The group that I run with, the Sole Runners, trains for endurance events — half marathons, marathons, the occasional longer distance — using time rather than distance. Which is to say that on any given Saturday, I am going out for a 3 hour run rather than a 12 mile run. It is an absolutely brilliant team building decision by the guy who founded the group: everybody arrives back at the same time, no matter their running speed. So fast people and slow people all end up having a snack together.
The time “assignment” today was 3:20. I’m running along following Janet Chan, a woman who has voluntarily run with me for 2 years getting ready for big marathons. Since I don’t talk much on long runs, Janet has ended up running alone with with me following her on these runs – it occurs to me that she might be a silent runner too. Anyway, we’re running along today and I’m in mile 8 feeling really sorry for myself. It’s not a great run. My feet feel heavy. I generally feel bad. I have this new pain on the right side of my lower back. I could go on…
I’m thinking about crying, I feel so sorry for myself. (But apparently I cannot cry and run.) I’m deciding that I’m not going to go 3:20 today. I’ll stop at 2 hours and do 2 more hours tomorrow. When who should come running up behind me but Coach Steve and Paul Hansen. The coach is all enthusiastic about my run and my time. He says to me “you’re having a great run”. Ugh. Obviously, he’s not inside my head. He looks at me (as he runs by) says “I want you to do 15-16 today.” More ugh. If he had looked into my eyes, he would have seen such pathetic anguish. I’m running along feeling bad enough to cry – and he cruises by and tells me to run 6 more miles.
However, other than the second toe on my left foot, nothing hurt in particular. And, what’s the use of having a coach if you’re not going to do what he tells you to do. You’ll never be sorry later if you do more now. (Unfortunately.) I stopped by my car, had a little protein shake, and ran on. Oh, and by the way, I’m running a full marathon three weeks from today and I haven’t run anything close to 26 miles in a long time (well, since May). So OK.
Running the second loop of the route today, there was a Sole Runners aide station by the bike path. I stopped and had something to drink and some watermelon. Janet wanted to leave sooner than I really wanted to start again. But, in following her back onto the course, I tripped over the curb, falling and rolling in the sand. Ugh. Sand everywhere. People picked me up, brushed sand off of all over me, and sent us on our way.
In this part of the course, I told myself I could walk after mile 12. Then mile 13. Then when I got to Bayshore. Which I did. For awhile. But the most odd thing happened. I was running along Bayshore watching these two people swim in the ocean, one guy yelling a count to the other swimmer. As those two people came out of the water (in wetsuits) it turned out to be Coach Steve and a client. Steve called out my name (he was wearing a bright green or yellow swim cap and wasn’t immediately recognizable). At almost the same moment, another friend, Sue Montgomery — who lives in Pasadena — rode up on her bike and called out my name. That convergence of interconnected people was weird.
I started running again, and ran a good portion of the way home…probably walking the last 1/3 mile. I ran 14.5 in 3:30. This is about my pace from last year. In the last long run, I ran 20 miles in 5 hours…about how long it would have taken me to do another 5.5 today.
At the end of the day, Allen Arnette was the visiting yoga teacher today. Such a good class. Less power and more focus on stretching the muscles that just got so used.
Going back and looking at the Garmin splits, the times aren’t bad. I felt worse than the day actually was. But afterwards, my feet hurt. So much so that I iced them for the first time in a long time. (So painful.) And then I soaked in epson salts in the tub for awhile. And then I took a little nap.
And then I went to costco for supplies for my fishing trip with the University of Redlands next week. I packed the food stuffs for travel and then took a longer nap.
And my feet still hurt