My Last Long Training Run: A Story of Good and Bad

I thought long and hard about titling this post “people are assholes”, but decided against it. Mostly because there were good aspects to my last long run of  of MCM training yesterday.

Good #1: It was like I had won the weather lottery. Seriously. With all of my complaining all summer long about how hot it was and then more complaining about how cold and rainy it was on Sunday and Monday I’m amazed that I finally got perfect conditions! 55 degrees and cloudy. Well actually when I started it was pure sunshine but the clouds rolled in soon enough. When was able to take off my sunglasses I felt so happy (this probably sounds strange to most people). I don’t know why, but I now enjoy running on cloudy days more than sunny ones. So the weather was obviously a plus.

sunny weather when I was setting up my bottles

Bad #1: The route where I love to do my long runs crosses a river 3 times and I like to set up my bottles and GUs on each bridge (they are each just about 1 mile apart)–You can read all about my fave long running route and the dreaded taper here

First crossing of the river

These weren’t my bottles/GU from yesterday, but this is how I usually set them up on the bridge, so I can quickly grab them without stopping

I look forward to reaching each bridge so I can get a swig of water or gatorade. So you can imagine my surprise and anger when I ran up to one of the bridges around mile 9 and my bottles were nowhere to be found. Someone had driven by and taken them (most likely thrown them away). It was so obvious that they weren’t trash: There was one unopened bottle and 2 GUs. People run on this road all the time so someone was just being an asshole by throwing away my bottles. Umm, let’s just say I was angry. Angry that I had everything set up perfectly and some asshole ruined it for me. Anger is a good motivating factor in a run actually. For me personally it’s not as good as being sublimely happy when running, but it comes in a close second. That’s why this bad incident lead to the next good one…

Good #2: I ended up running 24 miles instead of 22 miles. And perfectly on my marathon race pace no less! Yes, I know I am super slow now but I’d love to beat the 4 hour mark

You might have already known this, since some of you follow my instagram feed. Like I said before, I was running angry. Plus, as I’ve explained before, I usually keep my Garmin on the clock so I’m not checking my pace and the distance every 5 seconds. So when I checked for the last time and the Garmin said 22.8 miles, I thought, “hell, I’ll just run another mile and make it an even 24.” In fact, I thought long and hard about just making it a marathon. The only problem was….

Bad #2: I have been running for years. 7 years now to be exact (marathon distance for 5 years). Somehow I have never had any “feet” problems. No black toenails, no missing toenails, and rarely a blister. All of a sudden BOOM, this fall I’ve had some issues even though I’ve been running in the same model of shoe for years now. You all know about the bloody sock incidents (from a training run and during my 20 miler in September). Well yesterday I started having a major blister on the bottom of my left foot–quite possibly the strangest place I’ve ever had a blister–around mile 13. Yep, that early on. I pushed it out of my mind, but by the time I got up around 22 miles it was really hurting. I don’t really know why it happened since I was wearing my favorite socks and shoes that are perfectly worn in but the only answer I can come up with is that my feet had gotten “soft” during my few weeks off of running when I got sick. Thoughts? Has this happened to any of you out of the blue? 

Good #3: I tried a new G2 flavor, Raspberry Lemonade, and really liked it! I actually mix it with water since I can’t take straight Gatorade and GUs, even if it’s the lower sugar one.  This was refreshing and really good!

Bad #3: My knee–the bad one with no cartilage–really hurts today. It felt ok yesterday but today it is pretty painful. This is something I have been worrying about but haven’t mentioned it on the blog because I didn’t want to jinx it. But here goes: Not sure you’ve been with me long enough to remember that I got a steroid shot back in April (well it was in reponse to a pseudo spetic reaction I had to Orthovisc, a hyaluronic acid that lubricates the knee joint). Anyways, steroid injections are good because they reduce inflammation drastically for months at a time. The problem is they wear off and steroid injections overall aren’t good for joints (it further softens the cartilage) so you should avoid them for the most part. So I’m pretty sure I had such a great summer of running because of that steroid shot and now it is wearing or has worn off. Right before the marathon. Ughh. I can’t just go get another one because like I said they’re really bad and the only reason I had one to begin with was because of the reaction I had to Orthovisc. So fingers crossed–I’m talking MAJORLY CROSSED–that I can just eek out the marathon without having my knee act up again. It’s not swollen like it was all last year, so that’s good, but the pain is returning 😦 I didn’t take an ice bath after my run last night, but I was sure to put on all my compression gear and get out the frozen corn. I’ll definitely be taking ice baths consistently for the next week though

Good #4: Let’s finish with a good, shall we? I had 2 cravings after my run. I wanted a smoothie and a steak. Seriously a strange combo but that’s what I wanted! I rarely ever eat red meat but for some reason I wanted a filet so badly. My bf is really good at making steaks but we don’t have our grill anymore so I knew he’d have to make inside. No prob, he did a great job!

there’s my huge honking steak!! cost me $18 at Whole Foods but it was soooo worth it LOL

I was able to get this yummy smoothie on my way back home 🙂

So that’s the good, bad, and ugly of my last training run. Now it’s taper and recovery time. Blahh. We’ll see how my body feels this time next week.

