This, however, is not the story of a wonderful training run, but rather a story of a grueling and rough run. There was no blood, but there were blisters and upset stomachs, and a pee break at Wal-Mart. And lots of walking a smidgen of depression/despair.
So: normally, I try to run early. However, this morning since I'm hanging out alone, I took my time getting up and ready and eating breakfast and drinking coffee and petting the kitties and doing dishes--basically, just putting it off a little longer because a twelve mile run is not something one just undertakes without proper mental preparation.
Since it was going to be hot and I wanted ID/phone with me, I used my little CamelBak for the first time--I bought it specifically for long runs in the summer, because I don't like dehydration. And it was the high point of my run--I could just take a little sip without fuss. And the sloshing only annoyed me a little, and it certainly announced my presence to unsuspecting, slower trail-users.
Everything was going okay for the first 6 miles: my legs were tired from a 40 minute run the day before and a workout class on Friday, but usually I can get past the soreness. About mile 4, I realized I had to pee, so I did what any smart woman would do: locate the nearest facility in which to use their bathroom, since I'm not a fan of urinating in the outdoors (unless I absolutely have to). Luckily, the trail runs right past Wal-Mart, so at mile 6, I ducked in to use their restroom.
Then I noticed a hot spot on the side of my foot, on the pad. Uh oh. I think I know what that is: blister. It did not feel pleasant, though it wasn't excruciating. It was my first running-induced blister, a distance running milestone I had avoided thus far. (Along with black toenails, or completely loss of a toenail. Why the hell do I like to run again??)
After mile 6, I started alternating running and walking because my legs were dead, my body had no energy (I was getting really hungry), and my foot was feeling very uncomfortable. I ate my gel, which usually gives me a wonderful boost of energy. I felt slightly more energetic, but really, I wanted some real food.
I ended up walk/running until about mile 10.5. Then I just quit. I briefly contemplated using my phone to get a ride the rest of the way home, but I sucked it up and walked. (Repeating: there is no shame in walking, there is no shame in walking...) I had a smoothie when I got home, but it just upset my stomach.
Now I'm really sore. And I think my blisters popped already. Thank God tomorrow is recovery day.
So what'd I learn? Eating 45 minutes beforehand is a great idea, because 2 hours later that energy has already been directed elsewhere, so I should have eaten a little snack. Also, running earlier is better because the sun is lower and it's not so damned hot. Also, we had cloud cover for most of the morning from when I intended to run (7 or 8), which was gone by the time I was half done. I'm glad I stopped for a bathroom break, though, because I didn't have to suffer through that on the last 6 miles as well as being in agony from sore muscles. And I love my CamelBak, sloshing and all.
All I hope is that this isn't a sign for how Hospital Hill is going to go.