Taking Down the Long Run – Jo’s Last Big Run
Jo gearing up for the last few weeks of marathon training. The marathon is becoming more and more real now, and the fact that she is going to run 26.2 miles is finally sinking in.
The Long Run Prep
“Dun. Dun, dun dun. Dun, dun, dun. Dun, dun, dunnnnnn.” The eye of the tiger blasts through Jo’s cell phone at 6 am Saturday morning. It’s long run day, and by long run day she means the final, end all be all, longest run before the marathon. Twenty-two miles are on tap for today, and Jo is doing everything she can to pump herself up; hence Survivor’s biggest hit.
She clambers out of bed and heads to the kitchen to grab her coffee, already hot and waiting for her. Thank goodness for self-timing coffee systems. Just a few sips of that steaming black stuff and she should be able to get things moving along and clear her system before the twenty-two “blissful” miles.
Jo laid everything out the previous night. It’s a bit chillier now so her cute Nike capris are making their debut. A t-shirt and arm warmers will be the perfect combination for this early fall weather. Her water belt is already packed with Clif shots and water. After getting dressed, she munches on a piece of peanut butter toast and finishes the last of her coffee. She’s still got 7 minutes to spare before heading out the door to meet up with her friend. Luckily, her cue to excuse herself to the restroom comes just in the knick of time.
Jo meets her friend about a mile into the run. The plan is to go around all the lakes, and then make their way over to River Road and loop back past Target Field. This will provide plenty of bathroom options, as well as 911 options. Jo is so thankful her friend has agreed to pound the pavement with her; she’s not sure Justin Timberlake alone has it in him to get her through 22 miles.
They get into a rhythm for the first half. No snafus, water goes down easily, as well as the caffeine enhanced Clif shots. Luckily she has found a few flavors that agree with her taste buds, and her stomach. Jo really thinks they do make a difference, and anything to ward off the ever looming BONK is worth a shot. Conversation is flowing and before you know it, they have knocked out 11 miles.
“This isn’t so bad!” Jo thinks. “Half way done, and feeling fine. Twin Cities Marathon, you better watch out Jo’s going to hammer that course in killer time.”
By mile 17, Jo’s cockiness has turned to crankiness. Her legs are aching, her stomach is growling, and nutrition and water isn’t helping. Her friend assures her, its only temporary, and by the next mile she will be back into the groove again.
Her friend lied.
Not only is she experiencing all of the above symptoms, but those new capris she choose to debut, decided to rub-a-dub-dub in a very irritating and inconvenient way. It’s too late for Body Glide now. Jo tells herself to suck it up and get through it. This is it. The hardest part of marathon training will be done after this run. It’s all gravy training from here on out.
She pushes through the aches, pains, and potentially bleeding thighs to mile 20. Only two miles to go. The end is in sight. Her friend doesn’t seem to be phased by the amount of work their bodies have just done. Her friend has also done numerous marathons and even dabbled in that so-called “ultra marathon.”
Heck if she ever does one of those things. Who in their right mind would ever punish themselves that much? No thank you!Jo thinks.
She sees her doorstep ahead. Her pace quickens. By now Jo isn’t thinking about her Garmin, her swelling feet, or her upset stomach, she is just thinking about laying down in her front yard, which she does as soon as she arrives. Her friend snaps a photo of her face planting in the grass and shares it will the entire social media world.
Caption: “This just happened. 22 miles later. #tcmarathon”
The Long Run Lounge
The rest of the day Jo is completely worthless. After mowing down on a huge breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter and raspberries and some scrambled eggs, she sets up shop on the couch where she passes out for three hours. The epic nap is followed by a Netflix binge. Jo’s boyfriend left while she was eating breakfast, and when he comes back hours later, Jo has not moved positions, except for one or two bathroom breaks.
The long run is complete, and the marathon is in her grasp. She just needs to stay healthy these next few weeks and that marathon medal will be hers.
How do you like to spend your days post long run? Share your comments below!