy 5k. I should be able to do that. And off we go. My knee hurts like hell but after a mile it goes away and I feel good.  New York has incredible non-stop energy.  When we get to Central Park, we take in the beauty and the energy of the other runners.  After two miles, Ted heads back and because I am feeling great, I keep going, and going, and going.  Wait, I didn't bring water or fuel, so maybe I should head back. I take a few pictures along the way and say "hello!" to everyone I pass. I think that throws them off. Four of the 20 something people I say "hello" or "good morning" to responds. Oh well, it's NYC and it's still fun and beautiful. 

I thought I kicked this knee pain, but as I write this, I am thinking 7 miles was a bit much after the 22 on Thursday. Listen to your body, Kathy.  LISTEN! 

Please help me with my Running for Research Fundraising with the Massage Therapy Foundation: .  Every bit counts.  THANK YOU! (In the mean time, I shall keep running.) 

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