Yesterday was a day that is going to require some serious recovery. And this is an insanely long post.
It started with a bad night's sleep Friday night. I was awake at least twice- the get out of bed and use the bathroom kind of awake. Interrupted sleep the night before my longest run to date did not feel good when that alarm went off at 5:30.
Got up and took my time getting ready. Toasted a bagel, added some cream cheese and ate about 3 bites and my nervous stomach couldn't handle any more. Left home at 6:30 to pick up Christy and go meet Ashli. Got a text from Ashli- she was sick and wouldn't be running. (She's fine last I heard, thankfully. Not a serious bug or anything.)
Christy and I got downtown at the exact right time. We got ourselves together and ready for our run. headed to the meeting point and waited in line for that most important last potty break. Headed outside to join the pack and it was suddenly go time.
The first 5 miles were pretty dang good. We set ourselves up to do intervals- run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. And we were doing it and only adjusting for hills (running on all downhills and walking all uphills). Christy and I were talking, I saw several people I know, Christy and I even sang a little bit! Then mile 5 hit...
...and my energy took a little drop. I kept going. I still managed to keep mainly to the intervals but did have a few walk breaks in the midst of the 4 minutes. I also managed a few intervals where I'd start back to running, run through the walk break, and then run the next interval.
Mile 5 is also when I felt the first few raindrops. And by mile 6, it was full on raining. And then lightning. Flashing across the sky. Not often, never felt in danger or scared. Being soaked by the rain was far more misery inducing. My shirt was so wet that I couldn't use my sleeves to wipe my nose or face because I just ended up wringing water out of my sleeve and down my face.
Mile 5 is also when I realized I was getting some blisters and raw spots on certain spots on my foot. I felt them when I ran and not when I walked and that made it really hard to keep running. Then the rain started by mile 6 and my shoes were now wet and that made it a bit worse.
Don't want TMI? Don't read this paragraph. I hit a porta potty between mile 6 and 7 (I think). Had to. It was required. The crappy part of running and having started my period the day before is that I was running on the worst and heaviest and crampiest day of my cycle (thank heavens for Pamprin). I have never had to change a tampon in a porta potty and I hope I never have to again. Might happen next month... but I can pray I get to run that race without my cycle.
The big struggle was mile 7 to the end. My energy was drained. It took a lot of deep down digging to find the motivation to keep going. The last mile almost did me in. I was walking more than I wanted to but I was still moving forward and that was what mattered. We got to the 9 mile time clock and the race volunteer is rolling up the yellow caution flag and pulling out his red flag... we had .3 miles to go and they were calling the event due to weather. The had stopped the clock and were no longer timing. .3 miles to go. Christy was pissed. I was drained and it almost sucked the last ounce of motivation. Once I got to the end, I was pissed. But also too beat to care. Now I'm looking back and really wishing I had a clue what my official time was. My estimate is 2 hours 25 minutes.
We hobbled to the car. I had to go down a short flight of steps and it was torture. Getting to the car and sitting down to take off my shoes was painful but also amazingly wonderful.
One of the best things about the run was that I never had the muscle pain I normally have. Since going minimalist, the arches, ankles, knees never bother me but I started having really tight calves and would have to stretch after the first and second mile or so. This long run... never had an issue with my calves! Instead, my hips were (and still are) sore.
My form fell apart pretty hardcore by the end because I was so exhausted. But I think I kept it together pretty well for most of the run.
The drive home was miserable. Christy and I were complaining the whole time. I was mad about being so miserable because I wanted to celebrate and feel proud. But I was cold and sore and tired and just wanted to be home and in a hot shower.
And it was an amazing shower. Washed my hair and then put the bath stopped in and poured some epsom salt in the tub to soak my feet. Aaaaaaaah.....
Out of the shower and it was time to go drive the van for 2 hours to pick up the kids. That was hard. Run 9.3 miles the first half of the day and then sit in a car and drive for the second half of the day.
But I was so glad to see the kids. My mom was exhausted. It always makes me feel a little better when my kids wear out my mom and she expresses that she had no time to get anything done around the house. Validates my life a little bit, you know? I got my fill of hugs and snuggles and kisses and then was pretty quickly overwhelmed by their energy again.
Here's the misadventures from just a 2 hour drive home:
1. I promised the kids that if they used their very best manners at the special dinner we had with my grandparents, I would drive thru Dunkin' Donuts on the way home. I wanted coffee for the drive and I also wanted to treat myself with a donut. However, the place was practically out of donuts! Zach got the last chocolate donut. Teagan had her first ever jelly donut. I got no donut. Which is really fine. But given that I burned over 2,500 calories that morning and had eaten less than 1,000 calories all day long... I was looking forward to that treat.
2. Zach urgently needed to go poop when we were just 15 minutes from home. Pulled off the highway and found a gas station. Get inside, pants down and- uh oh! He thought he'd had gas but... nope. Accident. Got him cleaned up, introduced him to "going commando," and we were back on our way. Home for an oatmeal bath- which freaked him out at first- to soothe the redness from where he sat in poo.
But there is always a silver lining.
I ran in a low point of health. But my breathing was better. I feel like just the little bit of dietary changes and the iron supplements could possibly be helping just a little already and that has me excited to see where my energy is in a month (iron supplementation takes 4-6 week to really impact the blood).
I ran in really, really, really crappy weather. I hated running in that rain, in that thunder and lightning. Hated it. But that means that almost any other weather conditions will be awesome in comparison on the day of the Mini.
I found what I think is a good plan for fueling for longer runs. I had those few bites of a bagel just to get something solid in my stomach. Christy gave me a chocolate Boost in the car (360 calories and loaded with vitamins and minerals). Had a bottle of 5 Hour Energy (cannot drink coffee before a run or else...). Had a lightly diluted Gatorade post game protein recovery for my during the run fuel (I'm guessing I consumed about 60 calories there).
The weird part... I had no interest in eating after the race. I grabbed a banana at the finish line. Ate it. Didn't want a cookie or bagel. Didn't feel dehydrated in the slightest so didn't even take a water. And didn't feel like eating until I was about to hit the road to drive to Ohio- 2 hours after the race. Ate a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's, drank a diet coke (a rare choice for me but I wanted caffeine). Got to Cincy and had a handful of popcorn at my mom's. Didn't eat again until dinner at 5:00 and that was also the first time I felt actually hungry. Had some orange slices, a small cup of chicken noodle soup, and a piece of white fish with a cream sauce and some fake crab (we ate at a dining room in a retirement home with a controlled menu so it was pretty dang healthy). Would've had green beans but Zach ate every single one of them. Then had my 32 oz mocha with coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. My single splurge. I look back over my eating and calorie burn and am just... floored!
I also expected to be exhausted but I am typing this at 10 pm and am not quite ready to give in and go to sleep just yet. Need to because I've got a busy morning ahead of me with the kids and church.
And the best silver lining of all was this gorgeous sky as I left Cincinnati. The sun was determined that it was going to break through the storm clouds!