I'm looking forward to the downtime this week. After my longest run ever (18 miles), my longest week ever (45 miles), and my longest 30 days ever (180 miles), I'm a hurting puppy. Nothing major, just lots of aches and pains from the long hard training regimen I've been following. This week I'm running every OTHER day, lower intensity (no speedwork) and low milage (28 miles planned)! Sweet. I need it. Lots of healing going on this week. I'm going to rest (a lot), ice (a lot), eat (properly), and generally enjoy myself. I might even get a massage and have a couple of beers (not at the same time, of course)! Yay!
Sunday's 18-mile long run was interesting to say the least. Logistically it was almost perfect. I bought a 4-bottle Fuel Belt this week and brought 16 oz's of Gatorade and 16 oz's of water with me. I pulled-out the outer shell of my Columbia (Waterproof?) Winter parka and threw it on over my running gear, thew a long(er) billed baseball cap on under the parka hood to keep the rain our of my eyes, and headed-out into the breech! Running in a Nor'Easter is an interesting experience to say the least. Needless to say by mile 6 my Columbia was dead weight, of no use to me whatsoever. A certain scene from Caddyshack kept looping over and over in my head throughout the run...
As I came upon the halfway mark of my run, soaked and chilled to the bone, I thought (however briefly) about calling Lex to come and pick me up. I had just about enough of this shit! All of a sudden I jumped out of my skin as I heard a car honking their horn behind me in one of the few spots on my route I was forced to run on the Right side of the road! It was Lex! She pulled up a bit further to where it was safe and got Isabelle out of the back to stand out in their rain gear to cheer me on! A quick kiss from my girls and some high fives and I was back underway. It was just the emotional lift I needed at just the right time!
They continued driving ahead of me and stopping every 2 or 3 miles giving me something to look forward too. Although, I have to say I was jealous when I ran in to my regular pit stop at the donut shop and saw them drinking hot cocoa and eating a blueberry muffin. It was sweet of Lex to offer to go home and get some warm, dry clothes for me, but I didn't see the point. I just slogged ahead. Around the 14 mile point they warned me of a technical stream crossing ahead and advised to to cross from the Left side of the street. When I got to where the tributary of the Assabet River had overflowed it banks, there were literally whitewater rapids flowing over the street. The Left side was the "shallow" part, but it was almost knee deep. The water was ice cold, and believe it or not... It felt AWESOME! Which gave me an idea for post-run recovery - ICE BATH! The Northborough DPW crew was literally waiting for me on teh other side and closed the road as I passed them. I'm pretty sure I heard one of them say "you're nuts!" As I wished them a good day. I couldn't help but think they were right.
Anyway, I kept going up the road and saw my girls again around mile 15, just as I was starting to hit my "physical" wall. I told them I was okay, but as they headed on down the road I was screaming inside of my head "Wait! Come back! Don't leave me!" I think I actually teared-up, but it was probably just the rain. I came across them again around 16.5 right by my favorite part of most of my runs. there's a reservoir and a waterfall there and I stopped to tell them I loved them. Lex looked at me and said "Don't stop now, get your ass moving you're almost home!" Which again was just what I needed as I faced-down the third of my four 200 ft climbs. After which they pulled-up next to me with the Dropkick's cranking on the radio and told me they'd meet me at home because Iz had to pee! LOL! After they left for good I really turned it on and ended-up negative splitting my last 3 miles (11:42, 10:46, 9:43). I felt really good when I finished, but I took that ice bath anyway. Heaven!
Like I said... I'm looking forward to my rest week!