Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last long run

We got our last "long run" in today. I was a tiny bit nervous to see how my legs would feel, but after an espom salt bath the night before a good night's sleep, I was ready to get out there and run for more than an hour. I had planned an 8 mile loop starting at Gravley Point, across the 14th Street Bridge, around the Tidal Basin and down into Hains Point...and back.

We had wanted a feel for the solitude we're going to feel when we hit that point during the marathon. Because in Marine Corps you're coasting down Ohio Drive, the crowd starts to thin out a bit and BAM! you hit East Potomac Park (aka Hains Point) and it's empty...except for the two water stops and a couple of brave spectators. The Park is more than two miles long (you run out and back), but it seems to go on forever. Of course it also hits at a difficult point in the race, miles 16-20. This is when a lot of people "hit the wall". Personally, I don't believe in the wall. The wall is all in your mind and if you go into a race saying "I won't hit the wall", then you won't. It's all a matter of mindset.

Perfect example: last year we came up on the 16 mile marker coming into Hains Point and the ball of my right foot hurt in a way I never experienced. I had been a little worried about other aches and pains during the first half of the race, but they were all familiar. This new pain could have easily set me over the edge and pushed me into the wall, but I told myself "well, I only have ten miles left...and I've already done 16 so I might as well keep going." Not logical, but it was the mindset I had for the rest of the race.

We took it easy today, though I couldn't really tell since we didn't have mile markers to do splits. Shoes feel like they're getting broken in and any stiffness in my shins melted away at the magic 3-mile point. My knees were a little sore so they got a good icing when I got home. But it was the perfect temperature for my long sleeve pink Hind top and my cropped running pants, (one of my favorite running outfits) mostly because the wind was really kickin' on the bridge. I hope the weather is similar next week, but only if I have somewhere warmer than the Pentagon parking lot to hang out for the hour before the race!

1 comment:

Kristina said...

That's funny Julie, I don't believe in the "runner's high". I've never achieved it and yes that means that running is always a miserable venture that I only keep on my list of things to do because it helps me not be fat...

As for the wall, I'm not sure I've ever hit that either. Unless I have to get over it just to start running. I hate running...

But wait, no, that's not right. Brian at Pacers told me that I love running. I love running. i love running i loverunning ilove running iloverunning irunloving... yeah... I don't believe it either...