I bet you all clicked through, secretly dreading photographs.
I’m glad to say, that all you get is a graph.
But man, what a graph it was. This past Sunday when I woke up, it was cool, even chilly. You can see on that chart that the temperature was below average lows, though it was anticipated to warm up. The projected high was 61. Perfect running weather! A long sleeve top, a camelbak and 14 miles of running awaited me. Given pause by my Friday night run, in the cold and dark, I even flirted with wearing my hat and gloves, but was convinced by Steph they were unnecessary. By 10 miles, as the temperature climbed into the high 60’s they most certainly would have been. I brazenly doffed my Turkey Trot long sleeve top and went topless for the remainder of the 4 miles home. I can’t get out of my head how crazy I must have looked to drivers going by, in running shorts and a camelbak, dressed like I was completing an adventure race across the desert and not enjoying a late October jog amid the rustle and color of autumn leaves.
Now I haven’t run 14 miles before, technically, so in a way it’s a new record. With 2 half marathons under my belt, each preceded by their own 13.1 mile ‘dry run’ I expected stepping up to 14 miles to be a natural extension. But, like so many things in running, I learned the hard way that was not so. I survived the run, stopping only for nutrition at mile 7.5 and my stripping act at mile 10. As I got close to home, I ran 100ft past my house to satiate my desire to please my Garmin. I know some of you have shouted BEEP DAMN YOU BEEP at your Garmin when waiting for it to click over a mile marker when you’ve promised yourself the sweet release of stopping. In that time though, those miles all caught up to me, and the heat, and I waddled addlebrained back toward the house.
Normally I don’t flop down after a long run like that, instead trying to walk around to avoid my legs cramping or otherwise protesting the abuse they’ve been given. But I honestly had nothing left. I dropped onto the sofa in the living room, and whimpered until my lovely wife poured a gatorade onto a pile of icecubes for me. By the time I headed into the shower 10 or 15 minutes later, it was too late, and my legs cramped up almost as soon as the water hit them.
I won’t say I regretted it. I had a 28 mile week last week, with only 4 days of running, and that feels pretty good. And knowing that I can run 14 makes running 13.1, under 2:00:00, at Stomp the Grapes seem very achievable. I just think I’ll be remembering the feeling of my legs seizing up the next time someone casually throws out a mention that I should run a marathon. There are a lot of miles between 13.1 and 26.2, a lot more than mere math suggests.