finishing strong-ish

Feeling good about today’s 20 and change mile outing.

 looking towards horizon. near empty beach, sliver of serene water, blue gray sky
Loyola Beach was the halfway point.

My average pace during these long runs has remained about the same… 16:50 min miles. Today that included stops to take pictures, retie my shoes, and alternately curse and give thanks for long traffic lights. It did not include my stops for iced coffee and a pee break at around mile 8.5, sitting on a bench at Loyala Beach to marvel at the lake at mile 10, or fueling up at about mile 13 (an orange and a hazelnut/chocolate croissant….the problem with being so pokey is that I am out for many hours which means I was getting a little woozy. I had snarfed my power bar pretty early on.)

retro (50's eta?) restaurant sign advertising Honeybear Pancake House. Sign is hanging off building.
Tasty iced coffee!

Since I paused my running app during those stops, I guess my real pace was much slower but that’s OK. Was a great day. Hot and sunny. The route I choose to head north has no tree cover (downside of running along a railroad embankment) so I ended up walking, massaging my feet, checking out gardens, and sipping iced coffee between miles 6 and 9.

My primary goal was to maintain a walk/run pattern for the last ten miles. I have walked the last mile or so of my last two long runs which is not what I want during the marathon. It’s more fun to finish strong.

looking at a river from a bridge. trees on right side of river bank. concrete arch level with river? old infrastructure? sewer related?
Took the shadier North Branch Trail part of the way home. Pleasant surroundings for suffering. Plus plenty of water fountains.

It was hard. By mile 15, my hips were hurting and the bottom of my heels were tingling. My bus card was at the ready in case of anything resembling a blister. By mile 18, I was a zombie. After each quarter mile walk, I had to imagine someone lifting up my knees by marianette strings to switch gears into a jog.

Wanting to avoid being in a world of hurt tomorrow, I asked the internet if a cold or a hot soak would be better. I was pretty sure I knew the answer but held on to hope. I hate being cold.

Alas. So I texted Michael to see if he would grab a bag of ice from across the street and start filling the tub with cold water.

mostly off white. picture of water in a white tub. ice cube barely discernable
Hard to tell, but there’s ice in there.

Easing into that frigid water may have been the hardest part of the day. I started in a kneel (good quad stretch?), thought about straightening my legs, realized I could not move my body, and simply expressed gratitude for a deep tub.

I am currently debating if I should sleep in my office to avoid the stairs to the bedroom.

I am a smidge disappointed that I’m not as strong as I hoped to be by now but I’m also enjoying the physical and mental challenge. We are all running our own race. Cheesy but true and my fried brain cells are OK with being hackneyed.

Oh and in case anyone reading this can spare anything for a donation the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, here’s my fundraising link. Thanks for considering!

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