I managed to put in 17.5 miles today.... although my modified plan called for 18. I figured since next weeks calls for 20 - this was a happy medium. Since DH is out of town, I didn't want to attempt that distance with the kiddos - particularly since Sweetie's shoulder is still hurting her (we did 4 miles together yesterday and she complained when I went over bumps) and to top it off, they've both developed a croupy, yucky cough. There is just no way I could expect them to sit in the buggy for 3 hours! I therefore hired a sitter - a neighbor girl who the kids adore - too bad she is in school during the weekday - I'd love to work out something on a regular basis.
To pass the time, I called my girlfriend and my in-laws, in turn. As I talked with the two of them, I managed to cover about 7 miles and thereby, ran 'alone' only on the return (an out and back route). My cell phone has become my 'virtual running partner' as I so seldom get to run with others. At 8.9 miles, I refueled with a HammerGel and then headed home.
Much of the course is uphill on the return. To add to my fatigue, I had to run into the sun, which added to my thirst. I kept telling myself it was better than running into the wind. I ran out of water in my Camelbak with nearly 4 miles to go. I was parched. Fortunately, I saw a woman bringing out her garbage can for pickup tomorrow and she was kind enough to let me refill it. It tasted so sweet!
When I got back to our neighborhood, the route was slightly shorter than I anticipated. I originally planned to run around the loop in front of our house once - but decided to call it a day at 17.5. My legs, feet and back were achy. I didn't think 1/2 mile would make much difference. I don't want to over-train and risk a serious injury. When I returned home, I ran a cold bath and soaked for as long as I could endure.
I was saddened, however, when my FIL informed me that Ryan Shay collapsed and died during the Olympic Trials yesterday in New York. I hadn't yet read the paper and was shocked when he told me.
It always hits home when a fellow athlete dies, especially while running. But the death of an elite runner during a major competition is a rare and startling occurrence. I therefore dedicate my long run, today, to Shay. He was 28.