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26 miles, take two - the funcrunch files


May. 29th, 2013 01:38 pm 26 miles, take two

Yesterday was my last planned long run before the SF marathon on June 16. I'd originally planned to go 28 miles, but after my 26 mile run three weeks ago went so poorly (I finished, but it took 6 1/2 hours and I had to walk for the last hour) I decided to attempt that distance again. This time went even worse.


I set myself up for failure by not getting enough rest. I'd been out shooting boyziggy's lasertag event the day before, and though I wasn't running like the actual players I was outside on my feet for the better part of six hours. Chad took me home early so I could have gone to bed at a reasonable hour, but I waited up for Ziggy who didn't get home until after 11. I helped carry equipment upstairs and put away leftover food from the event, then decided to look through my photos, editing and posting a few, and by the time I got to bed it was 1 a.m. Then I woke up at 6 (since that's when Ziggy normally gets up) and couldn't fall back asleep, thus getting about five hours' sleep.

I had breakfast after Ziggy left for work and edited more photos while waiting for my food to digest, and finally got out the door around 10:15. I honestly did not want to do this run at all, given my thoughts on marathoning of late, and the negative thinking further sealed my fate. I immediately developed a side stitch, though I'd waited over 90 minutes after eating before running. It took a full 40 minutes to go away, though at least I got a respite from it during my walking breaks.

The weather was cool enough for me to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt and jacket, though that was too warm when the sun came out in the park. I was feeling tired and irritable. I got a handful of miles in at around 13 minute pace in the park and along the Great Highway where I didn't feel too awful. But by the time I entered Stern Grove at mile 12 and took my restroom break before the turnaround, I was already wanting this run to be over.

By mile 19 I gave up and just walked. I decided I would continue my route through the park, including the loops around both Spreckels and Stow lakes, and get back out to Arguello before deciding whether to cut it short and bus home. And I'm glad I did, because I saw lots of fun wildlife at both lakes, including goslings and a swarm of swimming turtles. I even tried briefly to start running again after being hit full-force by a sprinkler which jolted me out of my half-asleep shuffle, but I stopped after about a minute. It wasn't that I had any pain to speak of, I was just extremely tired.

Made it to California and Arguello which was where I cut short my planned 24 mile run. This time, when I saw a bus go by I could not even run for it. I felt deep fatigue down to my bones. I simply walked slowly to the stop and waited for the next bus.


I completed about 22 1/2 miles (GPS battery died during mile 20) in about 5 hours and 39 minutes, for a glacial pace of about 15 min/mile (due to all the walking plus several extended traffic stops). I'm discouraged, but not enough to abandon the race I've been training for so hard. I will still be at that starting line on June 16. I'm just hoping that the energy of the other runners propels me forward so that I can finish the whole 26.2 miles in the allotted six hour time. Having a course closed to traffic should help as well.

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