Saturday, March 19, 2011

Long run combined with a bit of a tumble, just for fun

I almost had to pinch myself this morning after finishing up the week's long run.

Yes. That run really did happen. And yes. It really was that good. And yes I almost quit after 2.5 miles.

Let me back up.

I went to bed last night not even knowing if I'd make it out the door this morning. I had a really upset stomach and was worried I was coming down with something. But I said a few prayers that I wasn't getting sick and went to bed.

Woke up this morning and felt better. Not 100 percent better, but good enough to get myself out the door and run. Maybe the stomach ache was due to the fact that I knew I'd be running 11 miles. That's a lot of miles. And the first time since Las Vegas that I'd cover anything of that distance.

I met up with the group, contemplated leaving my gloves in the car and set off on the run. It was absolutely gorgeous out today. After so many weeks of crappy weather - cold, wind, ice, everything at once - it was amazing conditions today. Mid-30s at the start, sunny and no wind! Hallelujah!

We ran. It was comfortable pace. In past weeks a few folks in the group have been going out faster and the group usually breaks off. But today we all seemed to stick together. It might have been because we were running a new route and had no idea where we were going.

So we're running. And I'm chatting with some other folks. And all of a sudden I'm flying through the air and ended up face first on the pavement.


All runners stop. I get questions. Are you OK? Are you hurt? Turns out I ended up tripping over a water main cover that wasn't flat with the sidewalk. And when I tripped I took a digger. I was able to break my fall a bit by pulling my arms into my chest, but my poor knees took the brunt of the fall. They hurt. At first I was thinking to myself, how the heck am I supposed to run another 9 miles? But after sitting a moment, I got up and we started to run again.

Those first few steps hurt, but after awhile the pain was gone. I kept running. Around mile 4 I ditched the gloves (looking back I'm glad I had them since I would have had some pretty nasty bloody scratches otherwise). I was still feeling good at Mile 6. And 7.

And then my favorite hill came. And I ran up it feeling strong. I own this hill. It doesn't scare me anymore.

We hit miles 9 and 10 and I'm still feeling good. In past week's I've normally been bringing up the rear in our group, but today I pull away from three other girls. I'm running in this odd no man's land - stuck between two groups of runners. But it doesn't phase me. I just keep running. My pace feels good. One of the coaches meets up with me and run in the last half mile together and finish at the parking lot.

I hit stop on the Garmin. 11.25 miles in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 36 seconds. That's an 11:05 min/mile. Way faster than the 11:30 min/mile that I'm aiming for at the two half marathons I'm running this spring. And the crazy thing is? I did it running on two hurting knees. Talk about a confidence booster!

Of course once I stopped running the knees started to hurt. I stretched before hobbling home. And now I'm just taking it easy for the rest of the day. A little bit of ibuprofen, my compression socks, some ice and a day's worth of NCAA basketball - including the Badgers fighting for a Sweet 16 berth later tonight - sounds like a good way to relax. I've earned it.


Lisa said...

Ugh, I hope your knees feel better soon. I'm convinced I'm going to totally wipe out one day on a run and have to hobble home. THat's why I usually take my metro card with me if going farther than 4 miles! haha! I'm rooting for the Badgers (since my Spartans are out)!!

Suzy said...

I hope that you are doing better today and that your knees aren't too busted up. I haven't fallen in a while, so I figure I'm due. And, congrats on your pace! It makes a huge difference running with a group, IMHO. (still jealous you are running in GB!)

Deloris said...

Way to own that hill Jenny! Sorry about your fall, I hope your knees will be alright. Awesome job on your 11 mile run. You are improving so much. :)