Last Long Run

polar rcx5 marathon training

I knew it would be a tough run because of how I felt in the first few minutes.  Because my GPS took longer than usual to find the satellite. Because my heart rate was much higher than it should have been. Not a big deal. But I could feel it in my stomach and chest.  A little too full. A little tight.  I knew I hadn’t eaten enough the night before and that I was probably running a little too close to breakfast. The promised rain and snow had not yet materialized and I wanted to get the run in before the weather turned for the worse.

I ran past the ski track. Through the wealthy neighborhoods of Wellesley, out to Route 16 and all the way to Wellesley center, then worked my way back along the marathon route.  My tempo was good. I was accumulating miles and passing other runners, running in small groups or singly. I muttered a brief “on your left” or “on your right” as I snuck by on the berm of the sidewalk or with a hop into the road. Otherwise, I spoke to no one and listened to Soma FM Indie Pop Rocks for the duration.

I borrowed some Gatorade from DFMC in front of Marathon Sports.  I crossed into Newton and started the first long grind up and over the highway to the hospital. I took some more liquids at the fire station where the course turns onto Comm Ave. I forced myself to eat a gel. An hour and half had gone by and it was the first food I was taking.

Then I picked up the pace.  For the next half hour, I ran hard, slightly faster than my marathon pace, up and over Heartbreak Hill, to Boston College, and back, heading home, heart rate pegged at the upper end of the 160’s.  I was starting to feel cooked.  That was the plan. Try to simulate the end-state fatigue I would encounter during the race.  I could the feel the blister starting to burn under my left foot.  A stitch had formed on my right side. My neck hurt like hell.

The final half hour should have felt like a gift. A reprise to run at a slightly lesser pace and to enjoy the fatigue and the end-game of my longest training week.  Instead it was a forced march through the neighborhoods of Newton, fighting to maintain a steady pace and absorbing the suffering best I could.

I made it home on fumes.  The legs felt good but the rest of me was bone dead. I was dehydrated — I lost 5 pounds on the run and had burned 2000 calories. I just wanted to go to sleep. I forced myself to eat and drink. Then I took a good nap.

It was a long week and my longest of my marathon training plan.

I ran four days: 10 miles, 13 miles, 5 miles and 22 miles.

I will taper from here.

Thank god.

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