My plan was to run some of the race course. I'd start on City Island, run up to the Harvey Taylor Bridge, then run across the bridge and back- TWICE. Why would I put myself through that? Because I hadn't run across that bridge in a long time, and I remember that it just sucks. The thought of running out and back on it during the race seemed very daunting. I figured if I ran it twice during a training run, it wouldn't seem so bad doing it during the actual race.
I had a feeling my run wouldn't be easy. As I drove to City Island, my eyes felt heavy. I could fall asleep right now, I thought. That's how tired I was! I also hadn't taken my normal rest day on Friday. Instead, I got cocky and ran five miles. They were easy miles, but I normally take a rest day before a race pace run. It was my fault completely. I also knew why my eyes were heavy. Instead of taking one sleeping pill the night before, I took one and a half. Am I a masochist!? The only way I could have set myself up for a worse run would be if I had gotten shit faced the night before!
Even though I crapped about four times before I left the house, my stomach was grumbling when I parked my car. I also had to pee like a race horse! No problem. There are always tons of bathrooms on City Island.
I started my Garmin to clock my first two warm up miles. First, I headed across the parking lot to hit up the port 'o john I saw. Unfortunately...
Okay, no problem, there is usually one right by the walking bridge, and I was heading that way anyway. Nope. No port o john. Alright, I knew there were actual real toilets near where the Pride of the Susquehanna docks. I ran to those...
By now I was about to pee my pants There was only one more chance for a port o john by the kayak rentals, but it was gone. It was either pee my pants or pee in semi public behind a tree. I opted for the latter. I somehow managed to make my urge to go #2 go away for the time being.
My two warm up miles ended with me back at the car. I chugged some water and took off my jacket. Time to crank it up a notch.
As my race pace miles started (7:15 per mile), I headed across the walking bridge and over to Harrisburg. I ran North on the riverfront path towards the Harvey Taylor Bridge. I am sad to inform you that after .6 of a mile, things were already feeling tough. I did not know if I was going to be able to run 9 miles at race pace.
Here we go, I thought, as I ran up the Harvey Taylor Bridge. After a very short incline, the bridge flattened out. It wasn't that bad. At least it was flat. I ran all the way across to the West Shore (almost a mile), then turned around and came back. I was feeling pretty thirsty as I approached the East Shore and was getting a bit of a headache. I wondered if I should skip the second out and back and instead head to my car for some more water. The bridge wasn't nearly as scary as I remembered it, and I was feeling confident it wouldn't freak me out on race day. No, you said you'd do it twice, so you're going to do it twice, I decided. Out I went again.
Only watch this video of her coming ashore on Key West if you want to ugly cry...
I made it back to my car around mile 6.5. I stopped my Garmin and grabbed some water. As soon as I stopped running my head started POUNDING. I really had not hydrated enough during my run. I am not an idiot, it's just my hydration pack leaks and I have not come up with a back up plan. Okay, maybe I am an idiot...
I walked for about a minute and drank a lot. Two and a half miles to go. Less than twenty minutes. I CAN DO THIS.
Luckily, my headache dulled a bit when I started running again. My last miles were just me circling the island. I didn't have the energy to think of another route. I just wanted to run in a circle and not think until I hit 9 miles. I did it. SOMEHOW I did it. The whole time my chest felt fluttery and apprehensive. Why was I nervous? This wasn't a race. I had to tell myself to calm down and just breathe.
Warm Up: 8:22, 8:19
Workout: 7:17, 7:14, 7:09, 7:13, 7:18, 7:12, 7:09, 7:10, 7:11
Cool Down: 8:30, 8:19
The good part about this run,(other than that I was able to complete it despite the horror) was that my ITB did not bother me at all. Not even afterwards. It comes and goes with no rhyme or reason, but it is always a confidence booster to know that it is possible for me to do hard runs and not have it flare up.
So that's the story of my run! Tomorrow I plan on doing JACK SHIT and I can't wait! I think I earned it!
If you read this whole thing, you get an award!!!
Where is the most public place you have ever peed?
What do you think about for inspiration during a hard run?