Well, the last big run is down in the books. 22 miles yesterday morning and I survived, though it was anything but pretty. We did 2 miles at 5 a.m., then met up with more people for 20 at 5:30. One of the coaches from the next fastest pace group was running with us since one of our coaches was out. I run with him, Craig, during the weekdays sometimes, so it was easy to stay by his side and chat. Well, the crowd quickly thinned. He said we were doing the right pace, but very few in the group were keeping up. So it kind of ended up being us running together most of the time, occasionally with others. We talked and I said I wasn't worried about being ahead of the group as long as we were talking and we were going at the right pace. Well, by about mile 10, I was feeling significantly less enthused. By about mile 14, there were 2 from our group in front of us, then me and Craig, then the rest of the group behind us. By about 20, I felt like we were practically walking. I looked at my watch and Craig saw me. He said only about 12 more minutes, so I figured I'd keep going. He was exactly right -- 12 minutes later, his watch chimed 20 (he'd skipped the first 2), and we were at the end of the route.
After the run I didn't stretch enough. I drank my recovery drink and drove to a gas station to buy 40lbs of ice. Thankfully I went in to pay before loading up my car, but their CC machines were down and they don't take checks. And of course I never seem to carry any cash, so I was SOL. I drove toward home and stopped at the closest gas station to our house, which sells 8 lb bags for about the same price as the 10lb bags at the gas station by the running store. So I went in to pay for 5 bags and the cashier was clearly a runner. Asked me how far I'd gone, what my time was, said that was fast and then I reminded him what my final marathon time would be at that pace and he said, ah, yes, 22 not 26, well, still good for a training run. So nice!
Got home and did the ice bath Tami's way -- filled the tub with enough cold water to submerge my legs, dumped in our freezer ice, then added the ice I bought without opening the bags. Laid 8 lbs across my thighs (so most of the ice was not submerged), 8 across my knees, 8 over each shin, and the other bag I opened. Much less melted ice, which meant much more painful ice bath. I called my husband when I had 4 minutes to go in the hopes he'd get my mind off it, but I gave up after 2 minutes. By that point I'd opened all the bags and it was all melted, and with 2 minutes to go, I started letting it drain. At least the back of my legs were submerged the full time!
I got in the shower and felt awful. Finally after about 20 minutes of sitting, I felt warmer and back to normal. Got dressed quickly and headed out to meet my husband for Mexican food. My favorite recovery meal. Ate tons more food than usual. Two baskets of chips got my sodium levels back in line and I felt infinitely better by the time I was done. Went home and mostly laid around. Ate my reward pint of Ben & Jerry's, did some reading, some cleaning, and watched some TV. I didn't really nap, so I crashed hard last night.
This morning I woke up with some soreness in my quads, but nothing major. Soles of my feet still hurt, but nothing major. Went to boot camp w/ my husband and jogged a tiny bit, but mostly just walked or talked to the trainer. My left knee felt a little wonky at times. Not sure exactly what hurt or where, but I was thinking it was the biceps femoris, but I'll just wait and see if it hurts during the day today at all, or if it hurts on the run tomorrow.
I think my taper officially begins on Thursday after speedwork that morning. Oh, it will be nice. I am doing a 5k this weekend, but probably running pretty easy. No PR likely.
Speaking of racing, I got a text from Adam on Sunday -- he broke my half PR by a couple minutes. Not a big deal since his time is also quite beatable. But he and his girlfriend both got PRs that morning. He'd told me he was doing the half and asked what my time to beat was. I told him I probably wouldn't race it at this point. He agreed -- he's training for the MTCM full, not for a mid-Sept half. He ran about 4 easy, 6 at race pace, and then let it rip for the final 3. Crazy fast, considering he'd just run 10, but he should still be okay to run tomorrow easy. I've got to think a little more about what my 5k plan will be on Saturday. It's kind of a sucky course -- certified, but a little long (little known fact, a certified 5k means it is at least 5k -- thus a marathon could be a certified 5k; a certified 5k could be 100 miles long, just as long as it's AT LEAST 5k), and with a crappy hill at the very end of mile 2 (and another slight one earlier). I'll see how I'm feeling, but I may just run the whole thing easy.
We have a houseguest arriving this afternoon, which will be a lot of fun, a friend of mine from law school (kind of, friend of a friend in law school, became good friends when she lateralled to my firm after a couple years in another state). She's training for Marine Corps, which she's done several times. When I ran it a couple years ago, she actually ran alongside me for the last few miles when I was struggling. Maybe she'll keep my company for my run tomorrow!