It's Sunday. And, during marathon training season, that can only mean one thing: long run! I was looking forward to it because I knew the weather was supposed to be nice, and I was happy with my TENS experiment yesterday. So I was hopeful I'd have a good run.
I was confused when, around 9:30, I saw Tim hop on his bike on the trainer. He rode for an hour. When I asked him why he was doing that, he explained that he's training for a Half Ironman, which involves biking before running. Oh, okay. So that made sense. Mental note never to train for a Half Ironman. When it was time to run we had most of our usual group members: me, Tim, Kathy, Bill, and Wes even showed up (he couldn't find anyone to run trails with him). Dad had decided to come, too. But half way here he realized he had forgotten to take his supplements. He took that as a sign he shouldn't be running and turned around and headed home. So, there were five. I knew my legs were tired, Tim's had to be, and Kathy raced yesterday. I was hoping for a nice, slow run.
Before we headed out, I explained to Kathy about the TENS unit. She saw me taping it up. Tim affixed it to a fuel belt, and this worked quite well. I was able to adjust the intensity whenever I wanted. And it didn't bounce. Other than the constant shocks being delivered to my abdomen, I didn't even notice it. Wes had already seen me run in it, as had Tim, but I didn't get a chance to explain it all to Bill before we left.
We headed out (all of us, Bill excluded, wearing blue) on our Buddha route. I really love this route. It's almost exactly 19 miles, and that is what was on my schedule for the day. My legs felt tired, but not horrible. I felt good enough to play the waving game. However, I've never played this game while Wes was on a run. He simply dominated. Something in the way he waves, I guess...but people couldn't resist waving back. Even Bill couldn't compete with him (though he has an idea up his sleeve that will render him unbeatable).
As we were ascending I Street, I noticed that my pain was breaking through on the right. Crap. Then I noticed that I couldn't really feel the TENS unit working over there. We stopped at the top (at my request), and I realized I didn't have the mHz up high enough. I cranked it to 120 and was good to go. It was at that point, I think, that Bill asked "So you're actually having electro-stimulation done on your abs while you run?" "Yep." That's right folks, while I run. It's crazy, and a wee bit desperate, but it makes it so that I can get through the run with much less pain.
I really love Sunday county runs with the group. It's like an adventure--setting out with a group of people deep into the country. Today, we even had little treasures waiting for us at miles 5, 10, and 15. Kathy had stashed Gatorade and water for us. This meant I didn't have to carry any fluids with me. THANK YOU, KATHY! Tim and I will have to pay her back by doing that for us next week. It was so wonderful to have water just waiting on us.
Somewhere around the 12 mile mark, Wes asked how far everyone was going. I said 19. And, a few seconds later, I said "You know, if I'm going to go 19, I might as well go 20." Bill agreed with me on that. Unless I was feeling awful at 19, I should just do 20. Especially since the "19" was actually more like 19.25. Now, you can get into trouble playing that game. "If I'm doing 15 I might as well do 17. Heck, 17 is almost 18, and we all know that 18 is almost the same as 20." But I don't think I hurt anything adding 3/4 of a mile to my run.
It was a good run. My pain was tolerable, and my legs were okay. I will admit that I really struggled on the hills. I was keeping up with the boys on most of the run, but would fall off on the major climbs. And it just wasn't worth pushing it. Our average pace was right around 8 minutes/mile. And that is not shabby at all for the mountains we were climbing. Most importantly, from a running standpoint, I felt very comfortable. I was not at all taxed (other than on the three biggest climbs). That means I'm pretty fit.
Now the goal shifts to maintaining that fitness while not getting hurt before Eugene. Oh, and taking care of the beastly abdominal pain. I have more injections on Wednesday. I really think I will see a big difference after these, as I'm going to have him go right to the "ropey" parts in my abdomen. Those seem to be the pain generators. If not, I'll be wearing my TENS unit for 26.2.
Bill and Tim went out and rode 30 miles after the run, giving Tim 5.5 hours of training today. Wow. Our grocery bill is going to drastically increase if he keeps this up.