Quite simply, I’m an idiot.
My kickboxing partner/boyfriend is down with a cold, so we decided to skip Muay Thai today. Instead, for some godforsaken reason, I opted to run 13.1 miles.
It seemed like a great idea at the time.
Jean’s exact words were, “…..good luck with that….”
I blame the energy drink.
I grabbed my running belt, some energy snacks, and a bottle of water and set off to West Orange Trail. (Do me a favor and imagine that like a cut scene from a Simon Pegg movie. It’ll just make it seem cooler.)
The first couple miles went pretty well. I felt like I was pacing myself, and though the cold air was not doing my lungs any favors, I was getting pretty well warmed up.
The next few miles were easy, since they were through the small “downtown” area. This is one of those downtowns that is about a mile long (if that) on one main street. There was the usual Saturday farmer’s market, so it was a pretty busy stretch. My right shoulder was really starting to hate me, though, since I opted to carry a water bottle instead of bringing my CamelBak like I normally would for this mileage.
It was at this point that the runner’s high kicked in. I sent a smug text to Jean with the picture of my watch going “Halfwaaaaay!”
I took a brief stretch break (Please do this. You’ll thank me later.) and consumed my Gu gel. I then turned around to start the last half back to my car.
By around mile 7, I started sprinting the downhill because, well, it seemed like fun. And it was, until I started to feel myself tipping over as I reached the bottom of the hill. Then it was slightly terrifying.
You’ll be happy to know I did not fall over.
I was also at this point impervious to cold. LAYERS ARE IMPORTANT. I was practically overheating in my sweatshirt, and thanks to my forward thinking, I was able to tie it around my waist and run with the tank top. BECAUSE I LAYERED.
It was around this point that I really started to actually feel like a runner. Don’t ask me why, but in the last two years I’ve never truly felt like I can call myself a runner. I’ve done three half marathons and I still just never entirely felt right. But this run I actually finally accepted myself as a real distance runner. And it felt great.
Then came mile 10…
It was at this point that both of my big toes started hurting. I came to realize that my shoes were not as broken in as I thought, and I became increasingly convinced I was going to be blogging about my two black toenails. The farther I ran, the more I was sure I was going to lose those toenails.
Every. Step. Hurt.
Amazingly, my legs were doing fine. Normally this is about when the jello feeling sets in or my hip locks up. But no. I was able to keep trucking along, despite my toes.
Eventually they just went numb. I kept looking at my watch and groaning every time. “It’s just two more miles.” “It’s just a mile and three quarters.” “You only have a mile and a half.” “-incoherent whimper-“
Finally I could see the end of the trail. My Spotify was really motivating and let me finish off with Red Hot Chili Peppers “Can’t Stop.”
Once I got to that last 0.1 mile, a cyclist saw me as he was going the other direction, chuckled at my desperate facial expression, and let out a supportive “Woo!” as he rode by.
The second I sat down in the car, EVERYTHING STARTED HURTING.
I was thrilled to find I left my sandals in my backseat, so I quickly threw my shoes off.
Then came what seemed like the longest drive home ever. I was tired, sore, hungry, and direly in need of a bathroom.
As soon as I got home and did my bathroom run, I finally got to eat. I cared about nothing else in the world other than my food.
I have since soaked in the tub with what has become my miracle bath bomb. If you’ve never tried Fluffy Fizzies, you’re definitely missing out. They make the best running recovery bombs.
Currently, I’m laying on the bed with my calves on ice, and I’ll be soon using my foam roller to try and ensure I can walk tomorrow.
That’s it. No cute heartwarming story. Just the harsh truth about distance running.