Friday: 82 minutes relaxed (11 miles)
Saturday: 2hr 5 minute long run (17.7 mile) in 30mph winds (Athabasca)
Sunday: 56 minutes recovery in downtown Calgary
Monday: 82 minutes in Calgary (10.5 miles) legs dead, hard time adjusting to the altitude
Tuesday: 35 minutes (basically off, legs dead/done/trashed)
Saturday’s long run was one of those runs you will talk about for 20 years. “Remember the day we did that 18 miler in Athabasca on Christmas Eve? Remember how FREAKIN AWFUL that was? That run made me want to quit running.”
I had a plan all week for Saturday and was excited about it. The original plan was 2 hours progressive, starting at 6:45 getting down to marathon pace (6:20). I felt like the run was something I could easily accomplish on a treadmill with an MP3 player and a water bottle within grabbing distance. However, it was Christmas Eve in Athabasca, where there was only one gym and, you guessed it, it was closed.
Houston presenting me with a number of different options of “wait until tomorrow or the next day” which I stubbornly refused, and in the end we decided to “man up” and grind it out. We suited up and headed out into what may have been the worst running conditions ever- 30-35 mph winds, cold, icy, and at an altitude we were not accustomed too.
We started out running around a 6:30 pace and barely a word was said in the first 4 miles before we stopped for water. My sister had kindly placed 3 bottles out for us on her way to town and we hit every single one on our out and back loop. Most of the tree lines along the highway had been cleared away which made the wind especially strong. To avoid having to run directly into it as much as possible, we picked a loop that would have us fighting it from the side for the most part.
Having a goal of just going out and banging out two hours of HARD running, I went a little too quick in the first hour. 6:30 miles felt like 6:10 effort, and by the time I was half way I was already completely spent. At just shy of 90 minutes heading back along the highway, I stopped running, shut off my garmin and walked of the shoulder of the road and cried. Literally, I cried. This was by far the worst run ever, and at this point I was so physically exhausted that I could barely put one foot in front of the other.
Houston had to pick me back up and say, “Let’s just run, no more pace, just get the work in.” We finished to final 35 minutes at about a 7:30 pace, which was really all I had left in the tank. The last 2.5 miles was pretty much up hill, but wind at our backs which I was very thankful for. If not, I may have walked home.
At least we got it in.
After two helpings of apple pie, a piece of cake, yogurt, coffee, and a nice warm shower, I finally felt better as Houston and I packed up Maddy and set out on a quick 5 hour drive to Calgary to celebrate Christmas with my Father, Maddy’s Grandpa.
Over the next few days, I would realize just how hard I really did run that day. After 3 “easy” days my legs still have not recovered and I feel that I will spend the next few days doing more of the same…jogging at a snail like pace until I feel somewhat normal. If there is anything I am good at, it is digging a hole for myself when it comes to training. I can’t be bothered being tired now.
I have a marathon in 10 weeks.