Remember That One Time I Ran 12 Miles?

So, let me tell you about my awesome (and not so awesome) Sunday...

Waking up at 6:30 to a dark sky, and frosty morning normally wouldn't be my choice, but I was so jazzed for my 12 mile run, I didn't even mind it. I sat in my car waiting for my windshield to defrost listening to Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson to get me moving and my blood pumping. (I'm glad it was dark and my windows were frosted, because no one should have to be subjected to that level of silliness and uncoordination)

The run was mostly awesome. The first 6 miles were uneventful, and Danielle and I cruised along at a pretty good speed. (I'm still running about a 15 min. mile, which isn't as fast as I would like to be, so I'm going to be working on endurance and speed the next few weeks.) Around mile 6.5 I started to feel tired. Nothing too bad, so I started sipping my Gatorade to help me refuel. Around 7.5 I noticed I was getting more tired instead of better, so I took a few bites of the Cliff Bar I had carried with me, and felt much better! I really need to start experimenting with goo packs and other running supplements to see what works best once I start to fatigue.

Around mile 9 my right calf starting cramping... here's where the not-so-awesome part of the run begins...
We stopped to stretch a little to see if my calf would loosen up, and I pushed through with my intervals for the next 1/2 mile, but my calf was really painful. I walked (at a really good pace) the last 2.5 miles. I'm a little bummed that I didn't complete my intervals for the entire 12 miles, but I know that my body needed me to walk those last 2.5 miles, and by not pushing myself I was saved from an injury that could keep from running for weeks.

Sometimes you have to listen to what your body is telling you, and not worry so much about completing your training plan. This just means that I need to work hard this week and go out and rock my 7 miles this Sunday!

Here I am back at Danielle's house safe and sound. Since I don't have more than 10 fingers, I've been trying to think of how I want to my post-run pictures to announce how many miles I've completed. I finally settled on keeping a permanent marker in my car and writing it on my hand when I finish...
The very exhausted, but happy me.
Post-run reward was time with my niece! 12 miles and calf pain is totally worth being able to play with this little bundle of cuteness!

My brother, who is a trainer and used to sports injuries and pains, warned me about my diet and hydration. He told me that I need to focus on eating the proper nutrients all week long, and drinking enough water that I have to use the bathroom every 10 minutes until staying hydrated becomes a habit. I have a history of kidney stones due to dehydration, so I'm really taking this seriously! I'm not wanting to have any reason why I have to post-pone, or slow down, my training.
Jed told me that I was going to have a really tough week of training if I didn't focus on getting my muscles relaxed, and then re-energized following my long run. Here enters the least awesome part of my day...

An ice bath.

- I filled the bathtub with the coldest water available from the tap
- Got in
- Screamed a profanity or two
- Dumped in 2 bags of ice purchased at WinCo
- Screamed more profanities
- And sat there for 20 minutes.

Jed had warned me that the first 3-5 minutes were the worst, and then it wouldn't seem so bad. I hadn't expected it to hurt as much as it did, but he was right. The first few minutes were brutal. I was tempted to get out, but I knew it was for the best, and I needed to do this. So I forced myself to sit there. I passed the time by reading blogs on my iPhone, and before I knew it, the 20 minutes were over! I don't even know where the time went. I just remember being in horrible, freezing pain, starting to read blogs, and then wa-lah... it was all over!

I feel MUCH better today, and I'm drinking so much water I feel water-logged, but I'm looking forward to a great training week, and a great 7 mile run on Sunday!