So, thanks to a tight schedule over the next few days, I had to get in a long run and a long swim this week. I've already talked M into doing the long swim with me Sunday. Well, I asked him to do a long swim with me, and he agreed to have a swimsuit on hand just in case, and I didn't exactly specify a day and time, but won't he be happy and surprised on Sunday?
Today was going to be long run day.
And by long, I mean 10 miles. That is race distance, and I wanted to see how I'd do. I've been working on speed and hills and working up to the distance, and just like when I did my first Olympic tri ever, it was time to try the whole distance and see what I'd really gotten myself into.
The original plan was to talk my parents (who are visiting) into taking a walk on the nearby marshes at the end of the Fern Ridge Bike Path. They could look at the wildlife and drop me off, and I could run a flat loop with just one hill on the way home.
They turned me down flat. After a luxurious lunch at a winery, they were "tired" and wanted to "nap" which means, for them, sitting on my couches and petting my cats, who by now think they are the best humans on the planet. My cats like everyone in the world better than me. I'm so not a cat person.
So instead, I decided to work in another tough hills run because I could loop that from my house. I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle and loaded my jersey with two water bottles, Honey Stinger chews, and a Clif Shot that I wanted to try a new flavor of. Even though I have now discovered that it's actually Hammer that I need to be practicing with for the big race.
I charged up the hill and knocked out the first few miles at my typical slow snail whyhillswhy? pace, and got to the top without much ado. Well, ok, there was probably panting and huffing and a couple hill repeats and my sunscreen ran into my eyes and made me all teary, but no other ado.
From there, it was a long, steep downhill on Chambers. And you know what? Downhills hurt as much as uphills. I practiced landing lightly, but clearly didn't start it early enough or land consistently light. By the bottom, I was feeling like a rock in a tumbler.
So eventually, I hit the long flat bike path, but after the pounding down Chambers, I wasn't feeling very speedy. I ate a few chews, and then my tummy started rumbling in earnest. But it didn't want chews. It was telling me clearly that it wanted chips and a sandwich, which it was not going to get. So my tummy turned into a little ball of lead and started sulking, except when I stuffed another chew down there at periodic intervals.
I ran along the Fern Ridge path and then I decided I was bored with my out-and-back plan, and decided to work in a loop on another road.
Somewhere along this other road, my right knee started feeling a little cranky and my feet started some serious aching. A quick check of my GPS revealed I was a little over 7 miles.
Hold the phone.
All the runners, the serious runners, the people who were runners from the get-go and never cyclists like I was a cyclist who developed a running problem, all of them swore to me that true happiness and joy starts at 5 miles on a run. Even my Bishop declares this to be truth. The only vow I've taken as a priest involves obeying my Bishop, so if he says it, it must be true... right?
At five miles, you should be feeling endorphins and happiness. There should be rainbows glowing overhead and the unicorns should be refilling your Gatorade bottle.
It was seven miles, and there were no endorphins going on. And no unicorns. What the hey?
My knee continued to hurt off and on and my feet continued to ache and when I got home, I discovered the start of three blisters despite my careful foot care and use of toe socks to prevent the same.
I got home at 9.32 miles in 1:43, which you might think is dreadfully slow but please remember the huge uphill.
I think I should be feeling really badass right now. But my blisters hurt and I'm tired, so I'm going to bed.