Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Dinosaur, A 20 Mile Run, A Life Saved and A Toenail Lost

Remember how excited I was for my 20 mile run?

Friday afternoon
My wife and I signed up to give blood. In our area, there are a couple organizations that are authorized to draw blood. Generally, the Red Cross is the one that has come, but this time a different company came. I'm a proponent of giving blood and I'm a big fan of the snack table that they have for after giving blood. Most of the time, you can expect to see some snack crackers, a variety of juice and water and maybe some Oreos. This company, however, knew how to win my heart. There were chips, cookies, Oreos, multiple juice choices, Swedish fish, etc.. It was snack heaven.

As I wrapped up the blood draw, I'm given a pamphlet and the lady said to refrain from heavy lifting or exercise for the rest of the day. I asked her about Saturday and that I run. She laughed and said "As long as you're not planning on a marathon or a really long run, you should be ok." I laughed with her thinking "I'm ok, I'm just doing 20 miles." Looking back, maybe I should have seen that as a train wreck waiting to happen.

Saturday morning-5:15 am
If I'm going to get 20 miles in it's going take me about 3 hours at a easy pace which means I've got to beat the heat. The temp was scheduled to break 100 for the first time this summer. My run incorporates the trail that has haunted me since the last 20 mile run in March where we ran through a blizzard. I started closer to home so I wouldn't have to juggle side streets to get in the full 20. At 5:45 am, it is already in the low 70s outside. At 6:00 am I'm on my way.

By 6:30 am, I'm noticing that although I'm at my easy pace, it's a little more difficult than normal. I'm wondering if maybe it's the weather or possibly the blood giving from the previous day. I keep plugging along. At mile 4 I start on the trail. The first 4 miles is relatively flat and the next 6 are slightly downhill. At mile 9, I see three women running my direction. We know each other from previous races. They are all wearing race numbers, but they are casually running (they are usually the top finishers) so I'm wondering what race is happening. When I get to mile 10 at the turnaround there is a park filled with booths and police and lots of signs. It's a city festival with a 5K race. I get a quick drink, use the restroom and turn around. I've kept a pretty steady 8:30/mile pace.

The next mile and I start feeling the heat of the day. The sun comes out in full force by mile 13. At mile 14, I encountered the dinosaur. I don't know why I missed it before, but on the other side of the fence is a giant sculpted T-Rex. If it were real, I would have been a snack. I had nothing left in me to push may pace. By mile 15, I'm wondering if I'll even make it to mile 20. My stamina is not what it was two weeks ago when I did 17 miles with a 3 mile hike after...I'm beginning to realize that maybe giving a pint of blood the day before a run wasn't the best idea. My feet are starting to really hurt.

Between mile 15 and 16, I had to actually stop take some deep breaths and walk a little as I'm starting to feel a little dizzy (I'm plenty hydrated and my electrolytes were fine, it's just hot and the energy tank warning light has gone on). The last 4 miles was pure agony. I took off my shirt from miles 15-18 then put it back on for the last 2 as I ran through a residential neighborhood (I have an excellent runners tan and self-conscious about running without a shirt) and didn't want to scare any little kids that might be out. My pace has slowed to a jog with bursts of running. I made it back to car and my Garmin registered 19.8 miles...WHAT?!! I am not going to round up or go home with a 19.8 mile I wandered around the parking lot so I could get the full 20. I would normally just pass my car then turn around and run back. I figure my time sucked so there was no point in pretending...end time was 3:33 minutes..

I made it home, laid in the sprinklers for a few minutes before going inside for a recovery/protein drink and a cold bath. I gave the recovery socks a good test and I'm a Huge fan. I wore them the rest of the day. That evening, I took off the socks and evaluated my feet. As expected, I had a blister on the same toe I always get, a few other rubbed areas and a toenail that has seen better days. You'll see by the photo which is which. I have yet to find a solution to the blister on that toe. I've done Body Glide, changed socks, changed shoes, worn a band aid...nothing works.

I'll give this weekend's long run a solid C. I got the run in which is important, but it wasn't pretty.


  1. Yikes!

    Glad that you got it done... even if it was agony.

  2. One of these days you'll conquer that route for good. Maybe choose a time that isn't dead winter or summer.

  3. Bleh, glad you got the 20 miles logged. AND, thank you for donating blood. I can't stand to do it but I appriciate everyone who does.