14 Miles…If They All Count

I’m not feeling as proud of my new longest run – 14 miles – because I followed a run/walk protocol for the entire run. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I was incredibly tight all week. I also really aggravated my hamstring at some point. It was likely on Friday night, when I unknowingly chose a broken Arc Trainer at the gym that wouldn’t incline, so I upped the resistance to make up for it but it was really bothering my hamstring. Finally someone finished on another machine, so I hopped on and immediately noticed relief in my hamstring, but the damage was done. I was going to do three days in a row of the Arc to make up for not running all weekend, but my hamstring was hurting so much on Saturday morning that I knew I just needed to rest it.

I’m proud to say I foam-rolled every single day last week! I’ve never done that in my life. It’s definitely working because I’m finally at the point where rolling no longer hurts. I would say my IT bands are the most sensitive, but they are no longer in pain when I roll.

I woke up on Sunday still feeling a significant amount of discomfort in my hamstring, so I knew I was going to need to do something other than run 100%. Jessica and Lori were going to do the 3 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking intervals, so I agreed to join them. It was that or I didn’t run at all, and 3 hours of the Arc Trainer by myself might as well be a death sentence.

I felt really good the whole run. We started at the Mount Auburn Club in Watertown, and ended up running by the back road to my apartment, down to Comm Ave, past BC, to the Newton firehouse (where the course takes a right turn to head into the Newton Hills). Except we were running in reverse, so we turned around shortly after the turn and headed up the Newton Hills, mimicking Marathon Monday. The first hill is the worst, the second is not bad, and Heartbreak Hill is just looooong. Our interval called for us to walk halfway up Heartbreak, but I refused to stop. This was my first time ever running up Heartbreak (I’ve run down it a dozen times, but always take a different route back to Brighton) and there was no way I was walking. At this point, we had already run 10 miles, so not the 19 we will have already run in the Marathon, but it was still rough! Once we were at the top though, I knew the next 3 miles would be flat, downhill, flat, so I was feeling pretty great.

The entire run, I stuck to having a Gu every 45 minutes (and one just before we went out). At the water stops at Miles 3 and 11 I had water and my Gu, and at the Mile 7ish water stop I had Gatorade. I am definitely going to stick to this plan from now on, although I did order salt tablets and will try those out on my shorter runs this week.

I have to say the 3/1 intervals made me feel as if I could have run another 5 miles. Maybe I could have, but I was cold and hungry and 14.1 was enough. I’m tempted to ding myself and say that if I only ran 75% of my total moving time, then I really only ran 11 miles. But I know I should count all 14. Either way, I knew breakfast and the hot tub were waiting for me back at the Mount Auburn Club, and I would have sprinted the last 3 miles if it wouldn’t hurt my hamstring or delay recovery.

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Just before hot tub entry. The girls were like, “Why the heck are you bringing your phone to the hot tub?” Because Instagram, you guys!

Sure enough, the spread was amazing. There was bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, water, seltzer, coffee, and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I drank a ton of water and a bowl of fruit (can you tell I was thirsty?) and then went back for more water and a chocolate chip cookie. After yet another water, we changed into our suits and spent 10 glorious minutes in the hot tub. My legs were begging me to stay in there forever, but my head was done. It was hot and I was dehydrated. We showered and a few of us went across the street to Miller’s Ale House for some “brunch” and beers. I’ve never eaten or drank so soon after a long run, but it definitely was the right call. I felt MUCH better the rest of the day than I have all season. I’m sure some of it was the reduced stress on my body from the 3/1 intervals, but I know I don’t eat enough afterward. I was even able to nap in the afternoon, although that made it hard to fall asleep later at night (but when DOESN’T that happen on a Sunday night?).

I’m feeling pretty good now that it’s Monday evening. I’m definitely taking today off from working out, but planning to run before work tomorrow (it’s supposed to snow 1-3 inches starting at sundown), swim or use the Arc Trainer on Wednesday after work, go to the Crossroads run on Thursday evening (7-8 miles this week!), TBD for Friday, then long run on Saturday out of the BSC in Wellesley for an out & back on the Marathon course. Aiming for 15 big ones!

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