Not for me, at least. Today is trail run day--a day I always look forward to. Tim and I met Wes, Scott, and dad near the Three Lakes Trail at Morgan Monroe. It's a 10 mile trail. I've run lots of double digit runs back to back, so I didn't think yesterday's 15 would affect me today.
It did. Big time. Within the first half mile, I was struggling. We were in a line: Wes, Scott, dad, me, then Tim. I lost contact with the group within a mile. I told Tim I was struggling and that he should just go around. He wouldn't. I continued to fall back. I felt miserable. I felt like I was bonking, and we were only a mile into it. It was that feeling of overwhelming fatigue--nothing you can do about it.
I was in trouble, and asked if anybody had a Gu or gel I could have. Tim and I didn't bring any. I usually have an emergency one, but figured "Hey, it's only ten miles." I never ask people for anything. I have to be REALLY hurting, and I was. The only person who had one was Wes. He was going a total of 33 miles and it was his last Gu. He reluctantly gave it to me.
We stopped at a shelter house and I ate it--it was coffee-flavored. HORRENDOUS. I got it down and hoped it would help. Except, within a half mile of eating it, I was puking it up. Wes noted that he knew I was going to throw it up. I actually felt a little better after that, especially because we were on a flat section. I could almost keep up. Then, the first big climb. And I just couldn't recover from it. It became, as my dad says, a death march.
They gapped me so much that they had to wait for me at the top of the hill. Tim was still with me, and I was still telling him to go around. I was having a really bad day, and we both knew it. I hate to affect someone else's run, which is why I kept urging him to go around. He just wouldn't. The fact that he was behind me made me try to push harder, and I just kept going deeper and deeper into that fatigue feeling. We stopped at a creek crossing, which gave me a moment to get my bearings.
As soon as we started climbing again, though, it was clear that the jig was still up for me. I wanted to walk SO badly. I didn't, but I'm not sure you can call what I was doing on the hills actual running. Everything was irritating me. The bugs, the roots, my incisional pain, everything. And we weren't even half way into the run.
At just after 5 miles, we came to a parking lot that I recognized...a little place where you can stop to jump on the trail. As we approached, I thought to myself "Oh, I can stop here" and then "No, no, don't stop, you will be fine. Keep going." As we began to run past the parking lot, I stopped and told Tim they should just pick me up there when they were finished. Could I have run 5 more miles? Yes. But it was: a) not going to be pretty and b) not necessary. Dad ended up stopping with me.
I sat down on a log, exhausted. And then a huge storm came in. Lightning, thunder, downpour. GREAT. Dad and I, after having been roasting during the run, were now freezing. Luckily, a fisherman had mercy on us and took us back to the cars. There, we got in dad's car and waited for the others.
Until now, I've never cut a run short. I've had runs like that before. But I've always forced myself to finish them. Not today. And I'm (convincing myself to be) absolutely fine with my decision.
As soon as I got home, I pleaded with my mom to watch the kids a bit longer so I could take a nap. She did (thank you, mom). Tim was going out for a ride. I fell asleep immediately. When I woke up, I felt a little better, but I'm still exhausted and EXTREMELY hungry. Tomorrow is a day absolutely, positively OFF.
Oh, the abdominal pain. It continues to stay gone, but the whole right side of my trunk really hurts when I run (from the incision). I keep thinking that's going to get better/go away, but it's not. I see Dr. Jones on Tuesday, so I'll ask her about when I can expect this to be gone.
Major props to Wes and Scott for running 33 miles out there today in this heat. And I am eternally indebted to my brother, Wes Trueblood, for spotting me a Gu when I was clearly in severe trouble. Wes, you're an angel.