Monday, August 30, 2010

21-Miler

After Saturday's race, I decided I was well enough to tackle the long run on Sunday.

Our group met at a local golf club for the start/finish; one of our runners works there and scored us a great deal on brunch as well as access to the facilities for a post-run shower. By that point I came this close to jumping into one of the water features on the golf course... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Running from a different location afforded us the opportunity to experience a new route. We enjoyed mostly quiet country roads, which is always a nice change from the hustle and bustle of running in town.

The first 6-7K took us through the hills of Kettleby.

Kettleby is surrounded by the rolling hills of King Township. The hamlet sits predominantly on a rise of land between two valleys of the looping Kettleby Creek. Hills surround the western, southern and the central parts of Kettleby while taller hills ranging as high as about 350 metres (1,150 ft) are to the north and reach close to the highway linking Orangeville and Newmarket.


The morning started out nice and cool, but warmed up promptly as the sun rose. In Kettleby, some of the hills were so drastic that we felt a significant temperature change from bottom to top. It would have been nice to hang out in the valley because it was getting hot.

The majority of the route after this initial section would be relatively flat, but the sun would be relentless.

We were running mostly on wide open stretches of road surrounded by the farm land of Holland Marsh, which offered zero shade. The sun was pounding down and started getting to many of us early on.

One of our runners is tapering for a 100-miler (!!!) and set up a travelling aid station for us, with two pit stops offering an abundance of cold beverages (not the kind we really wanted!), fresh fruit and candy. This helped immensely in breaking up the run and allowed us to tackle it one leg at a time. I was going through fluids like crazy and the fresh, juicy orange wedges tasted like heaven.

After the final pit stop (with about 5K to go), I was really feeling it. I knew my body was run-down from being sick and running a hard 10K the day before. In hindsight, I probably should have called it quits and taken advantage of a ride back. Instead, I filled up on whatever I could, stuffed ice cubes down my top and decided I could stick it out. I knew I would have to slow down and incorporate walking in order to finish, and I was okay with that. Someone else from my pace group was also suffering, so we agreed to stick together and make our way to the end one way or another.

We walked. A lot! Near the end we could barely run 1 kilometre at a time. We would agree to run to a certain tree, where we would then linger in its shade as long as possible. I had to stop at a farm house to beg for a water refill when I had already emptied my bottle after just 20 minutes or so.

The extent of our "conversation" during this final stretch:

me: "It feels like we're running in an oven."
him: "What?"
me: "Oven."
him: "Yep."

him: "Just let me know when you need to walk."
me: "Okay..."
him: "Do you want to walk?"
me: "Okay."

me: "I think my Garmin is broken."
him: "Why?"
me: Everytime I look down, we have only covered 100 metres."



At long last, we reached our target distance and agreed to walk it in to the golf club.

Toward the end, I noticed that I had goosebumps and my skin felt cold to the touch; definite signs of dehydration. I was glad not to be alone out there. Having taken 3 Salt Stick capsules and consumed as much fluid/gels/fruit as I could handle, I knew there wasn't anything I could/should have done differently. My body was likely out of whack from being sick and it was a tough run all-around. The frustrating thing was that my legs felt pretty good; the rest of me didn't.

33.8KM - 21.0mi
3:20:08
5:55/KM - 9:32/mi


This is one "character-building" long run that I'm happy to have behind me.

The cool shower post-run felt fantastic and the extravagant brunch at the club really hit the spot. Suddenly, it all seemed worthwhile.

30 comments:

destination262 said...

That sounds like one heck of a run! And that is crazy to hear one of your friends is tapering from a 100 miler. I can't even imagine trying to train for something like that. Glad you were able to get some good brunch and a shower after the run. And sorry to hear about the dehydration, it does sound like you did everything right. But so glad you had friends to stick it out with you.

the dawn said...

wow! what an incredible run. i'm sure the sun would have slowed me down a lot more than you. that pace looks amazing! good work :)

TNTcoach Ken said...

Once again I can only say, "you're crazy"...... I love that conversation. HA

Teamarcia said...

I can't imagine attempting that distance after your 10 and coming off being sick! Hope you're feeling better!

Lisa said...

21 miles is a long way to go. Especially after being sick

Lacey Nicole said...

YOWWWsahhs. way to get it done. the convo bits made me laugh. tho at the time i realize it wasn't funny. glad you have it behind you!

MCM Mama said...

Wow! Glad you made it through. You are amazing!

Katie A. said...

Nice pace for feeling so hot and tired! I'm very impressed! I want a traveling aid station on my long runs! LOL! Happy Monday lady!

Runners Fuel said...

Grest run, especially after a hard 10k the day before.

Laura said...

Holy crap...It got so hot out there by mid morning. I was so happy we started early but it was brutal. Another awesome finish.

Mark said...

That's pretty impressive, Marlene! To have been fighting a cold and running hard the day before, this is really a character builder!! Plus a bunch of miles logged!! Sweet!

Denise said...

i was expecting to see a 15 min pace or something! you were right where you probably should have been for such a long run. great job!

Jill said...

Way to fight through that tough run, girl!! You are simply incredible!

Andrew Opala said...

awesome long run! AWESOME!!

J said...

It sure was a sunny/hot day yesterday! I ran out of water with about 2 miles left and i was really feeling it! Great job putting in the miles!

Amy said...

Good job getting through your long run on such a hot day after being sick AND running hard in a race! I guess fall isn't here quite yet! I love/am a little jealous of how your running group members set up pit stops.

Nicole said...

Nice run in this freakish heat!!! Your a pro!!!

Quinton J said...

EXCELLENT RUN! You're a machine. One of those nice shiney machines that can run really fast.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

oh honey I hear ya on the heat, it makes those runs way harder...especially when you aren't 100%. Way to go on finishing and keeping a great attitude

Heidi said...

I love how you call it a "character building" run. Great description! Must be so nice to have so much support for these long runs.

dietitianontherun.com said...

Oof - reaching the point where it's just as hard to walk as it is to run, that's when you've entered the "mentally challenging" category. ;) The "stuffed ice down my shirt" and kept going? That's tough, chick. Ha, I hope you're feeling better today and happy that you put this one behind you!

aron said...

ugg runs like this are not fun, but they definitely make us stronger. glad its behind you too!

ajh said...

You are so incredibly tough! Take care of yourself!

Lisa said...

yikes! that sounds like a tough run. glad you got through it and had someone there with you!

Julie said...

you are amazing, marlene. amazing!

Her Name is Rio said...

I second that...amazing job!
"Character building"...LOL...I gotta remember to use that!

Johann said...

That is still a very good time for a run in the heat, well done! Long runs like these are my favorite. Not the heat part, but the experience and satisfaction. I also love it when I can do this with good company. These runs are great for building mental strength.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You really do amaze me. You really do work out more than just the body when you run!!

kizzy said...

Cool....

Amazing post.
______________
--Keep running

kizzy said...

Cool....

Amazing post.
______________
--Keep running