Quite simply put, my run yesterday owned me. It owned me hard.
If you can't tell, I had to sit down in my car just to take a picture of my feet after it was over (because obviously, it's the only logical thing to do). I mean... you would think that bending at the waist would not be a big deal, but oh gosh, it is right now. It so is. Also, a fun fact: I have a tan line this year that starts just below my knees, and ends on my upper thighs from wearing compression socks and running shorts on my long runs. It's adorable.
Here's the thing that nobody tells you about "running" 18 miles. It's just straight up hard. Your body starts feeling each and every step you take, you've been running for hours on end at that point, and you are just ready for it to be DONE. However, you also learn a lot of valuable lessons when you run that far:
I ran out of water 3.5 miles from the end, right as it got crazy hot outside. I could go back a half mile to a water fountain, but that would have meant adding an extra mile to my run. I decided it wasn't worth it, and that would trek on. Looking back, it was a poor decision, but I'm glad to be learning now that I will need a TON of fluid between miles 12 and 20.
I also learned that I need to adjust my fueling based on my running time, and not take fuel at certain distance intervals. I ended up under-fueled on my run, because I was running a lot slower, but taking in fuel according to my distance traveled. Another hard lesson learned.
I remembered that there is no shame in walking. A lot. Sometimes, your body just needs the break so that it can get back in the swing of things a few minutes later. And it beats the alternative of being curled up on the sidewalk, because you tried to be the tough lady, and pushed beyond the limits of safety.
I also experimented with using Honeystinger waffles as fuel, and had some darn good results. They aren't as sweet as chews and gels, which is really super awesome, as that much pure sugar can really get tough to bear. I'm going to keep working with them, and hope that they will continue to be incredible.
I got to remember how awesomely comfortable it is to lay on the floor. I refuse to lay on my bed or the couch when I am that sweaty/disgusting.
I learned that I am capable of running too hard at a half marathon, and then turning around 6 days later and finishing 18 miles. HOWEVER, I learned that this is probably not the best idea for people not accustomed to these type of back to back long runs.
I learned that REI employees are extremely understanding when you are standing in their store a few hours post run, and you can't find something that is right in front of you. And that they will also be very encouraging when they find out how far you just ran, and that you have an upcoming marathon. They praised me for being upright and walking without assistance.
I learned that glacial is an actual walking speed that I am capable of acheiving.
Did you learn anything interesting about yourself this weekend?