I was on cloud nine. I had kicked ass in the half marathon, my legs and body were feeling awesome... no residual fatigue from the race (or the insane drunkenness) on the weekend. I was on top of my marathon training game.
Until Friday morning.
Friday morning... my alarm went off at 5:00am. I was supposed to get up and log an EASY 9-miler. I did get up and as soon as I did, I felt like a sledgehammer had crushed through my forehead multiple times during the course of the night. At first I thought... "eh... I just got up a little too quick, I'll be fine." But after about 5 minutes of pain that wasn't letting up. I called it a day and went back to bed for 2 hours.
I was basically a zombie all day at work. I had the headache, I had behind the eye pain, general eye movement pain, nausea, I had achiness and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. People kept asking me... "did you get your flu shot this year?" Which... of course made me paranoid all day long.
I left work at 4:00 and was freaking out that I was going to have to miss the Nashville Striders 18 mile training run on Saturday morning and be forced to brave it on my own on Sunday. So, when I got home, I ate a little something and crawled into bed at 5:00pm. I woke up at 8pm (thankfully I had set my alarm, or I think I would have slept all night) and was drenched in sweat. I stumbled out of bed... feeling slightly better and ate as much as I could before crawling back into bed at 9:30 and praying that I'd feel good in the morning.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt okay. Not 100%, but I'd say better than 60%. I tried to eat some and drink as much as I could and when we got to the run, I was feeling fairly normal. At the time, I felt about 90%.
The run started off great. We settled into a long run pace around 9:10/9:15. There seemed to be more people at this run and the miles were clicking along.
We even met Stangluvr and I apparently was also recognized by someone else at the run, who congratulated on my PR from last week... and if you're reading this now... I'm sorry I didn't say thanks. I was too busy looking around me trying to figure out who you were talking to and by the time I realized you were indeed talking to me, you had jetted off. So, yeah, thanks!! (Who knew I was so famous? I kid, I kid).
It was around mile 14 that the wheels starting falling off.
It's so crazy how when you've been running for 14 miles, any little thing can just ruin you. And I mean, RUIN you. What started it for me? Being thirsty. As soon as we passed by a water table, I thought... hmm... I'm thirsty, I should have stopped. And then I thought.... ohhhhh... i'll be fine, there's another one soon. But, I couldn't stop thinking about how thirsty I was. And it manifested itself into making me feel like I was going to vomit at any moment.
By the time we got to the next water station, I drank a little water (not too much... didn't want to get sick), and I started to try to go again... but, I knew that there was a little 1.5 mile loop that came right back by the water table and I chickened out and told Vandy Montana to do the loop without me and that I'd meet him back at the water station.
That's right. I pansied out. But, I just felt like absolute shit. I mean... I know... it's a long run, it's not supposed to feel awesome, but I've ran enough to know that it's not supposed to feel quite that bad, either.
So, I chatted up the water station guy (who... if I was into way older dudes, I would totally have a thing for cause he is just a sweetheart. He kept thanking the runners when we thanked him! He said he was glad to have something to do on a Saturday morning, since his knees won't let him run anymore... and... it was a cold, windy morning, too, I hope I'm like that when I'm older, too... but knowing me, I'll just be an embittered, crotchety bitch who will sit around and complain about not being able to run anymore). During this brief time... I kept thinking that I was either going to hurl or pass out. And I was hoping for the hurling part, because I didn't want to freak the water station guy out, too much.
When Vandy Montana circled back by, I immediately thought. SHIT. I have to run again. He offered to finish the run back to the car and come and pick me up... and I have to admit, I ALMOST took him up on it, and if it hadn't been so cold and windy, I'm sure I would have... but I just wanted to get back to the car and get it over it. I slowed our pace down, but we eventually made it back. So, instead of the 18 miles I was supposed to get... I only got 16.5.
After about 10 minutes of recovery, my ego was hurt more than my body. I initially felt really bad about not being able to toughen up and power through another measly 1.5 miles. But, I have to think that my body just wasn't operating at full health mode.
Either that.. or I'm just not quite as hardcore as I think I am. (Not yet, at least).