Big Monday

Big day yesterday caught up with me this morning on my run!

I started out the day volunteering for the Heart of America Marathon here in Columbia.  It’s a tiny little marathon by marathon standards but it was celebrating its 50th anniversary!  That makes it the fourth oldest marathon in the US.  It is so small for a couple of reasons.  First is the weather in Missouri on Labor Day (usually).  With temps in the 90s and humidity to match, that alone would scare all but the most adventuresome away.  But add to this a course that is arguably one of the top 5 toughest in the nation and you get the recipe for a 200 runner marathon.  BUT… If you can do this one, its a badge you can wear proudly forever.  This is a marathon in the true definition of the word. 

Unfortunately, I do not think that I will ever do another marathon.  Although my pelvis *seems* healed, all I have to do is run more than 10 miles and it hurts again.  That and I’m having a lot of fun doing triathlons and other stuff so the interest just isn’t there.  I have to admit I felt the old tug to go long as I was watching my friends run past me at mile 24.  Although their faces betrayed the effort, I was still jealous and really wanted to be running myself.

So after 2 1/2 hours standing beside the road guiding cars and runners along the course, I headed out to Finger Lakes to do a practice triathlon in preparation for Club Nationals.  About 10 of us did an 1100 yard swim, rode about 13 miles and then ran 3 miles.  This is relatively accurate to the distances at Redman and I was pretty pleased with the result.  I swam 1100 in right at 20 minutes, rode the 13 miles at about 21.5mph and ran the 3 mile course in 22 minutes.  I’m good with that.  Because of the way the parking lots were set up (gravel, ruts and mud) we didn’t have much of a chance to work on transitions but I should be able to come in just under 1:20.  That would be a great result for me.

Then I came home and played an hour or so of tennis with my son.  Not a big workout but still more than I should have done.  He likes it, though, so I wan to encourage it as much as I can. 

But the end result for me was just about complete exhaustion.  I crawled into bed and the alarm went off…  dammit…

Our run route this morning was one that I have been wanting to do for a while.  It involves a big hill that I like to run (is that sick…?) so I was going to do it, regardless.  Two steps onto the trail though, and I knew I had worked out hard yesterday…  I felt very sore and slow.  Like running through mud.  This route splits at about the 4 mile mark for runners choosing the longer routes.  As I ran the course, I did start feeling better but the big hill I was so looking forward to kind of kicked me in the gut.  When I got to the top my legs were burning and spent.  I thought maybe the big downhill on the other side would give me time to recover so I could do the long route (with two more big hills…) but I knew about half way down I was done.  I tucked my tail between my legs and turned off short and headed home.  I did manage to pick it up in the last mile quite a bit while trying to chase down a fellow runner, but that extra mile would have done me in for the week.  I’m glad I didn’t run it.

The sad part of it all was that I knew this was just lack of endurance.  The heavy legs and soreness is just from not running as far as I used to.  My conditioning is fine.  In fact I was able to chat with another runner coming down the hill without any huffing and puffing at all.  It was just my legs that wouldn’t go when I stepped on the gas.  I need more recovery time.  Tonight I’m just going to get the bike on the trainer and spin my legs out a bit.  I’m still tired…!

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