I have been slacking on my blog! Let me start with Sunday February 26. I had a half marathon that day and I hadn’t done a long run in two weeks. I had never experienced a race like this. There were people everywhere, over 5000 runners. Traffic was insane getting there and the crowds weren’t much better. I managed to get my number and get to the starting area by 10:00. There were all kinds there. I saw women in tutus, a man in cut off shorts carrying a football and another running in bare feet. It was quite the people watching event and it made the 13.1 mile run go by pretty quickly. I finished in two hours eight minutes and I have to say I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for less than two hours but I guess you can’t have everything.
The rest of the week was pretty routine. Tuesday, I ran six miles during my lunch break. Thursday and Friday I did the treadmill for a half hour both days. I’m going to run outside Tuesday and Thursday this week for a total of 12 miles. On Friday I will get on the treadmill for 30 minutes and either do sprints or try to increase my pace. With the Marathon only six weeks away it’s time to add another day of running.
Let’s talk about yesterday. Yesterday was The Black Cat race in Salem, MA. It was either a 10 or 20-mile run. I signed up for the 20! I met Sherwyn and Freddie, my secret service, at Newton-Wellesley at 6:00 am. As my alarm went off at 4:30 Sunday morning, it felt like a regular work day. As I was driving to meet them I realized that I actually pay for this. We got to Salem, got all registered and were ready for the 8:00 start. I saw another tutu, a man in a kilt and a few people in tank tops and shorts. The first 10 miles there were a lot of runners. What I didn’t realize is how many people weren’t running 20 miles. It definitely thinned out and it was a little lonely. It didn’t help that the road was now open to traffic. It was a little scary running with traffic zipping by you at 40 plus miles an hour.
It took me about to mile three before I found my stride. I was averaging about a 9.2 minute mile and I was pretty happy. At mile 10 I tried some of that Power Bar Gel Kona Punch. Can you say yuck? I don’t even know how to describe it but never again. I hit the wall around mile 16. My pace slowed to around a 10-minute mile and I couldn’t seem to speed up. At that point all I wanted to do was walk but I realized that just slowing down my legs were already tightening. I knew that if I walked I would never start again. I finished the 20 miles at three hours and nine minutes and was happy to be done. I accomplished two of the three goals I had set. My first goal was to finish on my own two feet, no truck! The second was to not walk, though my 10-minute pace probably looked like I was walking. The third was to come in under three hours but I finished.
As soon as I finished I realized I had a problem. How was I going to step up onto the curb? Yes, I looked at the curb and was pretty sure it was the size of Mt. Everest. My left leg hurt, a lot! I went back to the car, changed and sat and cranked the heat. I must have sat in there for 10 minutes before I decided I should go look for Sherwyn and Freddie. I was really hoping I wasn’t going to have to walk to find them but no such luck. The three of us were all walking slow and taking inventory of the various body parts that hurt. Freddie had two big cuts on his back from where his shirt was rubbing. Sherwyn didn’t bleed but was in some pain. As soon as we got in the car, we turned the heat up full blast and it stayed that way all the way back to Newton-Wellesley. It’s amazing how cold you are right after running that long. I feel pretty good today, though my left leg still hurts a little. I know after running that 20-mile race I can do the Marathon!