Monday (day after marathon) is my normal rest/recovery day so I took it as an off day. On Tuesday the schedule called for 9mi with 5x600s @ 5k pace. I crushed it - the pace for the 600s was 5:38 and I ended up logging a total of 9.6mi. Wednesday was an easy 5mi recovery run and Thursday was 14mi at a general aerobic pace (8:45/mi). Friday was supposed to be 10mi but we had our Tri Club Year End Banquet so due to time constraints was only able to log 6mi. The legs were feeling great going into the scheduled 13mi run for Saturday morning. It was a hot (75*) and humid morning (96%) but the 13mi clipped by quickly. All was good, until Sunday ...
This was a big day. The training plan had me doing 18mi with 12mi @ marathon pace. I needed to nail this run as it is the last marathon paced run at this distance. I picked out a fast and safe area to do the run and was set to go. You'd think on January 22nd that the temperature would not be 72* at 8am with 97% but this was the weather so I just brought some extra EFS Drink. I was prepared to hurt but had no idea it would be this bad.
Long story short: I did it - 7:02/mi pace for the 12 miles.
It sucked, bad. I wanted to slow down and quit pretty much the entire run but kept pushing. I needed this run and when I finished, felt awful.
The car was parked next to a Starbucks. My bottles were empty so I went inside and got a big bottle of water and a coffee. I sat down at a table and could not move. It took me a few minutes to get the plastic cap off of the water bottle. It was ugly.
Not sure how long I was sitting there? It could have been 5 minutes or 30 minutes, sort of a blur. Finally got some water in me and chased it with coffee and managed to waddle out to the car and head home.
Walked in the door and told Annie that I had finally broke myself. I had hit my goal pace but the run had physically defeated me.
I spent the rest of Sunday laying around watching Football and feeling like absolute ass. I've had some difficult days training and racing but this was one of the worst. With some travel for work scheduled this coming week the training plan changed to have a 10mi recovery run today (Monday). By Sunday night I had decided that based on how I was feeling my body needed and extra day or maybe even two days.
Until I got home from work this afternoon and decided to go to Run Club and just do an easy 5mi. I figured that these 5 miles were going to be awful but something happened this evening ... best run in weeks?
I ended up doing 10mi and felt absolutely wonderful the entire time. Strong, powerful, fast. A mere 12-hours earlier I was thinking of never running again and my body and mind were fractured.
Isn't it amazing how something as simple as running can crush your soul one day and put you on top of the world the next? Perplexing and Exhilarating, all at the same time.
Thanks for Reading,