I know a few women who have done marathons in the past, then decided to switch to halfs. I totally understand now! Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Nor does it mean it's necessarily good for you.
I postponed my Saturday run for Sunday and it was a good choice. Today was sunny and 35, with a calm wind. I finally figured out the trick to dressing for 35 degrees - coldgear tights, fleece lined undershirt, hoodie. I felt great until my undershirt was soaked with sweat and I got chilled. Gloves were a problem too because my hands were cold, but the gloves made my hands sweat. Ah well.
I had a super hard time getting going today. The absolute enormity of it kept me procrastinating for hours. I finally went, after slathering on heavy amounts of sunblock to my face and Vaseline to the chafe-prone areas. I was set and had run out of excuses, so I set off.
There are different approaches to running such an enormous distance. Some people would recommend running 9 miles then turning around and coming back. Others would suggest having someone drop me off 18 miles from home then I have no choice but to run home. Fine options, but I don't really like to think about how far 18 miles really is. For the same distance I could go to the Fermi power plant, or Schoolcraft College. Soooooooo far! I prefer to not think about the distance and do laps of various distances. Today was 3 x 5-miles and 1 x 3-miles.
The first ten miles felt great! I don't run my 5 mile loop very often so I don't know where exactly are the mile splits. I didn't even use a stopwatch, just set my music and went. Any time I thought about walking, I told myself to keep going and my legs listened. They could go forever - it's my mind that makes me stop. The first lap I walked 3 times, each about a minute. Not too bad! The second lap was just as good. The best part was how great it felt! Even 9 miles in I felt great and just kept going without any problem.
After 10 miles I stopped home for a much needed bathroom break and to refill my water bottles. The second half was dismal.
Towards the end my quads hurt, my thighs hurt, my butt muscles hurt, my knees were stiff, my hips as well. Within the last mile or so walking was as painful as running and one miserable step after another I finished. It didn't even feel like a big accomplishment, I felt completely numb.
I'm house sitting for my grandparents and their house has a handicap accessible shower. Every single day I moan and complain that I want a bathtub, but today I actually sat on the bench and used the handheld shower head.
Cooking food is too much effort, so I had some cereal, but mostly laid on the couch with a heating pad and I'm going to bed early. I can see why people forego full marathons. Sure I can drag myself through it, but a half would feel a whole lot better. At this rate, a half wouldn't even be difficult. It's something to think about for 2013.