…What to title this.
Taper started sooner ?
What went wrong?
Wheels came off the bus?
I was supposed to run 24 miles yesterday…a longest run ever. Spoiler alert – I didn’t. I’m sad about that but I feel like I made the right decision (for once).
Let’s go back and start at the beginning. Last week’s 22 miles was awesome. Last Sunday we kept it short and did 6 miles but it was a preview of the loop section of the course and overall it felt pretty good. On Monday I noticed a large blister on my big toe. It is on the side of my big toe next to my 2nd toe. I’m not sure when it started because I didn’t notice it after either run.
For various reasons this week my runs were cut short. On Monday I ran 3 instead of 4 miles. On Tuesday I had to break my run up into 2 pieces due to an emergency bathroom break and did
6 5.7 instead of 10. Thursday was better, 7 instead of 8. I felt ok about these decisions. My body is tired and the blister keeps refilling and was altering my gait. I do not want to get a serious injury at this point (or ever!).
Yesterday my trail running buddy agreed to meet me at the start of my run. I had planned to start just before sunrise and she didn’t want me to run the trails by myself. We planned to do 12-14 miles together and I would finish up with 10-12 miles. There was a section of the course that she hadn’t seen yet and wanted to preview. After all of this trail running with me she has decided to run the half marathon.
I got to the trail head early….which was good because my watch decided to be a jerk and not find a satellite or even get past the splash screen. I ended up doing a master reset. Luckily I had all my data synced so I didn’t lose anything besides my settings. I don’t really care about keeping my activity history on the watch. I was able to reset the run settings because I have those memorized from previous resets. I will have to set it up again for biking and kayaking. I should have seen this as a sign.
The first 14 miles with my friend were actually ok. We started too fast and I asked to slow down. We did once we got off the gravel section at the start. My legs were tired feeling and my feet were hurting a bit but we were moving at a pretty good pace. The first 30 minutes flew by and I took in my first fuel. The next 30+ minutes flew by and I missed my fuel. I tried to take it in but then my timing was messed up. Ultimately I missed fueling and I think it set me back. I kept getting messed up by 5-10 minutes which makes a big difference when you are trying to fuel every 30 minutes.
The blister was growing again. I had drained it and covered it with an “advanced healing” bandage. It was supposed to help but I could feel it blowing up. It didn’t really hurt at first but I knew it was spreading out my toes. And then it started hurting. My feet were hurting and I’m sure my gait was changing. I was super tired and my friend was speeding up as we were nearing the end of her 14 miles. I’m happy for her…she is going to crush the half marathon. She has seen all but a small piece of the course now. There are some small hills in that section but she is prepared.
When we finished the 14 I kept going. I took a long walk break because I was behind on food and in some serious pain….feet and legs. I ate and tried to regroup. It didn’t go very well. Getting behind on fuel is not a good idea.
I ran to the finish line of the course and then decided to explore some trails that are on the other side of the park. Those trails were awesome but I was dead. There were a lot of turns and I tried to pay attention as I made them so I could reverse them later. I eventually got to a stream that I just wasn’t willing to cross. It was cold and raining off and on but I didn’t want soaking wet feet. Spoiler alert – I later ended up with soaking wet feet.
I found a different path and followed that. I eventually got to a super swampy area. I even went off the trail to get around things as times because it was a mud pit. I was mostly walking and feeling terrible. Eventually I decided I was risking injury and needed to head back before things got worse. I could always run more of the part I knew if I started feeling better by the time I was back at my car.
Good thing I turned around. Things got worse. I got lost and had to call home to ask which way to go. Then I missed a turn and ended up even more lost. After a while I wasn’t even on a real trail but it was a gravel road. Between using my phone for GPS and calling home I was able to work my way out. It took way longer than I expected to get out of that area but when I came out I was actually pretty close to my car. I expected to come out of the trails at 19 miles and have an easy mile back to my car but I got out at 20 and was only about 0.4 miles from my car.
The rain was cold. I was soaking wet. My feet hurt. The blister felt huge. I had been freaking out from being lost. Everything was wrong. A small piece of me didn’t want to stop but I knew I had to call it. It was not going to get better. Before my last half marathon I pushed to do a longest run ever of 15 miles and it hurt me. I didn’t want to do that again.
I quit….I gave up…..I got in the car and I shivered the entire drive home because I was wet and I was freezing.
The blister had blown up. I drained again and am trying to dry it out. Everything hurts today and I know that doing the back to back isn’t worth it. I need to recover and I need to heal. This plan was aggressive and didn’t really match my beginner status. It’s ok – I’m adjusting. I’m going to move forward. If I can heal up and recover I still think I will be ok on race day.
Moving on now….what happened yesterday is in the past and can’t be changed.