THERE ARE NO FANCY PICTURES HERE BECAUSE I AM VERY BUSY EATING CRUNCHY FOOD.
My cough/sickness/plague of death lasted through Saturday and I woke up Sunday still feeling like crud but I had made plans to knock out a 20-miler with some similarly crazy-minded coworkers so I got up early, ate toast and headed to Blue Clay bike park for some trail running.
UNFORTUNATELY it had rained the night before and UNFORTUNATELY I didn't know exactly how trail-like the trails were. They were very trail-like. We were doing a six-mile loop that my coworker informed me was broken into "the hilly side" and "the rooty side." As in, tree roots. As in, jutting out from the ground waiting to trip me. As in, they'd be doing that anyway but also did I mention it rained the night before so now it was also slippery and muddy. My coworkers have seen my bloodied knees and scraped palms, they know I am clumsy and always within two feet of death at any given time. I decided not to interpret their choice of running venue as a referendum on how they feel about me.
SURPRISINGLY I only fell once. I fell not on a tree root or a slippery downslope or a wet-rock uphill, all of which I encountered. No. Instead, I fell in the place where the trail crosses a nice flat paved road. I was in front at the time and wasn't sure which way I was supposed to go, so I stopped running - full stop - paused, turned around to ask if I should turn right or left, and fell. Flat on my face. On the pavement. Sigh.
My 20-mile partner bailed out after six miles because of knee pain and after 12.2 miles of sliding, twisting my ankles, jumping puddles and almost falling, I decided to call it a day. This was not a bad decision as I am SUPER sore today (my puddle-jumping muscles are apparently not used often; they are also apparently located at the tops of my thighs and hips), and it started pouring rain about five minutes after I got home. Death would have been imminent.
But unfortunately this still means I have a 20-miler looming on my schedule. The marathon is 13 days away, and I have been informed by no less than three running rockstars that you don't reap the benefits from a workout until 10 days after it is complete. So tomorrow morning I will do the unthinkable: I will run 20 miles and then I will go to work.
I MEAN. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE LEG PAIN. I know this is kind of insane, both in regard to proximity to the race and in proximity to the work day before me tomorrow, but I need to do it, mostly for my own mental toughness. I need to know I can run 20 miles and survive. I need to know that so I can stand at the starting line in Chicago and feel even semi-prepared. I need to do this so I can feel like I can do that.
So, done. Went to a bike store today and bought a handful of gels, Nuun and post-exercise drugs. Talked to an Ironman who told me that if I can do 20, "you'll reach the finish line just fine." I'll eat carbs for dinner, wake up and pound it out and then run easy for the next week and a half. Go time. Done.