Monday, September 08, 2008

I wonder if that's what it feels like to hit the wall?

It was a typical Saturday evening before an early rise for Long-Run-Sunday. Hubby and I had a scrumptious pasta dinner and a quiet evening watching a movie, and I was in bed my 9PM. I rarely have a problem falling asleep. No matter when or where I go to bed, I'm usually out cold within 5 minutes of hitting the pillow. I don't know what came over me, but I could not sleep. I tossed and turned, went back and forth from the bed to the couch, and basically laid wide awake for hours. Of course I was compulsively checking the clock, counting down in my head how much sleep I was losing since I knew the alarm would be going off at 5AM, which only made matters worse. I started getting frustrated and stressed out, my legs were restless. I don't know when I eventually fell asleep, but the last time I saw the clock it was after 1:00.

I was not in good shape when the alarm went off, but dragged myself out of bed and had a tea (which I typically wouldn't before a run) and hoped the caffeine would help. I was sure that getting out of bed would be the hardest part of this day. I would soon find out that I was very wrong.

I met the group at our local Running Room and we set off at 6:00. The route would take us along country roads from Newmarket all the way to the instructor's house in Tottenham. The first 20K were okay, but I was already questioning whether or not I'd be able to make the distance. When we reached our "water wagon" around 21K for re-fuelling, I had a very hard time not calling it quits and getting into the car. I hoped the cold water and fresh orange wedges would help keep me going and reluctantly started running again with the group after a brief break.

As we reached 22, 23, 24 kilometres, I could feel myself fading with every step and had a more and more difficult time starting up again after our every-15-minute walks. It was around 26K that I finally crashed and burned. I was running with three other ladies at this point (thank goodness I wasn't alone) and they noticed that I was falling behind, stumbling a little and that I was pale as a ghost. I felt dizzy and light-headed and had goosebumps all over. We started walking and I tried to regain my composure. Two of the girls ran ahead to find the support vehicle who we expected to find a couple kilometres ahead, while one stayed behind with me.

After walking a bit and taking a short rest in the car, I felt like I could continue. Our "chauffeur" dropped us off about 6K out from the finish and I was able to complete the run with one walk break. It certainly helped that the majority of the last few kilometres was downhill!

In the end, I ran just over 33K.

Part One
Part Two

We received the royal treatment once we arrived at the instructor's house. He had gone to the trouble of collecting a change of clothes from each of us beforehand so we would be comfortable (more likely so we wouldn't leave sweat trails all over his house), had a large room set up with towels and music for stretching and even a chiropractor who gave us all a light massage. And the feast! We had an incredible brunch of ham, eggs, bagels, waffles, fruit and pastries. By the time my hubby came to pick me up at noon, I was finally feeling like myself again, although I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed. And that's just what I did! I had a blissful 3-hour nap, and woke up just in time to get ready for softball.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure it was a combination of dehydration and pure exhaustion. It's been a challenging few weeks, I was sick most of this past week and the lack of sleep certainly didn't help.

At this point, I'm as trained as I am going to be. I've completed three 30K+ runs (30, 35 and now 33) in the past month and what my body needs now is to recover. My plan for the next few weeks is plenty of rest and mental preparation for the big day. Welcome to Taper Time!


Nitmos said...

Enjoy that taper. You earned it! Next you'll be taking your victory lap at the marathon.

ShoreTurtle said...

I'm glad that you're feeling better. That's scary.

My goal for my marathon was to make it through training. The marathon itself is the reward. Good luck with the taper.

Marcy said...

Dang girl, sounds like one heck of a time. But at least you have this experience to draw from when times do get tough again. If you could get through this, you can get through anything, right? ;-)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

tee hee hee... sorry, didn't mean to scare you with my last post.. lol. i had so much fun writing it :) you got through the run, congrats!! enjoy your taper, the 28th will be here before you know it!

Marci said...

I have been there. But you did it! Its tough to run long in back to back weeks, so your body was probably tired plus your cold. Enjoy your taper!

Marci said...

I wanted to add, what an awesome coach!! Where do I sign up for his/her clinic?!

Road Warrior said...

Definitely enjoy the taper. it's the only time in your life when you're supposed to do nothing. You've earned it.

Regardless, you know what works and doesn't. You're gonna rock this!