The Walking Wounded

Today's blog title comes to you courtesy of Blair, who remarked at the end of today's 30k race that most of us runners resembled little more than the walking wounded as we compared our aches, pains, and where we fell apart on the trail.

I'm happy with my performance. I had 2 goals for today: One, to keep running - no walking. And two, to finish under 3 hours. I made both. I ran 18.6 miles non-stop in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 47 seconds.  That amounts to a 9 minute 30-second pace. I was hoping for closer to a 9:15 or 9:20, but I'll take it.

I discovered the joy of BIOFREEZE, which is this blue-green jelly substance you rub on muscles to temporarily relive aches. A friend gave me some for my hamstring before the start of the race and it worked - I never felt a thing. I also slathered some on my lower back at mile 9.5 which helped. That's what was sore. I've never given birth but I think I now have a fair idea of the lower back pain that might be involved.  I was fetal in the car on the way home, trying to relieve the strain. OUCH.

I don't know why, but I hadn't worked out that the race was 18.6 and went into it thinking it was a straight 18. So at mile 17, I'm giving myself the pep talk: One more mile. You can do it. Stay strong. Then I get to mile 18 and there's no fans, no finish line. Just straight trail ahead. What the hell??? Then my mistake dawned on me. Duh. So sucked it up and ran a half mile+ more.

My biggest mistake came after the race. They had a bevy of drinks available and I decided orange Sunkist sounded good. I don't know why. I haven't had orange Sunkist in over 20 years but a sugary flavored soda just sounded good, so I pounded it. And immediately threw it up once we returned home. My recommendation from here on out? Water.

I'm enjoying my day. I've decided that since I ran 18.6 miles, I need do nothing else or contribute to the world in any way for the remainder of the day. Blair and I were making a grocery shopping list and as I sat down he asked, "Did you bring paper?"

"No, but you have to go get it," I said. "I ran 18.6 miles today."

My husband is a very good sport.

He's also incredibly supportive. He hung out at this race for over 4 hours (we got there an hour before it started) and cheered me on at mile 6.5 and 14, which is where I passed where he was sitting. He was also cheering for me at the finish line, which is a huge lift.

I told Blair I suspect running is like childbirth. While I was doing it I was thinking, "Why?" And, "Do I really want to extend this pain and do a marathon?" But now that it's over I'm like, "Oh, that wasn't so bad. I probably could have gone longer."

Self-delusion is often a very good thing.