Dry Martini: FIFTEEN!

So Sunday before last, I ran 15 miles. NBD. Ain’t no thing.

Other than the fact that it was TOTALLY the BIGGEST thing EVER and I am a goddess among women who can do things like wake up, have some coffee, drop the kids at the pool, and spend 3+ hours running in near freezing temperatures.

“Goddess” perfectly describes how I felt a couple of hours after I got home, had a shower, and sat on my behind for a few minutes while snacking on some peanut butter toast. It’s also how I felt until mile 12 of the run. It’s not, however, how I felt during the last three miles. By then, I just wanted to be done already because I was tired and bored and achy.

I saw this sign during my super long run. Amused me for the next mile. Thanks, sign.

Still, I pushed on. No, those last miles wouldn’t set the world on fire speed-wise but I got through them with a gait that felt like a run (but may have looked like a walk to an outside observer.) As surprising as it may seem, running 15 miles wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared — and was about nine thousand times more empowering than I’d anticipated.

I remained empowered even after I got home and realized I had to climb some stairs to get to the shower — and that I’d have to gingerly scooch back down them if I wanted anything resembling food and NUUN. Given how iffy my belly can be after a long run, I wasn’t sure that I did need anything to eat. But I was certain about the NUUN.

Once I made it back down to my couch, I spent the rest of Sunday feeling exhausted and elated — and had to resist calling everyone I know and telling them what I’d just done. To the non-runners in my phone book: you’re welcome.

The physical recovery wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. Yeah, I was stiff and sore but it was manageble. What was more challenging was the mental recovery. I was on the verge of tears for the next 48 hours, which really isn’t my default state most of the time. I was extra snappish with my kids, too, who seemed to go out of their way to get on my last nerve. Ditto my husband. And don’t even get me started on my dog’s behavior. Fuzzy little fascist. By early Wednesday, my attitude could best be described as “toddler denied a cookie.”

The fuzzy fascist in question.

I had an almost five-mile tempo-and-race-pace run on the schedule for Thursday morning. To give you an indication how it went, let me just copy my email to Coach later that day:

When my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, I couldn't find a way to motivate myself out of bed to do today's pace-shifting run. Usually I can find some little kernel of motivation that gets me moving and, once I'm moving, I always appreciate that I've done it. This morning, there was nothing. I've reached the point in the winter where the idea of going out into a 16 degree morning and either running in it or brushing snow off of my car and driving somewhere to run inside just makes me want to sob. Even that I probably could have pushed through if I really put my mind to it but my mind doesn't want to play along. There's been work stress and teenager stress. Physically, my calves and butt just ache; not in an injury way but just in a fatigue way. This is my litany of reasons and I own my choice to say “f*** it."

What I did do was set my alarm so that I could get up in time to do 20+ minutes of squats, planks, crunches, and lunges. So there's that. 

I should be in a much better headspace for Saturday's long run (and will really need it by then, I suspect). If it would be in my best interest to change that run to add more speedwork or distance, let me know. My attitude will improve by the weekend.

Coach’s response was a kind and gentle one — and ended with a suggestion that a few race pace miles during Saturday’s long run would be a good idea. Which is what I did to the best of my abilities, even though I couldn’t find a direction to run in that didn’t involve a headwind.

Speaking of signs, I've been forced indoors for a few short runs. While I'm thrilled to have the option of an indoor track, it is not an experience that I'd really label "enjoyable."

My keel has been more even since then. The taper for the Austin Half Marathon is in sight, as is the promise of a few days where the temps might not be quite so punishing. While there is some longish speed work on the plan for the next few days, I’m certain I’ll get through it with just a little bit of the extra grit I developed a few days ago.

Speaking of, shortly after I stretched out on my bedroom floor to stretch just a little bit after my super long run, I thought to myself that 15 miles is only 11 shy from a marathon. I laughed and laughed (on the inside, because I lacked to energy to do it on the outside) at the thought of going one more step beyond what I just did.

Then, this Thursday, I signed up for the New York City Marathon lottery. NBD. We’ll see what the fates decide.


Have you ever left a part of your running life up to the whims of chance? How did it work out for you?

21 responses to “Dry Martini: FIFTEEN!

