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Monday, November 9, 2009

Damn hills.

I had it all planned out. I was going to get out to Percy Warner Park to get a good 20.7 mile run in. My last long run before the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon on November 22. I would run 18.2 on the actual race course and then an additional 2.5 on a fairly easy trail (if you can't tell, I'm FREAKING out about running 30+ miles on trails in January. FREAKING OUT).

I had talked Melanie into running 11.8 of those miles with me, so I only had to do about 9 miles by myself. Piece of cake, right? Heh. Heh. Rigggghhhttt.

I got up early Saturday morning and got to the park just as the sun was rising. It was unbelievably gorgeous. I started the 6.4 loop (5.8+LL) backwards and was immediately happy with that decision as I was able to watch the sunrise as I battled up the reverse side of 9 mile hill. The weather was gorgeous, the leaves were all orange and yellow and as the sun bled through them it looked like the sky was glittering gold. Breathtaking. I flew through those initial 6.4 miles and headed to my car for a drink and to meet Melanie for the next segment of my run.

As I waited, I guzzled some gatorade, some diet coke (mmm.. caffeine), and I had half of a Barely Naked granola bar, which I'd never had before. Yes, my name is Amy, I'm training for my 8th marathon and I STILL make rookie mistakes... like.. eat something new in the middle of a long run.

Melanie and I got started and things were going fairly well. I felt decent initially and since Melanie and I hadn't seen each other in awhile, we had a lot to talk about. And as the run went on... I was extremely grateful that Melanie had a lot to talk about, because I started STRUGGLING.

Around mile 5.5/6ish I started feeling lazy. My legs felt heavy, I was starting to get thirsty (Yes, my name is Amy, I'm training for my 8th marathon and I consistently make the rookie mistake of forgetting to bring a drink along) and I had to stop for a quick walk break. As the run went on... the more walk breaks I had to institute. Luckily, Melanie was totally chill about it, and didn't call me out for being such a pansy.

Around mile 9, as if my brain, legs, and thirst wasn't enough, my stomach decided to up and revolt on me as well (a conspiracy of the body? I think so). Stupid granola bar. So, needless to say... we skipped the Luke Lea loop that time and I skipped out on the 2.5 trail. So, I ended up with 17.6. Which... I'm slightly disappointed in, but I realize... when your brain checks out on you... and your body and stomach follows suit, there's nothing you can really do it about it. So... I'm not worried. I am glad that I got a good 17.6 miles of the race course in. Granted, I felt like I wanted to die during the last 6 miles or so... But that should be good practice for me. Because, I'm sure, during the marathon I'll feel like I want to die for wayyyy more than just 6 miles.

The elevation profile for the Monkey

I keep trying to remember that I did run the Country's Highest Road Marathon back in July... after running a marathon the previous day. And that bitch was HARD. Like... really, really hard. I remember finishing and immediately saying to Vandy-Montana "well, now I'm not worried about running the monkey." (I had just signed up for the monkey the day before). So, I KNOW I'll make it, but... I just don't want it to suck really hard. After Saturday's run... I have a feeling that it is going to suck really hard.

In other news, shout out to my running partner, Matt, who finished the Outerbanks Marathon this weekend in 4:00!!! (I hope this doesn't mean that you're ditching me for someone faster, now?)

4 comments:

Spike said...

oh, those runs are the worst, not in it mentally, and everything physically is even more difficult. way to fight trough, even if you cut it a bit short. you'll be great on race day. rock that stupid monkey.

as my friends and I always say: "I told you to never trust a monkey."

Melanie said...

Ok, first of all, you are not a pansy. Second, 17.6 miles is still a great long run when PWP is involved. And three, I so would have shared my meager bit of water.. I wish I had known! I think you did great at hanging in there, and I KNOW you'll do great at monkey!

Anonymous said...

Rookie mistake is eating something new during the race. Sure, it would have been ideal to try the granola on a weekday run or a shorter weekend, but at least it wasn't during the race! And there will be water at the race, so you 'll be safe there.

Danielle said...

Aw, well at least you had the nice scenery at the beginning!