Purpose: To prepare for the Rock 'n Roll Marathon on 6/5/11.
Hypothesis: If Rachel can run 18 miles without injury or illness, she will be able to do the Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
Rationale: After racing RAGNAR SoCal and the Painted Rocks Half Marathon the same weekend, my body was pretty wrecked. I ended up with a nasty virus/sinus infection that required antibiotics, 2 weeks of rest, and missing a key race (Wildflower Long Course). Nervous about the upcoming marathon, I decided to jump back into training and see if I could nail the previously scheduled long run on my plan, 18 miles. In hindsight this was make-or-break-me attitude was pretty stupid but you know what they say about hindsight...
- Running clothes and shoes (duh)
- Fuelbelt with 4x8 ounce bottles of water or water+sports drink (diluted INfinit). (I refilled these bottles 2x, consuming a total of 94 ounces of liquid).
- 2 packs of Cliffblocks (1 pack of orange (caffeinated) and 1 pack lemon (non-caffeinated). Total calories, not including sports drink (400).
- Baggie with salt tabs, tums, ibuprofen and Immodium (Just in case. Luckily, meds not needed on this run!)
- Group of fun friends to run with
- Perfect upper-60s running weather and lots of great trails
- A pre-planned place for massive amounts of greasy food and friends afterwards
- 16 pounds of ice+cold water in a bath tub for afterwards (Brrrr!)
- A heaping pinch of fear to motivate me to get it done
- Meet a group of friends to run the first 9 miles with on the beach. They agree that my 9:30 pace is perfect and assure me I will have lots of company.
- Breathlessly let them run ahead after struggling to answer their conversational questions beteween sharp gasps for the first 2 miles.
- Hang on behind them as an extra challenge for another 2 miles. Glance down and realize an 8:50 pace for 18 miles after a lay-off probably isn't the best idea.
- Admire the pelicans lazily flying their everyday 7:30 am "breakfast patrol route" in a v-formation overhead.
- Zig-zag around a flock of fearless seagulls.
- Zone out and curse as a wave sneaks up and attacks, soaking your shoes.
- Curse again as you leap over one puddle only to land in another one up to your ankle. So much for the extra 20 minutes spent wrapping up your blisters left over from RAGNAR this morning.
- Realize as you slog through deep sand and sink in soft wet sand mile after mile that 9 miles of sand running is hard no matter how you slice it.
- Refill your bottles and head up the 101 in Solana Beach for the 2nd 9 miles in San Elijo Lagoon.
- Become completely enchanted by the fireworks display of wildflowers exploding along the trail, surrounding me like a tunnel of soft greens, lilacs, sunburst yellows, crimsons and oragnes.
- Exchange wide smiles as I side-step several families enjoying the trail on a gorgeous Mother's Day in San Diego.
- Stare admiringly at several different species of water fowl as I run past, including ducks, coots, loons, snowy egrets, and a few great blue herons.
- The miles fly by quickly and I'm running faster now, a horse running eagerly back to the barn.
- Realize my foot is kind of itchy and block out the pain, knowing I'm developing fresh blisters.
- Also realize that San Elijo Lagoon is not that flat and also very sandy.
- Reach the finish in tribulation, hobbling back to the truck.
- My lower back, hips and feet hurt. I will definitely need an ice bath.
- Enjoy a hearty breakfast with my new ultra-running team for Vegas (October).
- Also fill up on lots of fluids: water, coffee, and a mimosa.
- Discover bloody socks and a giant hole in my foot after removing my shoes.
- Enjoy a 15-minute ice bath followed by a well-earned nap.
- Another successful long run!
24 hours later, after swelling has begun.