Or maybe a lower pollen count? Yesterday was 54. Every other day this month has been in the high or rather, in the extremely high range. For me it doesn't matter what the range is unless the offensive allergen is grass and then of course the higher that is the worse it is for me.
Whatever the pollen count, yesterday was my second day in a row of Claritan. I swear, I know it says non-drowsy but I think it makes me feel a little sluggish. Maybe I am just looking for excuses for getting old. You know, I will be 37 in July. The 7th to be specific. You know, in case you want to get me something. . .
Anyway. . . I had a FANTASTIC run yesterday. Well, that probably isn't entirely true but it was definitely one of the best in a while. 16.82 miles in 2 hours and 21 minutes. An 8:20ish pace.
I have been trying for about 2 weeks to get myself to do a run longer than 10 miles-- well this week just try to run. I have to be honest. I have been on the verge of freaking out about it. Woe is me I am no longer a runner, sort of freaking out. Snap. Just like that. I go from marathoner to couch potato. Rationally, I know it does not happen like that but that is how my mind works. There is not a lot of gray. It is runner or not runner. And right, I did just run 40 miles last week but until yesterday this week I had only run 5 miles. Well 10 if you count the 5 on Tuesday that I had to walk/run. But I could tell. I was going the way of the non runner. Even worse, I was going the way of chubby Nat.
So yesterday, I hemmed and hawed and procrastinated, made a play list and finally sucked it up and left. I brought $2 and my handheld water bottle. I am officially off the GU since Country Music Marathon. Even on the bike. I am now an official Cliff Bar convert. Peanut butter Chocolate Chip, if you must know. I might go back to Luna moons or Cliff Shots for longer runs but No.More.GU.EVER! Ever!
I mean it.
That shit is evil.
But yes, yesterday I was minimalist with the fueling. And for me I think this is better. I know I can run 26 miles with just water if I had to. No, it won't be fast but it is doable and slow is better than tummy ache any day.
I have been worried I have lost all sorts of fitness but I made it to my 7 mile pit stop in 58 minutes. Generally I am there in 58-62 minutes so this was spot on. I bought some Gatorade, dumped out my water and ran on. About 2 miles later, as I was running up the 2 mile long hill it started raining. I started to worry about "severe" weather and what I would do if I got caught in a thunderstorm. Torrential downpour is one thing, lightening and wind another.
I figured my best hope was to get to the Walgreen's 3 miles away so I could duck in there. Really, nothing I could do but run on since I was in a residential area. I wasn't going to go knocking on stranger's doors. Especially when I looked like drowned rat. Don't think they'd let me in anyway.
Happily the weather didn't turn nasty. Just a steady rain and I ran the rest of the way home. I did have a coughing fit in mile 15 and I had to walk a bit. It is very hard to run up hills when you are choking on mucus. Why make it hard? I really don't think there is reason to train yourself to cough and run up a hill. So I just walked a bit. I do hate walking in the rain but it really wasn't so terrible yesterday. I must say I rather enjoyed myself.
So today I feel like a runner again. I know it is silly that I have to go out and run for a few hours to reassure myself but I have been marathon training since last August. I suppose it is a hard habit to break. But I am going to break it next week. Time to switch gears to shorter and intense runs, long bikes and long swims. Hopefully I can squeeze in a 20 miler next week and then I will bid adieu to any run longer than 2 hours til August.