Sunday, December 25, 2011

21 Miles... D-O-N-E!

Yesterday morning I completed my last long run (and longest run ever) before the Disney Marathon - 
21 miles!
Oh my fucking hell, it was HARD!

This was my Facebook status yesterday:
Finished my last long run (21 miles) before the Disney Marathon. My thoughts... Running and walking can go f*ck themselves. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Surprisingly, I got several "Likes" and comments on this :)

Why... no, HOW, can people run multiple marathons?
I was in the worst pain of my running life during miles 18 to 21.
If I had another 20 or 22 miler planned before January 8th, I simply wouldn't do it.
I am over the marathon distance.  Over it.
Give me back my happy little world of half marys and lets call it a day.

I had been dreading these long runs since I signed up for the marathon in April.  I thought signing up for a running group would help me to get through them.  Unfortunately my running group ran their 20 miler last Saturday when I was coming home from vacation.
Clearly I did not do a great job of prioritizing the marathon training, so this left me to run 20 miles on my own.

Here are the basics of the run (many of these places will mean nothing to you, if you are not familiar with Miami, but just know it is a popular running area)...
I drove over to Bayshore Drive and did the first half of the run out on Key Biscayne.  5 miles out and back for a total of 10 miles.  Key Biscayne has several public bathrooms and water fountains, so it was nice to know I could go to the bathroom if I had to and refill my hand held if necessary.
At mile 10 I was back at my car where I had a banana, rubbed some Icy Hot on my hips and knees and refilled my hand held with an electrolyte drink.
For the next 11 miles, I ran in the opposite direction, through the little town of Coconut Grove with the turn around point on Edgewater Drive.  3 miles away from my car was the Starbucks at CocoWalk, so I knew that would be a good half way point (in either direction) where I could use the bathroom and get water or shots of espresso as needed.  I stopped at Starbucks twice.

The good things about the run
-It's over
-The first half actually went really well
-My left foot and knee, which had been bothering me, were fine and are fine today!
-My mom sent me all these Hammer Nutrition things to try: Gels, Endurolyte pills and electrolyte drinks and none of them made me poop my pants, yipee!  The Montana Huckleberry Gel was especially good!
-Calf cramping comes on later and later as I run longer (is this a good thing?)
-The lady who rung me up at Starbucks is training for the Miami half marathon so she was all excited & supportive to hear I was running the Disney full.  Thanks Starbucks lady!
-In a twisted way, I am now SO EXCITED for Marathon day (WTF is wrong with me?!)

The bad things about the run
-Insane pain for miles 18 to 21
-Weather at start of run was 68 degrees (nice) with 100% humidity (kiss my ass)
-Weather at end of run was 82 degrees (kill me now) with 90% humidity (kill me again if 80 degrees doesn't do it)
-For whatever reason, unknown to me, I had the worst pain in my hips and ass (both cheeks) that I have ever felt.  I don't know why... I have never had pain there before.  It came on at mile 8 which was even stranger since I have been running so many 10 & 13 milers in the past 3 months.

Things I learned
-Should have brought another shirt to switch out half way through, mine was soaked!
-Unless it rains on Marathon day, I feel confident I can deal with whatever the weather is... high humidity or not
-I will take GU every 4 miles during the marathon... only took two yesterday, so I will definitely up that number January 8th

Once that shit show was over, I spent the rest of the day I switching between here...
and here...
Wearing these... so thankful for compression socks!
And watching a crazy amount of 'Friends' reruns...

Kudos to all of you who have trained for multiple marathons.  You are impressive.
People may say that about half marathons, but come on, those are easy... :)

P.S.  Can someone tell me if marathoners cry when they cross the finish line because they are proud of what they have accomplished or if it is because they are so unbelievably relieved  it is over?
There may have been a teary eyed moment filled with relief when I got back to my car and could take my sneakers and socks off.


  1. haaaa. 21 miles is AMAZING, well done!

    I get teary sometimes in a half - I'd imagine I'd be a teary mess during a full..

  2. I would say the tears are a mix of both. I got so emotional at the end of both marathons - those tears were 100% pride and joy. However, I had to try and hold back the tears because I couldn't breathe and still had more running to do. :) After crossing the finish line it was tears of joy for accomplishing something most people don't even attempt. After a few minutes of pure joy, pure pain hit and I would say the remainder of my tears were from the severe pain in my legs.

    It gets better though and the pain and suffering is 100% worth the joy and pride you will have along with be able to call yourself a "Marathoner". A friend of mine who is a serious marathon runner wrote on one of my FB posts "I think of race day as the celebration to all the training". I think that is so true, enjoy it as much as you can! So, on that note, you are 90% of the way to that Mickey Medal!

    See you Saturday!

  3. Don't you just love those compression socks? They make my legs so happy!

    Are you doing Goofy or only the full? Either way -- tip of the cap to you because both of them seem crazy hard!! After running the half and then the relay - I full expect for me to be crying. Hopefully tears of joy and relief, and not pain!