Saturday, June 5, 2010

20 Miles....Or Was It?

21 Days....that is it until the big day! The schedule today was for a nice 20 mile run. Our LAST long training run before taper. How did it go? GREAT!

This week my piriformis (butt) started hurting out towards my left hip again. I am ok with that, as long as the pain spreads toward my hip and not towards my back. So Thursday I got an appointment to see my favorite physical therapist. I saw PT last year after my back injury, and he did such a fabulous job rehabbing me that I started seeing him again this season when my butt started flaring up again. I am trying to keep the muscle in good shape and not re-injury it. After a little stimulation, ice and electric therapy it was feeling so much better.

Back to the run piriformis felt good, and with the help of some KT tape (absolute miracle tape!) the headache I have had for about 2 weeks was gone and my shoulders weren't sore. I was ready both physically and mentally for this run. I even got to Duniway on time and had a healthy breakfast. Our group was smaller today because the San Diego team in there now for their race tomorrow. Our course basically took us on three loops. The first went down to the waterfront and was about 4.5 miles. On the way to the first aid station I was doing a pretty good 10 min/mile. Not too shabby for me. We were heading back to Duniway and I just couldn't maintain that pace. So L and K went ahead, and I slowed down. Coming towards me I could see another teammate who had arrived late, Red Head L. I asked her if she wanted someone to run with, and turned around to join her. (Smartest move I have made all season!) She is recovering from an injury, and this was her first long run coming back. And before I go any further, she did AWESOME!

We got back to Duniway and the second loop took us up "Pill Hill" along Terwilliger to Barbur Blvd. Red Head L. and I chatted it up and kept our minds off our injuries, at least for a while. This loop took us another 7.5 miles. Steep hills weren't going to keep us down, and we rocking it.  We stopped at the aid station and indulged in some PowerAde and pretzels. (I run just for the pretzels!) Along the route we came up to some TNT walkers....GO TEAM! They teased us at our turn around on Barbur, telling us "you actually have to cross the street." Going back up the hill was not as easy, but we did it. Making it back to Duniway I was tired.

After some water, GU and stretching the last loop was ready to be tackled. My legs were sore, mostly my knees. We only had 9 more miles to go though. The loop would take us over the Hawthorne Bridge up to Mt. Tabor. Crossing the bridge there was announcement came on that the bridge would be lifting. Thank goodness we made it over before that occurred. It would have been at least 20 minutes of waiting. (One downfall of running in Portland.) Going up to Mt. Tabor was not easy. I was tired, sore and hungry. Thankfully, RHL was there to talk me through it. When we turned around there was a little happy dance that it was all downhill from there, at least for a little while.

As we were approaching the Esplanade though the sound that was going to mess with our flow was heard loud and clear. A freaking train! UGH! We had gotten to a point where we didn't want to stop for lights, and now we were stuck waiting for a train. So for 10 minutes we stretched and jogged in place to keep from cramping up. Oh, and Garmi said I had already run 21 miles. We still had to cross the river to Grandmothers house to get back.
RHL and me stopped by a train....BOO

Once the train passed we hit the bridge into Downtown P-town up to  Broadway. In my head I wondered what I had done to Mentor Mike to make him hate me so? It seemed like hill after hill after oh yeah, another freaking hill. My back was cramping and my legs felt like fire. It would have been so easy to give up, say screw it and hit McDonalds. As Garmi ticked away more mileage, I told RHL what it was telling me and that we were going to kick @$$ in Seattle. And that taper would officially start in about 15 minutes. Then there it was, Duniway!!!

Mentor Mike was there, smiling and cheering us on when we both kicked it up and sprinted to the end. The results...23 miles for me in 5 hours. The route was only supposed to be 20 miles, but a technical difficulty occurred and we rocked out 23 miles. Four more miles that my furthest distance prior. I am so ready for Seattle!!!

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