This is a really long post, but frankly I think I earned it.
According to my GPS:
Total distance: 20.42 miles
Total run time: 4 hrs 39 min
Pace: 13 min 42 sec /mile (Watch out grandma I am comin' for you!)
Calories burned: 2274 (I don't know how accurate it is, but I like it!)
We left at 5 am to get to Monterey for our 7 am start time. We penguins have to start REALLY early on account of it takes us a REALLY long time to run 20 miles. The weather was perfect running weather, clear, but cool. The run course was beautiful. We ran along the Monterey Bay coastline. People travels thousands of miles to visit this place, I am pretty lucky to have it right in my backyard.
It was a 20 mile out and back course (10 miles out and 10 miles back.) My run buddy and I started together, she ran the first 1.5 miles with me and then started her run walk so I bid her adieu and went on my way. I ran past fat-bellied Harbor seals sunning themselves on rocks and goofy, Brown Pelicans fishing off the pier, it was nice. I met up with another runner and we ran together for about 4 miles until her knee started hurting and she was forced to walk. Bummer, this is much easier when you have someone to talk to. I felt great. At miles 7 and 8 I was downright euphoric. I was writing this blog in my head about the beauty of the day and how this was the perfect run, as matter of fact, the perfect day. All my fears about my legs hurting, my cold earlier this week, nothing could be better, or so I thought.
I turned onto 17 mile Drive (this is the name of the road, not unfortunately how far I had run at the time) and the slope of the side of the road was brutal and my knees started to complain. Then at about mile 10 all of the skin on my legs started to get numb, then other parts below the waist got numb, umm…this can’t be good. I thought I saw my husband’s truck and then became convinced he was following me, but was trying to escape detection (if you had ever met my extremely level-headed husband this would sound completely absurd) part of me knew that couldn’t be and I became increasingly alarmed that something was horribly wrong. When was the last time I ate anything? How much had I been drinking? Uh oh. I could possibly be in trouble here. I drank and ate some jelly beans (overpriced “electrolyte” jelly beans that my husband is convinced are just regular Jelly Bellies) then I ate a Gu although nothing could have sounded more repulsive to me at the time.
After about 10 minutes (I think) the numb skin thing went away and I started to think more clearly. At the 13 mile mark water stop an angel descended from heaven leaving Nutter Butter cookies and although I am not a violent person, I am pretty sure I would have killed someone for them. Things improved after that for a while, although my pace took a serious hit and I was shuffling along for the next 5 miles.
The last two miles were a testament to my bull-headed Scotch-Irish heritage. I honestly do not know how I kept running. I was sore, but not too bad. Mostly my legs were just DONE. They were like two dead tunas attached to my hips that I just kept swinging forward. Thump. Thump. Thump. Grandmothers with double hip replacement run faster than I was running, but. damn it, I was not going to stop before 20 miles.
The finish was anti-climatic, but it finally arrived and I was never so grateful to stop doing something in all of my life. “Now, you just have 6.2 more miles!” someone joked. Really f*%&ing funny.
Oh God, he is right. What the hell was I thinking?!