Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Thought, Therefore I Was

Rene Decartes walked into a bar and ordered six shots with six beers. The bartender lined them up, but then decided to ask, "are you sure you can drink all these?" Descartes paused, then said, "I think not." And then he immediately disappeared.

I love that one. Last week's long run went well. I managed the distance without mishap, and the old AT didn't hurt overly much afterwards. I began to think that perhaps I'd be able to get through the upcoming Buckeye Trail 50K after all. This week's long run is a different story.

It's mile twenty. This is where the Wall occurs for many runners. After hours of hard effort, a runner's glycogen becomes depleted, often at this point in a race, causing any effort at forward motion to be extremely difficult. Proper nutrition, sensible pacing, not to mention training, can help stave it off. Personally, I run so slow, and tend to my nutritional needs well enough, that I hardly have to worry about the Wall at all.

But this day, it rears it's ugly head. Things had been going fairly much like they had last week: I'd started on the Lester Rail Trail at four and run close to six miles before meeting up with Michelle Wolff, and run about twelve with her, and finally am now just finishing up with six to seven more. The difference between the last run and this one, however, is that this one started out in pain. By now the AT is really killing me. I believe it was Thursday's speedwork that really did me in.

Now I am really hobbling. The nine-thirty to ten-minute pace has suddenly changed to twelve to thirteen minutes per mile. It's like running through thick gelatin, and every time my right foot strikes the ground, I feel that shooting pain. Step, ouch, step, ouch...

The doubts creep in. Can I make it to twenty-four again? Should I even try? And of course, why am I even doing this?

Here are the answers. Yes (I do make it, but slowly), probably not (but I do), and mostly for training in case I still, in spite of everything, want to try BT50K.

At this point, I think not.

But I still haven't ruled it out completely.

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