Saturday, April 2, 2011

My malfunctioning brain

 Well, yesterday was long run day... finally. After putting it off all week since I hadn't felt real well earlier in the week, it was finally time to pay the piper.

First let me tell you, I have never EVER run 12 miles before in my life.Yet,  I think my brain is becoming somewhat distorted in it's thinking because there's some part of me that says 12 miles isn't really THAT long is it? To my oxygen deprived brain it just sounds like some little jaunt that you might do on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. Believe me, I don't know what it is about my brain that is starting to think like this. I think it's kind of like when you start gaining weight. Your brain somehow adapts over time and you begin to convince yourself that you're not really that big... even though you've got 10 pairs of pants in your closet that no longer fit and you can no longer stand to look at pictures of yourself that people have taken... and in case you're wondering, yes, I do speak from experience on this point of warped reality as well.

Anyway, I am here to tell you that my body and my head are on completely different planets when it comes to the reality of 12 miles. My brain says "no biggie," my body says, "Are you kidding me? 12 miles is absolutely insane!!!" 

I went out with Heather yesterday and we ran the 10 mile route that she and my brother usually run and then we tacked another two miles on the end of it. I will confess, Heather had showed this route to me ahead of time and although it struck me as a little hilly, it didn't really register until we were out running exactly how hilly this route is. For the first 7+ miles you do nothing but either go up or go down... only tiny bits of flat... and I should also say that there is much more UPHILL in that 7 miles than there is downhill. The ups are slow and steady, drug out over several miles, where the downs are short and steep and over way too quickly to get any kind of serious recovery time... I took this elevation graph from Heather's blog. You can see from the giant downhill WALLS how quickly it goes down vs. how slowly it goes up!

 I think the amount of hills in the first part of the run contributed to my need to walk a large portion of the last couple of miles of the course... not to mention the really crappy pace we ended up with overall. My legs were really achy and I was feeling muscles I have never felt during a run before.... Yes, yes, I know this means that I need to do more of this to build these muscles up, but still, it was pretty surprising to me to find out there were still running muscles that I had never before tapped into hard enough to feel them complain.

Happily, the first part of the run went relatively well for me. Okay, yes we did have to stop at the local Target store for a potty break, but other than that we plugged along keeping pretty well to our plan of walking only once (for approx a minute) every mile for a brief recovery period. Once we hit the flat part of the run I was pretty well spent. From that point on it was probably more of a 50/50 run/walk mix. Thanks so much to Heather for pushing me through. I know I killed her time, but I really appreciate the support!

The weird thing is that my brain is back to playing tricks on me. My husband says he is totally impressed by this distance... and I know somewhere in my past I would have thought this was an amazing feat but despite the fact that my quads ache today and the soles of my feet are somewhat tender from a mileage they're not used to, my brain is still saying... "Oh, 12 miles isn't really that far is it?"  Now, I'm starting to wonder if my brain and my body will ever get to the point where they're on the same page. Like with the weight gain/loss thing, I am beginning to suspect that my brain may never be in sync with my body. I'm not sure there's anything I can do about changing this little idiosyncrasy of my brains functioning, but maybe the fact that I'm aware of it will at least help me keep everything in perspective... at least I can always hope!

Yesterday's Run
12.02 Miles
2 hrs 34 mins
4.7 mph (yuck!)

1 comment:

Heather said...

So....are you telling me you'd like to do it again this Friday???? :)