I guess this could be said about all endurance athletes.
After work Thursday, I came home and commenced my long run. As I have been working toward a March Marathon this was my 15 miler. This is the third time I have run this distance, but it is the farthest distance I have run.
This was not a good run, it may because it was after work not first thing on a weekend, it maybe because I mixed my gel wrong, because I need new shoes, or I may have been having an off day…it happens.
I felt decent until I was around my 11th mile. It went downhill from their. By the time I was done my teeth hurt (weird), my low back hurt, my stomach was ready for a break, every muscle in my legs hurt, and my arches were killing me. Halfway through my fourteenth mile I took a walking break. It wasn’t so much that I was tired and needed to walk, it was more that my legs made a decision on their own to stop. I have never taken a walking break on a long run before.
Once I got home I had a few minutes with the toilet, took a cold shower in lieu of an ice bath (no ice), slipped on my compression sleeves, stretched my arms, legs, hips, and back and then drank a recovery drink.
With the exception of a resting heart rate of 100 I felt good and it only been 30 minutes. Not only did I feel good, I felt refreshed. I felt like I could have slipped my shoes back on and logged some more miles. I am sure I could not have, but I felt like I could have.
At this point I had a few minutes of deep thought regarding how interesting it is that we can endure so many varied levels of pain, and still enjoy training. Not to mention how we force pain upon ourselves in order for better performance on race day and the satisfaction that comes with that.