My running buddy & I were going to preview the course for our upcoming half-marathon here in town. I wrote out all the turns on a piece of athletic tape, stuck it to my forearm, & off we went. Gorgeous buildings & homes, tree-lined streets, lots of other people out riding their bikes & running. We had a lot to catch up on (read as: gossip) & as usual the laughs were in no short supply. It's very hard to run when laughing, by the way, but it does pass the time & a (reliable) running buddy is an awesome thing. We were talking about our goals for the race, taking note of the course, & knocking out the miles. We wound up missing a turn & somehow ended up in a sketchy part of town (read as: scary). After being hooted & hollered at, & nearly killed by 3 german shepards (I didn't mean to look them in the eyes!) we decided to ask for directions. A very nice man pointed us in the right direction, to which we decided just to turn around & go back the way we came. My running buddy (who is much smarter than I am), is only training for the half marathon & only needed to get in 13 miles, so we wound up safely back to our cars in 13.23 miles after keeping a nice even easy pace. The course is great, & I look forward to race day when I can run the other half of it.
Now, I forgot to mention that I ran a 5K (5 seconds slower than my PR) the day before. It was a great race with an awesome post-race party. I did partake in a couple of pumpkin beers after taking 2nd overall & coming so close to my PR. This race was to be a fitness test, so I could see where I stood for the upcoming half-marathon, & would know how to pace myself appropriately. I do, however, believe that this race, possibly my post-race debauchery, & the fact that I ate a huge (I mean HUGE) plate of fried chips with nacho cheese all over the night before, led to the most epic bonk imaginable. This was a true caloric bonk, & one that I've never experienced before. I am meticulous when it comes to nutrition, & I try to always make smart decisions when it comes to fueling my body. "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rouchefoucauld Aaaaaand, I didn't listen to that guy, clearly. So, to set the scene, my running buddy is getting me a water out of her car so I can refill my Nathan handheld, she's saying "Thanks for the run," & I am seriously wishing that I was headed home to ice-bath heaven myself. But, like a good little soldier, & for fear that my all-knowing Garmin will somehow realize that I hadn't met my milage for the day & would inadvertantly b#tch-slap me back to reality, I trudged onward. Pretty sure I shouldn't have stopped to chat, & pretty sure I should have taken a Hammer Gel for a run that long, but whatever. I've run 16 miles many times before. Things were going just fine & then all of a sudden WHAM! out of nowhere it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm telling you I was tingly all over, head to toe. My teeth were vibrating, I felt like I was no longer wearing shorts (I kept checking & they were there) - I'm not even making this up. I felt possessed, & I looked at the Garmin to see that I had fallen off my pace by nearly 2 minutes. Pushing along as hard as I could & it felt like I was walking. I mean, I'm no stranger to the phenomenon that is bonk, but this was ridiculous, "What did I do wrong???" & so, with .4 to go, I decided to stop. Not to stop & walk, as is customary, but just to stop & stand.
I found myself in front of a huge sculpture of a shoe, made of shoes, & it felt like some kind of crazy acid trip or double rainbow effect "What does this MEAN?!" A lady walking by asked if I was OK, & I didn't even look at her. How rude! "I'm never like this!" I thought. Finally, she said, "You better get going." She was right. Less than a half mile to go, & I forced myself to finish the torture session - no cool down, no stretching, just straight into the car, straight to the grocery store (where I found myself eating 4 chocolate covered almonds that someone let spill from the bulk food bin - I'm sure they would just throw those away, right? This will plague me for years to come). I then went home & got something to eat (or as my husband would call it "The Feeding"), took my shower of shame, sunk into ice bath heaven & took a nap. I am a statistics girl, & so I will be looking back over the numbers & what I ate to figure out what could have caused me to crash so hard. The long run is also where we learn what works for us, what does not, what causes gastrointestinal discomfort, etc. I now know that smothered chips do not work for me. In my disillusioned state, I also realized that I only shaved one leg & so.... dear reader: off I go to finish what I started.