This is it. I have 6 days before my taper starts. I need to make these count. Sunday is my 20 miler. I’m anxious to do it and I think anxious is a good thing. Over the next 5 days, I’ll try to get in about 15 or so miles. I want my legs fairly tired on Sunday. If I can do 20 on tired legs, I should have the confidence to run 26.2 on fresh ones.
This past weekend was a sign of how far I’ve come. I ran 11 miles on Sunday. I guess the first sign is the fact that I can say it was “only 11 miles”. Less than a year ago, I had never ran 10 miles. I was training for my first half marathon. My last long training run was 9 miles, days out before the race.
The other sign is how I “prepared” for Sunday and how I felt afterwards. Why the quotes around prepared? Well I did not prepare. In fact I probably broke every rule for what one should do before a long run. I was at a “Wine and Cheese” party. The theme was to dress in classy 60’s attire (a la Mad Men) and partake in a “potluck” of various cheeses and wines. I don’t care much for wine, so I only had a glass. Sound reasonable, right? Wrong. In lieu of wine, I had myself some brandy (which is technically just distilled wine).
So lets see, I drank wine and liquor and ate a multitude of fatty cheeses that would definitely not sit well. Haven’t hit that point of no return yet… lets throw in a cigar. Yep, it was a Mad Men themed party so if I was going to be sitting in a 3-piece suit, sipping on a brandy, I may as well have a cigar in the other hand. I don’t smoke cigarettes, they’re disgusting. Feel free to let your heads explode on that one.
Okay. Bad diet? Check. Alcohol? Check. Smoke? Check. Disregard for hydration? Check. One more to add to the list – little sleep. I got home around 2, chugged a Gatorade and went to bed. 4 hours later, I was up, eating a banana and putting my gear on.
There’s a reason I admit to doing all this. I went out for my 11 miler with some running friends, smelling/looking like Keith Richards and ended up feeling great afterwards. I managed to keep the run under 2 hours. 2 miles from our finish, while others stopped for a bathroom break, I hit the park’s sledding hill for .25 miles of hillwork. All in the spirit of Bode Miller.
I finished the day not by napping and resting. I went grocery shopping, cleaned the kitchen and did homework. I had some knee soreness, but nothing too bad. My recovery time after my first half was days of doing nothing. Now I don’t even nap. Working a 10+ mile run into my day without it taking me out of commission, I think is the greatest sign of how far I’ve come.