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John S. ran: Ugh. What a long, emo...
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- 20 miles
- 05:03 time
- 15:03 pace
- 5880 calories
Ugh. What a long, emotional roller coaster!
Miles 1 - 4 were absolutely terrible and set the tone for the rest of the day. My shins have decided to act up again and I couldn't sustain any kind of pace what so ever. Absolutely the worst feeling in the world, wondering if you're even going to be able to make it to mile 9 or 12 (last chances to catch a ride back to the car with the support teams), much less 20. Average speed: Probably 16-17 minute miles (yeah, that bad!)
Miles 5 - 7, my legs started to loosen up, but were still bad. Spent most of this time wondering if I'd be able to "will" myself to continue if things didn't improve. Also spent most of this time wondering if this is what I should expect on race day. I was weighing my options at this point.
Should I go to Nashville and hobble through the marathon just to say I did it, even if I knew I wouldn't be happy with my time at all (considering how my legs were feeling)? Or should I skip Nashville, get myself in far better condition that I am now and set a goal for a marathon that I would actually be able to do it in a decent time?
Finally, things started to feel better around mile 8. My legs loosened up and I was able to get in to a pretty comfortable groove for the next few miles. I got a little lost around mile 12, but no big deal.
Around mile 13, I really started to feel pretty tired, which I would consider perfectly normal at that point! It was pretty warm out by that time and I was physically tired, but mentally/emotionally drained from the first 7 miles.
Around mile 14 I just put in autopilot and tried not to think about anything. Fortunately, it was a beautiful spring day in Austin and the Town Lake Trails were absolutely packed with some great... um... distractions. Those distractions were enough to get me to mile 17 before I left the trails. Oh well.
Once I left the trails, I realized just how physically beat down I really was. I've run down Lake Austin Blvd before, but heading all the way out to or u-turn point was brutal. It was there that I knew I was spent, but at least I knew that the remaining distance was just the distance I needed to go to get back to my car. I had no choice at this point. I wanted to get back to the car, back home and indoors asap. Don't remember much of the last 2 miles, except thinking "Oh look! I can see my car! It's only 3/4 of a mile away!
Overall, I can say "I made it." but I don't have many other positive things to say about it. (Except that I really REALLY like running the trails on a bright sunny day like today.)
I'm hoping this was just a bad day and the next few weeks of tapering off will help so I don't have another bad day in Nashville.