Has anything ever happened to you during a run that made you angry? Has anyone ever “stole” or thrown away your water bottles?

What is the one thing you crave after a long run?

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25 Responses to My Last Long Training Run: A Story of Good and Bad

  1. I AM SO FREAKING IMPRESSED, pumping out a long run like that by yourself. can i be you? I mean seriously you rocked that. I am sorry about all those feet problems, like you, I have never really had to deal with any big feet problems except sweat holes on the bottom of my feet. Luckily those can be removed from time to time as they come back. I just deal with the weird pain. what a great bf for doing that, red meat sounds good all of a sudden for me too! i hope the cartilage thing is no big deal.

  2. WOOHOO! Congrats on getting in your long run and making it 24 miles!!

    I can’t believe someone took all of your stuff, who does that?

  3. Oh my goodness, that would piss me off and make me mad too…but WOW…stellar miles and at race pace no less! I do think that being angry/sad whatever helps when you are doing those long runs…to just run through those emotions is the BEST! Last year when I ran MCM…my dad was very sick and was just in the hospital from having had a stroke…and I didn’t know if I could run with all of the personal stuff going on in my life…but that year, at MCM I PR’d…during the race I thought about how incredibly fortunate and blessed I am to have this privilege to run. Take all of those feelings and thoughts with you and channel them in your race. I know you are going to do great and I cannot wait to meet you in person! Good luck and happy tapering!!!

  4. thenerdyrunner says:

    Nice job! I’ve found I like my longer distance days (or probably the equivalent to your shorter distance days!) than I do my interval/repeat days. 6x800m tomorrow…YUCK!

  5. Carina says:

    Wow! Good job on getting it done — why did you run it at race pace? The general rule I use in coaching and have always followed is to do long runs about 1 min/mile slower than race pace. Very different, but different things work for different people! Hope your knee recovers quickly and holds strong for a couple more weeks.

  6. julie says:

    Way to go, girl. And you had more goods than bads so I’d say it’s even more of a win.

    After my long runs (which are much shorter than yours) I just crave ANYTHING salty.

  7. Melissa says:

    I’ll go find that person and punch them for you, lol…jk…but that really sucks! Sorry you had a couple of bad parts but the goods were definitely good!! That is a great distance and pace for your last long run girl! I hope your knee cooperates with you!! Keep doing what you’re doing,.you are totally gonna get sub 4! :)))

  8. jumpeatrun says:

    Nice job!! I am super impressed! And what a jackass that threw away your stuff! That’s so crappy!
    I actually run really well when I’m angry too- the miles seem to fly by!

  9. 24 miles! Holy crap, thats awesome! You’re going to do great! I hope your knee holds out until after MCM (and beyond too!)!

  10. Good #1: Love that you had AWESOME running weather. Doesn’t it make any run 10x better??
    Bad #1: one word.. ASSHOLES!
    Good #2: 24 miles… psh girl you are friggen AWESOME!! Told you you’d have no problem getting back into your runs after being mia from your sickness
    Bad #2: Hope that stupid blister heals up quick for you.
    Bad #3: BOO!! You better tell that knee of yours to suck it up and get you across the finish line
    Good #4: You got yourself a great man!!

  11. Wow, your running route is really beautiful! I would run much more often if I had that scenery…my city-streets full of cars and homeless people gets really yucky and boring pretty quickly

  12. Brittany says:

    I would have been sooo annoyed if my water and energy shots were gone. Do people not realize this is like crack for someone who has been running over 10 miles? Great run anyway, I am whoa impressed you set out for 22, but finished 24! I set out to run a certain distance and I almost never go over. I’m ready to stop once I hit that last mile!

    I love the steak/smoothie craving. I never argue my cravings. Usually it’s cake or cookies and I gladly give in.

  13. Jorie says:

    Good for you, Claire! 24 miles is AWESOME. I did three today and felt accomplished hahaha. I wonder if you could put a little post-it note on the stump that says “WAIT! Please don’t throw me out! A marathon-runner will be here shortly and she needs these for energy!” or something. I have a feeling the person was just trying to be a good Samaritan and throw out some trash.

    But still. I’d be every bit as irked as you! All the prep you put into that, dashed by a do-gooder (or perhaps, someone with worse intentions!)

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