The marathon training plan I'm using (Galloway for those interested) called for me to do 19-20 miles this past weekend. I took the position that 19 was a gracious plenty.
Ugh. I hurt all over. In addition to the usual aches and pains in my legs, ankles, and knees after I finished running, my arms, neck, and shoulders hurt, too. My current theory as to why that was is that I was too tense in my upper body as I ran, especially as I grew more tired toward the end.
I finished 19, but it wasn't fun or easy. I have been following a run 9 minutes/ walk 1 minute ratio on my long runs. Sunday I had to switch to 4/1 for the last couple of miles. It took me a smidgen over 4 hours. Incredibly slow for serious runners, but still a little ahead of the 14 minute per mile pace I need to run at the Marine Corps Marathon to be able to finish. My hope is that DC in late October is bound to be cooler and less humid than South Carolina in August and my pace will improve with better weather. I'm reminded of a quote I heard from a guy who was asked about the so-called "runner's high." He said that the only high he ever got was when he stopped. The high point for me Sunday was definitely when I finally quit running.
Oh, and there is at least one police officer in my hometown that I'm sure is convinced that I'm some kind of nut. I started out running a little before 6:00 AM and saw him pulling into the police department, presumably to start his shift. Over the next 4 hours, I must have seen him driving around five or six times as I ran. (Did I mention that I live in a very small town and that you have to do multiple loops to get this kind of distance?) I waved every time I saw him and the progression of the looks on his face over that time cracked me up. It started as kind of respectful for being out exercising. After an hour or two, he kind of shook his head at me in amusement/puzzlement. Toward the end of four hours I could almost see him thinking to himself "Is he mentally ill? Should I call an ambulance?"
The best news is that the training plan I'm on cuts me back to 8 miles or so as a long run the next couple of weekends before I do another really long one in three weeks. Hopefully I'll be recovered by then.