Today was my last day off until October 11th I think...so I went to bed early last night and didn't set an alarm. I figured if I woke up with time to run outside that was great, if not I would have time to log those miles later in the day on the treadmill. No 14 miles on the treadmill did not sound fun, but setting an alarm also sounded awful.
I woke up at about 7:15 all on my own so I put on some running clothes and headed out...into the rain. Woo. The rest of the run just went downhill (except literally uphill a lot) from there.
I was running a new trail and the rain was coming down so hard I totally missed the parking lot for the trail access, got totally lost, and finally found another trail access down the road somewhere.
I filled up my new hydration backpack...and it leaked all over my lap because apparently the tube wasn't screwed in all the way.
My Nike app would not start. After three attempts I finally gave up and thanked the good Lord I also have RunKeeper on my phone. As a side note it was remarkably accurate, even in the awful weather, so it will possibly be my go-to running tracker from now on. I really just need a watch.
In other news about disappointing Nike products, my "rain jacket" was compltely soaked through in a matter of minutes. Running with the sleeves of your "rain jacket" plastered to you arms is great fun. I totally recommend it. Only not really.
I started out the run on some super fun and muddy downhills. I wallked a few because it was just way too slippery and I don't really like red mud on all my clothes. It stains and just sorta feels gross. But it was nice to know that even if I was walking, I felt good enough to be running.
When I finally got thirsty I tried to drink out of the little mouthpiece and nothing happened. I was peeved and paused to take the whole thing apart (which meant spilling probably half my water in the process) and still couldn't get a thing to drink. Until I finally (accidentally) pulled the mouthpiece out and it worked like magic. Go figure, it closes so it doesn't leak. Score one for the smart kid over here.
Oh and did I mention my dinner the night before was two tortillas and a can of tuna? It tasted good but was doing about nothing to fuel this run. Hooray for margarita shot bloks and their deliciousness.
At some point I gave up and strapped my rain jacket to my backpack because it was doing me no good at all. And my earbuds were slipping and sliding all over the place and bugging the heck out of me. I was terrified I was going to have to go most of the run with no music. I just don't have that much willpower. Luckily the rain stopped and they dried out enough to stay in place a little better.
Other than the many many stops to adjust my stuff, I was actually making pretty good time. I didn't pause RunKeeper so this is not a scientific fact, but it felt good.
Then I got to mile 7 and got to turn around. The perk of out and backs is that as long as you can will yourself to go the first half, it is pretty easy to convince yourself that it's just plain easier to run back than it is to walk back. I was very glad for this fact because I ran out of water at mile 7.
I tried to convince myself it was all good and it would be no big deal, but the rain had stopped and the humidity and heat were kicking in.
At mile 10 I hit the Wall. I was pretty sure this was the worst idea I had ever had. Then I met a nice couple and their dog. The man asked how far I was going and when I said 14 he asked if I was crazy. I didn't even pause before I said yes. This carried me through a little longer, but somewhere around 11.5 miles I took hitting the wall to a level I have never experienced before. I was dehydrated and convince I would probably die in the woods. Yes I am very dramatic when things get rough. I hit Twitter and got some awesome encouragement. I walked most of the last 2 miles because it was uphill in slippery mud...and also because I was dehydrated and couldn't get my heart rate down. I did run the last quarter mile because I am stubborn like that and felt like I needed to finish strong for it to really count.
I could have kissed my car when I finally got to it. Instead I chugged a ton f water, changed clothes, and headed home to shower and crash in bed for a bit. It was the best shower of my life. And crashing in bed for half an hour after might have been even better.
I finally drug myself out of bed (by promising myself iced coffee from Dunkin) to meet a friend to do a bit of gift shopping. Now I am at Starbucks pretending I don't need to go home and pack my belongings.
Tomorrow I head to Charleston and it feels really good to know that my long run for the weekend is done!
The greatest thing about this run is that I finally feel like a runner. I got up early. I ran in the rain. And I powered through 14 uncomfortable miles. And even though it was rough, I was happy and actually enjoyed it. Ok, until mile 12. But it counts :)
Happy weekend all!