Sunday’s Long Run (2/27/11)
That’s what my cross-country coach used to say during speed work-outs when we had just one rep left. “Uno mas!” he would call, which was cute and encouraging. I liked the Spanish touch he threw in there. It’s catchy too—I find myself using the same expression to encourage me to finish whatever it is I am doing, whether it’s a work-out or anything else.
Uno mas. That’s how many long runs are left in this season of half-marathon training. And it’s no training run that’s left on the schedule: March 6 is race day. Yesterday’s run was a 110-minute behemoth, giving me approximately 11-12 miles more under my feet. As runs go, this one wasn’t too shabby. My stomach was feeling funky for the first half of the run, and I wondered if it was due to the heat and humidity that blew into town. I dressed for the weather in shorts and a tank top, and I tried to make sure I was really well-hydrated before walking out the door.
After the 60-minute mark, my tummy settled down and the fatigue starting setting in. I knew this run would be tough, especially the last 30 minutes. To combat mental fatigue, I started saying to myself, “Best run of your life! Best run OF YOUR LIFE!” I think this blatant lie helped—my legs held on pretty well until the last ten minutes or so, when I stopped to wait for a streetlight to change. Those last few minutes were the hardest minutes I’ve run in a long, long time. Everything was hurting; I was hitting the wall, or as close to the wall as I’ve ever come. For the last couple minutes, I thought of you, dear readers, and how kind you’ve been to me. I thought of Kate, who told me she’d be living vicariously through me as I try to break two hours in the half-marathon. I thought of Maura, with her feisty spirit and kick-ass attitude, who I know would give anything to be off crutches and back on her feet right now. And I thought, I don’t want to let anyone down, so I’m going to keep running until the watch says I can stop.
Which I did. And when I stopped, I could barely take two steps before coming to a halt and plopping down on the sidewalk, trying to breathe. I felt a little dizzy, which I think was probably dehydration or a sign that I need some electrolytes or even better, both! After a few minutes, I picked myself off the sidewalk, walked for a few minutes to cool down, and went home to refuel and rehydrate. Run over.
Speaking of refueling, what do you think about drinkable oatmeal? My friend Daine shared the idea with me to make an horchata-like oatmeal shake, which pushed me to whip up something perfect for carbo-loading distance runners like myself. If you’re interested, the recipe is here. Cheers!