After a brutal 16 miler two weeks ago and a shortened long run last week, I was able to redeem myself and run a strong 17 miles! I am so happy. My confidence is back!
I was getting super nervous about it. I postponed it one day because Jen couldn't run yesterday. Her sitter was sick and she wanted to rest her achilles one more day. I easily agreed to postpone as my calf/shin was REALLY bothering me this weekend. I was getting pain between my tibia and my calf muscle as well as the same calf muscle being tighter than usual. I was afraid that I was getting shin splints. I iced it off and on Saturday and Sunday.
It was very bittersweet today, however. Where I had a successful run, Jen's didn't go as well. We started out and Jen was happy that her achilles was feeling fine. I was cautiously optimistic about my own condition, as well. As we ran through the first mile or two, I started feeling a nice rhythm. As we turned onto Fiesta Island, I could tell that Jen was no longer running pain-free. Her breathing was more labored and I could hear in her footfalls that she was favoring one of her legs. Within the next couple of miles her achilles had tightened up considerably. She told me that she could probably run through the pain, but the thought of worsening the condition to a point of rupture kept her from doing so. It just isn't worth it. She decided to walk back to the car and wait for me. We were both really bummed. I told her that it is not worth risking her achilles in order to finish one training run. I told her I would be fine finishing the next 12+ miles on my own.
And I was. I felt great. Surprisingly good. I didn't really start to feel a lot of aches and pains until after 13 miles. The last few miles were tough, but I knew I was going to finish. The best news of the day was that my fastest mile was mile 17!! I ran that mile in 9:37. The average of all 17 miles was 10:02, which isn't half bad. I didn't hit a wall this time. I can't tell you what a relief that was.
There have been times in my life when I think twice about getting into a car and driving 17 miles. Heck, I think most people these days think twice before driving 17 miles. When I stop and think about the fact that I ran that far blows me away! My ultimate goal is still 9 long miles further, but I am now one step (or several thousand steps) closer to that goal.