  1. Well done! Congratulations on reaching that mileage milestone! How exciting that you’ve signed up for the NYC Marathon lottery. Since you’ve already run 15 miles you are well on your way physically and mentally to being able to tackle those extra 11 miles. Good luck and happy running! (PS-I understand your thoughts about going out in freezing temps because I live in Mane. We’ve had a few 30 degree early mornings that made me think spring was here. Hopefully it will just be getting better from here on.)

  2. Well done! I’ve only ever walked 15, definitely not run it. As for leaving my running life to chance, I signed up for or the Full Marathon in Detroit October 2016 when I went to sign up for the half. It was on a whim, but I’m excited (or feel like I’m going to be ill – either way)….

  3. Congratulations on your 15! I jumped up to marathon and ultras probably before I should have, but I did ok and loved every minute of it. I also had my best marathon time as a bandit, jumping in the race at the last min. (this was back in the 80s when you could do that sort of thing) and got a PR! (3:40!)- so yeah, just put yourself on the line and see what happens… my first tri was a 70.3. also…only because back in 1982 there was the choice of a 70.3 or 140.6! Don’t know if I could “do” 16 degrees again after living in the desert for almost 40 years. Congrats!

  4. Woohoo!!! I always find that the fear in my head is always, always bigger than the actual fear. Great job conquering 15! It really is a huge hurdle. Less than 3 weeks to Austin!
    I entered the London lottery last year, didn’t get in, and found it annoying that I put my racing calendar on hold waiting to find out I didn’t get in. Guess I’m not good at leaving things up to fate. I’m too impatient.

  5. I felt like once I pushed past the 13.1 that I was comfortable doing and broke through that mental block, I felt unstoppable. I did my first marathon shortly after. Go Adrienne!!

  6. You are a goddess! Great job on the 15 and it such a great feeling going longer than the race. Good luck on getting in to NYC and congrats on having the hoo-haws to enter. A tidbit that made me laugh reading your post – when asked how to spell my name, I always answer, Geri with a G as in goddess.

  7. Wow, amazing! I have to do 14 miles on Sunday and nervous about it! Thanks for this post, it makes me feel better!
    I also entered the lottery for NYC, so let the fate decide!

  8. Congrats on fifteen! That is huge. I, too, when I run a distance longer than I ever have, spend the entire next 2 days boasting to everyone who could care less about it. Not sure why your mood was in a funk for 2 days after that, because my elation after a new long distance usually lasts several days. I did the lottery for the Nike Women’s in Oct 2014 and got in and was so shocked when I did. And now I entered the NYC marathon lottery for the first time….let’s hope we both get in.

  9. Yay on 15! If 15 was 9000 more times more empowering than you anticipated, can you imagine what 26.2 would feel like? And there you have why we run marathons. When I crossed my first marathon finish line, I felt like there was nothing in the world I couldn’t do. I am crossing my fingers that you get into NYC. Maybe just a little because you’ll write about it! 😉

  10. I entered the lottery for NYC half and got it. I wasn’t a runner when I lived in Manhattan and it was a great experience to run essentially the NYC parts of the marathon (without the extra 13 miles:-). I ran it solo, stood in a corral for 2+ hours in flurries, longer than it would take me to run the actual race (2:06) but really enjoyed the moment. Sometimes you gotta throw caution to the wind and see what happens.

  11. 15 is impressive, especially this time of year. Congrats!!! And good luck getting in to NYC.

    My first marathon, about 20 years ago, was a whim. I had two friends who wanted to do one, and I got sucked into it. My previous longest race had been one 10K. We trained through a bitter cold NNY winter, when our power bars would freeze up (long before the invention of gels). We ran the Shamrock in VA Beach and it was amazing! Warm and clear roads! I ran Ottawa two months later, b/c why waste all that training. And then I decided I really liked halfs better 😉

  12. I have to agree…15 is kind of a big deal. I admire you for wanting to train for a marathon. I have no desire. I think the half is a perfect distance for a challenge. So what do I leave up to chance? Lately my running schedule. I start wave 4 next week and in the in between I have felt a little down and discouraged. So I guess I am leaving my own stamina and health to chance…Wow that does not seem so good. Thanks for getting me re-focused this morning!

  13. I’ve been having very similar thoughts about winter this week! Fantastic on your 15! And I can totally relate to the “hmm it’s not that far from a full…” Because if you can do 15 you can do anything!

  14. Congratulations on the 15miles, that is awesome! (and your fascist is adorable!) Can’t answer your question as I generally bail at the smallest little thing… and have not yet entered my name into a lottery for a marathon. Good luck! 🙂

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