Sunday, April 16, 2017

19 Miles!

Today I had my 19 miler--a mileage I have not run since training for the Akron Marathon. It went surprisingly well.  Here are some pictures and some lessons I learned:

1. (Re)Learn to run by yourself.  This one is odd for me. When I first started running, I primarily ran alone. I loved running long, slow distances (as well as shorter runs) and races all by myself. Just me and my music. What can I say? I'm a rebel, Dottie, a loner.

 In the past two years, I have switched my focus to running long with groups or partners. In a way it was really good for me to be sociable. As I get older, I have less patience with others, and I often find it tiring to talk to other people when I don't have to do it. Such is the life of a teacher.

Anyway, I grew to love running long with others, but unfortunately, I also grew to depend on it. When I decided to train long with groups, I forgot the fundamental rule: People will not always come through when you need them to. (It's the same rule with running with music, by the way.) As long as you depend on people, you are always opening yourself up for a letdown. Now, this isn't a condemnation of anyone in particular; it's just a fact. For example, you might set up a long run at 8:30 AM with another runner, and she/he might wake up sick. It happens to all of us, and it is nobody's fault. That, however, will not help you when you realize that you didn't take your earbuds with you because you depended on conversation as your distraction.

I've had a few situations in the past month where my runs were partly alone. Mostly I have awesome friends who have "rescued" me by running a few miles here and there during the long runs, but I now realize that I have to stop depending on running with other people.

Today I ran the first ten miles of my long run alone, and it wasn't terrible, but it would have been so much better if I hadn't gotten out of the habit of running long alone.
Technically, I wasn't completely alone. Snappy here was on the Towpath cheering for me.  Or hoping to chew off my leg.

I need to get back to depending on myself, Peeps. After all, chances are really good that I'll be running alone for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon (unless you want to run with me?). I used to be so good by myself, and I need to get back there.

2.  Don't sit in an Epsom Salt bath immediately after your long run if you have ANY SUSPICIONS AT ALL  that you might have chafing anywhere in your nether regions.  'Nuff said.

Joy ran with me for the second part of my run: 9 miles. It has been a while since we were able to talk, and I really missed her, so we had a good time. We dodged a lot of snakes.

There were LOTS of these.
The weather was really hot, and by the end of the run, I looked like a salt lick. Joy was my savior, and I'm so grateful to her for saving my butt and getting me to finish 19 miles.

We finished at Lock 29.
I kind of screwed up my mileage plan for the marathon. Normally I should hit my 20 miler on April 30, three weeks before the race; however, I couldn't pass up a fabulous deal to run the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon on that day (for only $26.20!), so I had to decide whether I want to hit 20 miles before or after that. I've chosen the Sunday following the race, which will give me 2 weeks to taper. This is actually more than I normally schedule to taper, so I'm hoping this will all work out for me.

How is your training going, Peeps?

Do you prefer running solo or group running?

How long do you take to taper? Do you REALLY respect the taper?

I hope to see you in Cleveland. Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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