- Tuesday: 5 miles @10:32/mi + glute and hip strength training
- Wednesday: 5.1 miles @9:46/mi
- Thursday: 5.1 miles @9:56/mi + glute and hip strength training
- Saturday: 20 miles @10:04/mi – nutrition notes: honey stinger waffle pre-run, Gu at mile 5, 10, & 15. Sports drink: 2 NUUN lemon-lime tabs.
- Sunday: Foam rolling and yoga
Total miles ran: 35.3 miles
Running 20 miles taught me a lot about myself. I know that I’m capable of putting in the work and training for a marathon. I feel confident as I approach hills. I know I can maintain a pace over many, many miles and it’s never felt easier. For the first time ever, I can confidently say that I’m a distance runner.
After my 20 miler, I barely felt fatigued and while my quads were a little tender the next day, I really have no soreness at all.
Was it a perfect run? Not at all. My foot/feet KILLED starting at mile 2. Which taught me another lesson: I can run through pain. At least, I can run nearly 3.5 hours in pain which makes me optimistic that I can run up to 4.5 miles (or possibly more) in pain without letting it slow me down.
My foot issues are maddening. On some runs I have no issues. And when I stop running they feel great. Walking feels fine. I still walk about 20 miles a week no problemo. Sometimes my right sesamoid pain crops up during a run and then goes away just like that. The sesamoid issue is something I’ve been dealing with and I focused all my energy on fixing. No, I don’t think it is a deal breaker but I really, really want to ENJOY running, You know? I don’t want to worry about it. I don’t want it to slow me down. I don’t want it to be there at all.
Because I’ve been so focused on my sesamoiditis I completely ignored my left foot and it’s ability to be the angriest foot of the two. On my 20 miler I headed out wearing dancer’s pads on both feet even though I only needed one on my right foot. After one mile of running, left foot said, Hello, remember your neuroma? The one that gets angry when you restrict your toes? IT’S HEEEERRRRE! And that’s when the electric shocks started shooting down to my 3rd and 4th toes. It’s like stepping down on a sharp rock. Again. And again. And again.
Benches and grass were my friend on this run. At mile 2, I stopped at a bus stop bench and removed my shoe to massage my toes. I moved the dancer’s pad down to my arch to act as a metatarsal lift or something (I have no idea why I didn’t just take it off).
At mile 3.5, I sat in someone’s front yard and took off my shoe again. I reached into my hydration pack to fetch the dancer’s pad backing (to protect the sticky side) and cut my finger on the sharp edge of the plastic. Shit! I removed the left dancer’s pad (and dripped blood all over my leg). I shoved the pad back in my pack, dripping more blood as I went, and took off again with left foot free of all encumbrances. Left foot had better be happy! Guess what? Left foot was happy!
At this point I thought I’d dodged a bullet. I relaxed into my run and felt great. It was a beautiful day.
I had to stop for a traffic light at mile 6. When I started up again left foot was all, Hello, I have a nerve in here that is very angry! Did you forget about me?
And so it went. I sat in the grass next to Aurora Avenue at mile 8 to massage my toes and adjust the tightness of my laces, I stopped at a bench in Wallingford around mile 10 to remove both shoes (at this point the dancer’s pad on my right foot had slipped out of place and I tried readjusting it a few times), I stopped again along a serene stretch of Lake Union around mile 14 for another adjustment, and one more time along Westlake at mile 16. At that point I’d started running with my left toes curled up underneath me. Not a good idea but somehow possible.
Once I hit the home stretch I didn’t make any more adjustments. None of them had done any good and I just really wanted to get home and be done with the pain. I ran. I ran fast. I ran a negative split run, even. And at mile 18, trudging uphill along 8th Avenue NW, the electricity in my foot turned into a mere burning sensation. I was so done with it.
It’s funny how your mind plays tricks you. I’ve never been a mantra kind of person but I found that every time I noticed myself thinking: You can’t run this marathon, You’ll never finish, You’re doing major damage here, You should quit now — that’s when my foot REALLY HURT. Then I’d mentally slap myself and think: I’m running 20 freaking amazing miles here! I’m running faster and faster, I am awesome and I can and will do this! And the pain would ease back.
I need a fucking mantra.
Now, just to prove that people who train for marathons are a special kind of crazy read on:
As soon as I got home from my run I was ELATED! Not because I was done or that my foot didn’t have to hurt any more. I was elated because my body just did something amazing and I’m so grateful that I’m capable of doing it. And I cannot wait to run this marathon! I’M EXCITED!!!! Every time I think about that run I can’t help but smile. It’s kind of like childbirth, I guess.
It’s taper time!
p.s. I’m seeing the podiatrist (finally!) on Thursday. I just need some advice. I feel like I just need a little tweaking with my insoles (something better than the non sticky dancer’s pad on my right foot and something that offsets the neuroma on my left). I need Frankinsoles.