Sunday, December 21, 2008

8 Miles from Hell (at least part of it anyway)

Last night some friends of mine were having an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, but since I worked until 11pm and had an 8 miler scheduled for this morning, I put on my responsible hat and didn't go. They had a great time and there were jello shots involved, and I'm not sure I'll ever outgrow my love for those, so it was a wise decision to head home after work. I woke up this morning pretty pumped for our long run, which never bodes well. The runs I am feeling terrible about and don't want to do usually wind up being great, and vice versa. It is still unseasonably warm so I wore shorts and a tank top, and my fuel belt with 2 waters and 2 gatorades, and packed the blueberry pomegranate Gu Roctane (have never tried these before). We decide to incorporate the Cooper River Bridge into our run, which has at least a one mile steady incline one way.
I promise it is tougher than it appears it would be, and there was no sun to be had today!
On the drive there it starts to get darker, windier and cooler and I'm wishing I had brought a hat or rain jacket but at that point it was too late. We parked and it was just a little misty, did the first couple miles on some trails which was really nice, then headed back to the main road to the bridge. Usually the bridge is packed and today it was just us and maybe 2 or 3 other people walking/jogging/biking so that should have been a big red flag to STAY OFF THE BRIDGE, but nope, we forged on. On into driving rain and extremely strong (I wouldn't even come close to accurately guessing MPH, so I'll just use my technical term of "extrememly strong") headwinds. There were some steps that I swear I did not move forward. I felt like the Biggest Loser contestants when Jillian has them try to pull her across them gym floor, or like a sled dog, or horse in the horse-drawn get the picture. Not fun!! Rich has gone on ahead of me and waves to tell me that it is the 50minute mark, so time for the GU. It wasn't bad, but anything in my mouth when I'm struggling to breath and nauseaus is not pleasant. I started walking at this point, got the GU choked down and drank some water. I see Rich has slowed to a walk ahead of me too. I think this is only the first or second time we have ever walked in a long run. I just alterntated walking/jogging/praying to the Bridge Gods that I would make it to the top, and wondering how I would ever make it back up the hill once we got to the other side. At the top, Rich and I confer and agree that the bridge was a bad idea and decide to just turn around and head back down and finish the miles on the trails. Once we turned around and had the wind at our backs it was not so bad, and the trail running was pretty fun. The GU had kicked in and I felt great, except for some reason my right big toe had been numb since mile 1, but it wasn't bothering me that much. We don't have pedometers or a Garmin so I just guestimated that the absolute slowest we would run would be 12 minute miles, so we were shooting for somewhere between 90 and 96 minutes, and our total ended up being 96:40 so we probably went a little longer than 8 miles. Of course once it was over we felt great and super pumped that we made it, and after a quick change of clothes we went to our fav Mexican place for lunch. Now I am at work, and Rich is at home dealing with a pukey dog.

This is what we felt like trying to run the bridge today, only these guys look like they are enjoying themselves waaaaaaay more than we were!


Lindsay said...

gross! i can only imagine the wind out on the bridge. the hill/incline part is bad enough (and i've only ran it once!) way to push through it and not quit.

Brian said...

Ugh, nothin like strong winds to ruin a long run. At least you got out there!

I need to try some of that Gu , as I am a HUGE pomegranate fan!

Marlene said...

Oh man, that sounds brutal. Way to hang in there.

Frayed Laces said...

way to push through---i hate wind!