First things first, I gotta say I'm so excited that last night not only did I pass out cold after I got home from dinner but I didn't even wake up once, something unheard of for me! I get nervous the night before a big Long Run, but not last night, last night I was cool, calm and collected. I think it's because I decided to take a last minute epsom salt bath before I called it a night, which left me all loosy-goosey ready for bed. Once I settled in I was out for the count til bright and early at 3:30am this morning. Sleep = SUCCESS!
I woke up before the alarm, called Lazy Runner and started going through my pre-run routine; stretches and what not, finish packing up my gear (I am like a boy scout when I go run these days: first aid kit for toe surgery after the run, food, water, G2, Gu's, anti-inflammatories, etc...) attending to the bathroom (ahem) and trying to tame the pony tail. LR shows up promptly at 4am and we head out to tackle Clermont aka Hill Country again. I realize too late that I have miscalculated how long it takes to get there, pit stop at the last 7-11 before no man's land and water drop around the loop... by the time we're parked it's 5am. No bueno. Time planning = FAIL.
Before we started the run a few other runners were meeting up (as Clermont is THE place to run hills in O-town) and chatted before we headed out. I forgot to grab names and numbers which is a bummer because a few were training for Chicago, but being as we were pressed for time (and I knew what would happen if LR got talking to the ladies too long) we hit the ground running and so begins 20 miles.
The first 10 or the loop, went great, I felt strong, we took it easy, saving ourselves for the end. LR charged a few hills (because he is Mr. Ambitious) splashed mud puddles in my general direction (because he is a JERK!) and it was an otherwise uneventful leg. I did manage to end my Nike+ 3 miles in thereby screwing up the documented run (FAIL) but I just restarted a new workout and we chugged on. As the sun started to break I actually got to SEE just what the heck it was I ran in the pitch black last Friday night and I gotta say, I am hardcore for rocking out that 18! Toot, toot! :)
Rounding out the 10 we refueled and then back tracked the loop against the hills so we could finish easy and fell into stride to beautiful rolling hills, clear blue skies and hot air balloons floating in the distance. It was so beautiful and really helped the time and miles tick by. The conversation was flowing, there may or may not have been a discussion about naked men and how weird balls are, and as per the norm, we kept each other entertained with tales of first dates gone awry. (Can't wait to tell you guys about my most recent one; Scrooge McDuck)
We ran into a high school cross country team doing hill repeats and of course it inspired LR to charge some more hills. (Boys, they're sooo predictable) I hung back and kept my pace, refusing to push myself, especially in the increasing heat of the morning. When we got to the half way point we pit stopped took a final hit of Gu and prepared ourselves for the final stretch. I still felt good, still felt strong, and told myself; "Only 5 miles til breakfast." I had visions of Cracker Barrel filling my head with glorious breakfast goodness...
It was on around 8 am by now, MUCH later than I EVER like to be out running here in Haites and the temp was warming up by the minute. With 4 miles to go LR started getting the cold sweats because he was dehydrated and there was nothing we could do. We had to finish it up, every moment we weren't running we were just prolonging the pain. Thankfully we had a few more waters dropped but we were at that point that it would've been a bad idea to gulp a ton of water so we limited ourselves.
With 3 miles to go I had a successful pit stop (still having issues with false alarms, must figure out how to control this urge to pee) but stopping again just left us further exposed to the satanically hot sun. A few of the cross country boys got dropped off to run in a 5k and they quickly passed us by. We struggled more and more with the heat. We were 100% exposed with no shade in sight. LR, knowing our mental state of exhaustion, kept us focusing on trees, hill tops, anything really, in the distance to focus on. One by one we ticked of each item and congratulated ourselves for pushing on.
With .25 to go I hit the wall. I lost it. I was seconds away from puking my guts out. There was no pushing it through this time. We stopped running. We could SEE the cars and my heart broke a little inside. I really wanted to finish strong, it was my whole goal the entire run but alas, it was not meant to be. That was the most quiet walk to the car ever. Both of us spent, exhausted, hot and shredded.
We finally arrived at the car and chit chatted with the cross country coaches... neither of us devouring our Clif bars like normal. Both so disoriented and exhausted I felt like we were moving in slow motion. After about 15-20 minutes we headed out and both agreed that breakfast didn't even sound that great but we knew we needed something so we just hit up Chick-fil-a. I was that girl stumbling in, nothing but a sports bra, short-shorts, covered in clay, stinking to high heaven, a hot sweaty mess, but I didn't care one effing bit. I earned that look, I OWNED that look. We loaded up on some chicken mini's (glorious chicken mini's how I love you so) and made ourselves eat.
LR took stock of his feet and they were beyond busted (I TRIED to make him use Body Glide, for the record) mine made it out pretty decent all things considered, nothing noteworthy by any means. With the windows rolled down, we headed back to O-town wanting nothing more than a shower and our beds. Upon arrival we parted ways and I mustered what little energy I had left to stumble into my apartment. I regaled The Brunette with the higlights (I guess we'll call it that) of the run and had her snap this pic:
Total Mileage: 20
Time: 3 hrs 10 minutes (including the walking)
Overall Pace: 9:30 (including the walking)
Calories Burned: 1,890
Song stuck in head: First few bars of "Have you seen Amy" (WHY LR WHY?!?!?)
After a much needed and greatly appreciated shower I made an appointment for a massage, killed some time down at the pool and tried desperately to relax. As I sit here now, knee throbbing, clay stained ring around my sock line, body aching in places I didn't even knew existed, I question whether I can truly say "I "ran" 20 miles today." Don't get me wrong 20 miles were involved and clocked, 90% of it ran, but in the end I came up short. I'm not trying to get all Negative Nancy on you here, I'm just a little disappointed. It happens. But it's ok, because I WILL concur the next 20 miler...
So to leave you on a light note I give you this text exchange between B.O.B and I as we recapped our runs, a weekly tradition:
B: Best run of the plan thus fa. How was your twenty?
Me: 20 & the sun can go F@#$ themselves! But I did it. 90% Success / 10% FAIL.
B: That is better than the reverse! F@#$ the sun!
Me: So u rocked urs? How far this week?
B: Yes it felt great today. No G2. I think it has been hurting my tum. 16.
Me: U live, u learn. Good job rocking it girl!
B: Thanks. Congrats on your twenty!!!
Me: Thanks! I'm a lil bummed I lost it @ the end. I felt so strong but then it got 2 hot. Quarter mile out had 2 walk in cuz I was gonna puke.
B: It is only a training run so its better that it happen now. It will be so much cooler for your race.
Me: I know I just wanted to finish strong. Next time. Next time I WILL MAKE IT MY B*TCH.