This weekend I ran a marathon as a training run. My last big run to kick off my 3-week taper.
I was a bit giddy at the prospect of running 26.2 as a long run but also dreading it at the same time. Mother Nature has been relentless with the heat and humidity and I was envisioning a repeat of Boston…without the amazing spectators, ice, and sprinklers.
I treated the marathon as a dress rehearsal for the 50K. I tested out my sausage casings groove shorts. I bring a whole new meaning to wicking fabric.
I stuck to my hilly long run loop of 5 miles. And around and around I went. My car doubled as an aid station.
My legs were tired at mile 15.
At mile 18, I questioned (1) why I was training for a 50K so soon after Boston and (2) why I chose to do a 50K in August.
I fueled every 4 miles or so. It was a mix of Shot Bloks, PB crackers, and PB-filled pretzels (my new favorite). Add in a little salt and over 100 ounces of water, and I felt pretty well hydrated and fueled. If you include my post-run chocolate milk, I consumed around 1350 calories. I took care of the 1250 calorie deficit with 4 slices of pizza and some Miller Lite.
I don’t care how many times you run a marathon, 26.2 miles is tough. It was hot and humid and I felt spent at the end. I could not run another 5 miles. Not in that heat. I kept thinking that if August 19th is a day like today, I won’t finish.
Then I remembered to never, ever listen to the craziness that creeps into your mind after you run a marathon. You are delusional and not thinking straight. You say never again and then, 1 week later, start looking for your next marathon.
I did finish…in 4 hours and 28 minutes. 5 minutes faster than my Boston time. Hooray for heat acclimation.
And, about those crazy thoughts, it sounds like someone is in desperate need of a taper, both mentally and physically. Thank god it’s here.
Ever say “never, ever again” after crossing the finish line? I said it after my marathon in 2007 and definitely said it after every 5K.