Saturday, December 25, 2010

20 Miles on Christmas Eve

Things haven't really gone as planned this week, so I've had to roll with the punches and make changes as necessary.  After my 5 miler on Tuesday, I knew my body would kill me if I didn't give it some yoga to balance out the running.  Wednesday night I did almost a full hour of yoga at home and though it was no Y2 hot yoga class, it still seemed to help.


The other thing I've been doing for the last couple evenings is heading to Katie's house to feed and take care of her cats while she's home for Christmas.






I think they like me ;) 


Around Wednesday or Thursday (it's kind of a blur now), Greg called me and told me he was sick.  So sick that he had actually called in sick to work, something he has only done a couple times since I met him 9 years ago.  Pilots take that very seriously and airlines are very strict and have been known to make pilots show a doctors note, even for a cold if they call in sick.  He was not in good in shape, and was in bed at his apartment in West Virginia.  He told me that he wanted to stay home this weekend instead of heading to Hilton Head as we had originally planned. 

While I totally sympathized with him being sick and wanting to just come home and spend the weekend here, it did kind of throw a wrench in one thing that I had planned: my long run.  I had planned to run in warm sunny 57 degree temperatures on Christmas day in Hilton Head.  The forecast for Charlotte for Saturday and Sunday was looking cold and snowy even.  After last weekend's 16 miler (almost), in the freezing rain, I had no desire to do that to myself again.  I started thinking about what I was going to do if we stayed home and checking forecasts.  The forecast for Friday showed sunny and high 40s to low 50s in Charlotte.  It quickly became apparent that this was the day I should do my long run here. 

The problem with that?  I hadn't planned on it.  I did my 5 mile run on Tuesday, yoga on Wednesday, and had planned on another run Thursday night.  I knew if I ran Thursday night AND Friday that would probably not be good.  I really didn't like that I only got one short run in between my 16 miler and 20 miler.  Ideally I would have done at least two short runs between them.  But, I was really sore on the night of the 5 miler, and I started to look at the running break before my 20 miler as a mini-taper, where hopefully my legs would rest up and be ready for the distance more than if I had run a lot that week.  I opted to take Clyde on a long walk as my Thursday night exercise.

He was a little excited about it...



Thursday night I had a carby dinner of pizza and salad in preparation for the big run.



Friday, I actually got up and took a while to get moving.  I had a lazy morning on the couch with my puppy in my lap and some TV and was in no hurry to move.  Clyde did keep me entertained by barking at the neighbors dogs.  So vicious...



I even ate lunch (more leftover pizza and some toast with PB and banana) with Greg before finally deciding I'd better get out there and get it done.  I think this worked out good though, because it was a lot warmer after lunch.


I looked excited, I know...

I wore my Lululemon cropped pants, a long sleeved shirt, and fleece vest, and strapped on my Go Belt filled with GU and Sharkies, and carried a 1/2 water, 1/2 Gatorade mix bottle.  I actually didn't really have a plan on a route to get the miles done.  I figured I'd play it by ear and swing back to the house as needed if I needed to fill up my bottle or anything.  I headed out and within about a mile I realized I was over dressed.  I kept going, but looped around and headed back to ditch my vest at the house.  I also had a cramp in my stomach, which was weird, since I never get cramps.  Great.  By the time I got back, I had completed the first 4 miles.  I downed a little water and had half a banana and headed back out, much more comfortable in the long sleeved shirt by itself. 

Luckily, the cramp was gone and I was feeling good.  A guy on a bike pulled up next to me and asked if I was training for a race.  I told him I was training for my first marathon and I asked him if he'd ever run one.  He told me he'd run 26!!  I asked if he had any advice.  He said to HYDRATE, and to make sure I had a good breakfast and that I digested it before the race.  He said he usually got up early, ate breakfast, then went back to bed.  Interesting!  It was fun talking to him for a couple minutes, then we parted ways and he headed off on the bike.  Later, when I needed motivation, I definitely thought of that guy running 26 marathons and told myself I could do 20 miles.

I took my first GU around mile 6 with a couple gulps of water/Gatorade.  The next bunch of miles went pretty well.  I saw some gross road kill, but otherwise it wasn't bad.  It was actually a really nice afternoon outside.  I had another GU around mile 12 and by this time my water bottle was getting low.  I decided to head back to the house to refill it.  I got back to the house around mile 14, filled the bottle and actually opted to put my vest back on the for the last 6 miles, as the sun was setting and it felt like the temperature was dropping.  Though tired and a little fatigued, I knew I could basically do 6 miles in my sleep.  I headed out and did my standard 5 mile loop, but adding on cul-de-sacs and tangents here and there to add the last mile.  I ate my last GU around mile 16.  When I got back to my neighborhood, I actually ran back and forth on the sidewalk near my house til the watch finally beeped 20! 



I hobbled in to my house and then began whining, "ow, ow, ow" for a while, while I stretched and foam rolled.

I showered (and yes, I hurt to stand for 10 minutes while I did), blow dried my hair while sitting in Greg's office chair so I didn't have to stand, and then dressed and we headed out to feed Katie's cats and get some food.  I decided I was in no condition to stand up in the kitchen and make food.  The options for dinner on Christmas Eve were limited, but we noticed that a Ruby Tuesdays near Katie's house was open, and we headed there.

I don't go to Ruby Tuesdays that often, but when I do, I typically get the sliders and salad bar combo, and last night was no exception.  I also got a big Blue Moon.  I definitely earned that!!






So, even though my running plans for the week didn't go as planned, my 20 miles went really well.  Who knows how they would have gone if I'd done them in Hilton Head on Saturday as originally planned.  Sometimes a wrench in your plans ends up being a good thing.  I'm also glad that I have the rest of the weekend free without the run hanging over my head.  It's done!  Let the taper begin :)

9 comments:

Kelly said...

That's great Brittney! I'm so glad it went well for you. I'm so glad to be tapering and to be almost done with this process. I think it's going to be a while before I train for another marathon.

Anonymous said...

Good job!!!! you are hardcore :) I hope Greg is feeling better. Merry christmas!
Alison

Cassie said...

Awesome job! WTG girl! And of course the cat's like you, you are the one who's feeding them! ;-)

thejoggingconcierge said...

Great job!! That does look like an awesome 20-miler :-)

Merry Christmas!!

Katy (The Singing Runner) said...

I stumbled upon your blog, and congratulations on a great 20 miler!!! :)

I'll be reading more and I can't wait to hear about your marathon!

Tanya Kummerow said...

Amen sister! Let the taper begin! You rock, way to go on the 20!

Runblondie26 said...

If Greg was going to get sick, good thing it was now and not in a few weeks when he starts back at Continental ;)

Keep yourself healthy, and you're all set to go. Great job on the 20 miler, and Merry Christmas!

Kaitlyn (College Girl Runs) said...

Great job on 20 miles :) HUGE accomplishment. Merry xmas!

Jen said...

Brittney - I can't believe you did your 20-miler on Christmas Eve and so soon after finishing 16. You are amazing!

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