On Sunday we ran another 29km. It was the second of two 29km long runs, two weeks in a row and then we have a 32km run scheduled for next week. It’s a busy time in the land of marathon training, Surrey Marathon is just 6 weeks away! Fun times.

Two weekends ago I did my 29km solo because I was still away on vacation and staying with my in-laws on Vancouver Island. The last time I did a solo 29km was earlier this year and I had to abort at 26km (the curse!) because my strained calf was bugging me. I was hoping this second try at a solo 29km would be better!

With the help of my father-in-law, I mapped out as comfortable a route as possible for this very hilly area (why make a long run harder than it needs to be, right?) but for some reason my poor legs and feet very sore and tired by the time I was done. The run was good (I even made it past the 26km mark this time!) but I felt pretty beat up afterwards which kind of surprised me. Even with a Sproat Lake ice bath and my beloved chocolate milk I was walking pretty slow that afternoon…

This weekend for our second 29km, I was hoping the run would leave me feeling a bit better at the end!  Now I have to admit, I didn’t exactly do a stellar job of preparing for this long run the day before. My son’s 4th birthday was on Saturday and instead of hydrating and resting we rode miniature trains, went to the movies, ate hamburgers and sundaes and drank lots of pop! Ha ha.

I felt good on Sunday morning and decided to throw on some capris for the run. I decided we’d do my favourite 29km run from Goofy training so I printed off our directions and headed down to the store. When I got there I realized that it was actually quite a bit muggier out than I anticipated. Oops, maybe shorts, a lighter tank and a hat would have been a better idea.

We set off on our run and four of us kind of settled into a rhythm together. It was nice because two of these friends usually run faster than I do but they decided to slow things down a little for this 29km and I’m so glad because we got to visit along the way.

We kept our pace slow and steady and things carried along pretty good. There is a really long straight stretch followed by a short but pretty steep uphill that always gets my goat on this route. Sure enough, I was huffing and puffing pretty good by the top of that hill and it took me a little while to slow my breathing again.

Thankfully we soon came to the pit stop where we had planned to do bathroom breaks and fill up our water bottles. A tinkle and drink break quickly turned into scones and the newspaper and we took an extra couple minutes to rest!

We were definitely making sure the four of us enjoyed this 29km and the coffee shop’s fresh baking and complimentary newspaper helped! All totalled we were stopped for less than 10 mins, honest!

From the coffee shop we carried on with about 11km left. It felt like we were on the downhill side of this run but little did I know, this was when my run was going to get tough! Now obviously the later km of a long run are often harder than the first ones but I felt like whammo, all of a sudden things changed for me.

It was getting late in the morning and by this point the sun was full and hot and the heat was really getting to me. I’d been hot the whole run but from this point on I felt like I was trying to run in a sauna. My breathing felt shallow and laboured. Yuck.

We trudged along and admittedly, a few of our 1 minute walk breaks got stretched out by a few extra seconds. I would have loved to just quit and hail a taxi to drive me the last few kms. Heck, I would have stolen a skateboard from a kid if it meant I could get back to the store on wheels instead of by running there myself.

Thankfully the last km or so was along a busy road and there were lots of streetlights to break up the sauna-like ordeal. I knew it wasn’t actually THAT hot out but for some reason it felt like the surface of the sun to me! I was so thankful to cross the final intersection and be back in the parking lot of the store. Phew!

This is the face of a girl who is VERY happy to be done her run!

I hobbled into the sweet air conditioning of the store, filled one of my water bottles with fresh, cold water and parked my butt on a bench. I was done and would have paid money to just sit there for the rest of the day (maybe I could have helped sell shoes or something…)

So it’s funny how no matter what kind of condition you’re in, some days are rad and some days just suck. This run didn’t suck in it’s entirety, it was really just the last hour or so that did. I guess it was about 80% a smashing success. Our pace was nice and slow (even slower than last weekend) but this run just kind of got me in the end I guess.

I had a busy afternoon ahead so I dragged my defeated-feeling butt to Starbucks for just a quick drink before heading home and surveying my war-wounds:

I lost my first toenail of the year, just a little guy off my right foot. I can’t even really remember injuring it but it must have been awhile ago because the new nail was mostly grown underneath. And yes, that other picture is of my arm pit where I got some small but painful love-bites (read: chafing). Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of your arm pit without taking a picture of your actual arm pit?

Anyhow, I fared okay and was so relieved to find that my legs and feet were totally fine after this run! Even today they feel great and nothing at all like the ache-fest after that other 29km. So while this run felt tougher the recovery was way better so I’m going to call it a win overall, even with that crazy heat.

I think I know the answer to this but do you ever have runs that just get you the wrong way? Grr. Makes us stronger, right?

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  1. Runner Leana    

    I’m sorry you had a tough run! It’s funny, the majority of the run could be great, but it is how you feel at the end that sticks with you. I think part of why my run started to suck the other weekend was because I had some longer stops. I took longer to refill my bottle, I stopped and stared in the windows of a bakery… I really tried to keep my stops short this past weekend and keep the momentum moving. That way I wasn’t stiffening up as much.

    I hope you get your redemption run soon!! And have a blast this weekend in Disneyland! My friend Kelly will be there for Dumbo too.

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