Four days ago, I completed the longest distance race of my life.
The 10-mile loop at Wyandotte County Lake Park thoroughly kicked my butt with ankle-deep snow patches and icy, packed-in areas, not to mention the steep hills that burned on the way up and included out-of-control switchbacks on the way down.
Two final miles with cramping calves left my brain feeling a bit out of balance once the race was done. The sense of accomplishment was massive, but the urge to run again was wiped from me.
Anything I’d done to prepare for the run was quickly rejected.
That healthy diet that helped me drop 10 pounds since New Year’s? So long.
The urge to go out for a Monday night run? Goodbye.
Saturday night’s dinner included an entire frozen pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Sunday was a repeat performance — with a Starbucks venti mocha poured on top of it.
My throbbing calves and aching back made the living room couch much more appealing than a trip to the gym or a slippery jaunt through the park on the melting snow.
Today, however, the post-race hangover finally wore off. I fired up the blender for a frozen fruit breakfast smoothie, pulled my clean running gear out of the drier and tossed my running shoes in the trunk. The temperatures were supposed to push 60 degrees. Time to get back on track.
Work got done early today, and I knew the trails at Shawnee Mission Park had been closed the past few days due to mud, so I hopped in the car and headed to Lawrence. Nick, Gary, Amanda, three dogs and I did an easy 3.6 miles at Clinton Lake. The legs felt fresh and responded like I hoped they would. No tightness. No soreness. No pain — other than when a few of the screws in my shoes (a bit too long … rookie mistake) poked all the way through and stabbed my big toes.
I could’ve probably run six miles and felt good tonight. I couldn’t believe it.
Soooooo … Tonight I signed up for the Pi-Day River Rotation Half Marathon on March 19 in Lawrence. It’s along the Kansas River “Sandrat” trails, a mostly smooth stretch of trail with some rolling hills but nothing too serious. It seems like a good option for my first half-marathon. Just like my 10-miler on Saturday, the goal will be simply to finish. If I surprise myself with a faster time, that’s a bonus.
Anyway, one personal-record distance is done. Now it’s on to the next one.