Last Long Run

This training cycle has been a weird one. Started off pretty good, then I got hurt, had to take almost two month off from running, and spent most of this month slowly building back up to ensure that I’m fit enough to cross the finish line of what will be my third half marathon, but not running too much or too hard, to ensure that I make it to the starting line healthy and injury free. Like I said. Weird.

But finally winding down. I did my last and longest run of this training cycle this morning and not gonna lie, it did not go well. And neither did my long run last weekend, and that’s slightly terrifying, but I keep telling myself that now that I’ve had two really shitty long runs in a row the race itself shouldn’t be that bad! And oh man do I hope I’m right! But I mean, I probably am. Even if this half marathon is the most painful and emotionally tough race I’ve done up until this point (and I have a feeling that it’s going to be) at least I wont be alone. I’ll have plenty of aid station volunteers and police officers to thank, there will be some spectators out on the course cheering me on, signs to read, kids to high five, and of course other runners to talk to. So even if it is hard, at least I’ll have all of that to keep me going. πŸ™‚

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate how awesome spectators at races are?! This guy was standing at the top of the biggest hill on this particular course, dressed as a guy riding a duck, with a sign that says “duck this hill”. This was at first half marathon and very first race ever. πŸ™‚

Anyways, enough about worrying about the future and looking back fondly at past races, lets talk about my run today! In a word, it was shit. Like, I’m pretty sure this run caused me to have a mental breakdown hahaha. And I mean, I can laugh about it now that it’s done and over with, but at the time it was absolutely awful. When I woke up this morning I just had a feeling that it wasn’t going to go well, and I was right…but I was initially pretty excited because it was cold enough to break out my winter running gear, and if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love me some cold weather running!

So the first 2 miles went pretty well. I was super stoked about the cold and having lots of fun! Miles 3-5 went ok as well, I ran through the town cemetery (because tis the season, right? πŸ˜‰ ) and then down to pasture which usually contains cows. Haha the last few times I’ve run down that particular street they weren’t there, but they were today which was super exciting! πŸ™‚ Stopped at my back at my house around miles 2 and 5, to get sips of water and eat half of a Honey Stinger waffle and at that point everything was going pretty well.

then at around mile 6 this just started going awry. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but my legs started feeling really tight and heavy (probably because of the cold) and my mind just decided it was going to go to some dark places. First about running and all of the worries I have about this upcoming half marathon, but then about all sorts of life stuff that I’ve been dealing with/worried about. Fun fun fun stuff…ended up walking most of mile 7 trying to re-gather myself and just hoping that would make my legs feel a little bit better, but nope, that didn’t work. So ok, stopped by my house again around mile 8, drank some more water/Gatorade, ate another half of a Honey Stinger waffle, texted Luke, and then I started to feel a little bit better. I set out again on the loop around my neighborhood that would have taken me back through the cemetery, to the cow pasture, and that would have brought me all the way back home and to 12 miles run, which was my goal.

That unfortunately did not happen, because yet again, I ran into a couple of fucking dogs who were running loose. I swear, my town has a loose dog epidemic and animal control does not care. Trust me, I’ve called them several times to report loose dogs and they always seem super pissed about me calling and I have no idea if anything actually comes of it, so I’ve given up on calling them and I just try to make friends with the neighborhood dogs (and I mean, I am friends with a lot of them haha), but that doesn’t exactly mean much when the dogs is running loose and probably scared. Anyway, the dogs I ran into today were running together and had on what looked like to be those invisible fence collars. So I assume they live together and that they’re invisible fence deal failed today. At first I tried to call them to me because they were acting friendly. One of them even got close enough to sniff my shoes, but just as I was about to try petting him, his little friend decided that he didn’t like me and started growling at me and baring his teeth. And once he did that the brave one who was almost ok with me decided that he was scared of me at that point. Great. So now I’ve got two dogs ganging up on me, growling at me, baring their teeth, and not letting me walk past them. At that point I decided to cut my losses and slowly backed away and then turned onto another street that took me into a 2 mile loop back to my house, instead of the 3 I needed to hit my goal.

After my little run in with those dogs, I went back into that not so great place mentally, and by the time I got back to my driveway I knew there was no way I was going to be able to leave again and get that last mile done. So, I figured 11 miles was close enough to 12, and I called it quits.

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So yeah, it sucks that I didn’t get the full 12 in to meet my goal, but like I said, 11 was still pretty darn close! And I did push through some pretty hardcore mental stuff, along with the typical physical discomfort as well, so although this run sucked terribly, I’m still calling it a win! πŸ™‚

Once I was done, I took an ice bath which was equally as awful, but also important. Then I ate a little bit and drank some chocolate milk, checked my social media, took a nice, long, super hot shower, ate some leftover pizza, and have been pretty much been lazing around the house ever since.

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But now that the miles are done, the ice bath is over, and I had a chance to nap, I’m feeling much better! As I type this I’m sipping on water, eating a big bowl of mac and cheese (because I earned it, damn it! πŸ˜‰ ), and watching Attack on Titan on Hulu. πŸ™‚ But now that I’m fully recovered mentally and feeling pretty good physically, I think I’m going to go do some stretching and foam rolling!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Saturday!

~Ashley

 

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4 thoughts on “Last Long Run

  1. TrekkieLianne

    I can’t really believe this this but I did my 20th half this year, and they are all different. Some are fun and effortless, some are grueling and horrible, and all for different reason which may or may not having anything to do with your training. Your body knows how to do this distance now, regardless of how it’s gone this training season, but a lot depends on the weather and your current state of mind/body independent of training. I HOPE you get out there and kick ass! But however it goes, next time will be a whole ‘nother day. Let’s just have THIS TIME be the BEST time up to now. πŸ™‚

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