Ok, so my plan for the weekend was to rest on Friday - which I did, then long run today and see how I feel on Sunday, but probably no running.
Last night, Friday, I took it easy, had a good carb rich dinner and went to bed by about 9pm. After a busy week and finally being able to unwind I ended up getting a 10 hour undisturbed sleep, almost unheard of for me! So when I woke this morning I was refreshed and mentally ready for the run. I had a good sized, healthy breakfast and gave it about 90mins to settle. When I started getting my gear together, I was planning on taking one of my hydration packs, the 2 litre. When I was filling it, I saw it had a bad leak where the hose meets the bladder. I started working on it, but out of my frustration to get going I ended up leaving it and filling my 1 litre pack. I had it almost full of water and put a bottle of Powerade in the pocket along with two GU gels and a small bag of jelly sweets. I put the pack on my back and by the time I got to my front door my back was wet from a leak out of the bladder. I took it off and had to change my t-shirt, it was that bad. So to plan C...I got my fuel belt and filled the water bottle with water and put the jellies in the zipped pocket. I carried the Powerade and squashed my GUs into the loops on the fuel belt. Not ideal, but it meant I could keep hydrated and fueled for the run.
So I headed off to pretty much the start of the local bike path along the side of the freeway and after about 4k I was feeling good and had settled into the run. The fuel belt kept on shifting my t-shirt upwards over it and it made my belt rub against my back, which was quite uncomfortable. I ended up drinking my water faster than normal, just to lighten the load on the belt to keep it in place.
I took my first walk break on a hill at just over 8k and had a GU and filled my (now empty) water bottle with the Powerade. I decided to carry the water bottle until it was about half empty and then put it back in the belt. I ended up taking 5 or 6 walk breaks on hills, but none of them was longer than 40 seconds, so they didn't put a big dent in my pace. After a few more Ks I saw a side road that looked quiet, so I took that road and kept going. After a while I noticed that I was running past the MacQuarie Hospital - never saw it before, but now I know where it is! I ran another 2k or so and turned at about 10.7k, back the same route. It was now the middle of the day and was pretty warm. In no time at all I was back on the bike path and getting low on fluids. I stopped outside a service station and filled my bottle from the outside water tap, probably not a great idea as it tasted a bit funny...
Anyway, I kept going and was feeling fine, and was having lots of happy thoughts. About the 18k mark or so, I started getting pretty fixated on my distance, and kept checking my Garmin every minute or so. I had to keep telling myself to not check it, as I had a fair idea when I would be hitting the 20k mark, which was my target.
Shortly after, I started to think about why people run, why I run, why do I do long runs, what I was trying to achieve, why do I keep going etc. It wasn't self doubt, but I'm not sure what kind of feeling it was. I started to think of other people, and the reasons they have given for running. On DailyMile there was a challenge recently that a lot of us took part in and I was reminded of it. The challenge was to run 26.2 miles (marathon distance) over the period of a month to remember Dom, who was terminally ill with cancer. The challenge wasn't difficult, but it was done so we could be thinking of him and sending out positive thoughts. Sadly, Dom lost his battle and died recently.
One of his friends on DM posted a 10k run recently and said that he dedicated it to Dom. I thought about that during my run and started thinking of who I would dedicate a run to and why. I have lost some family members and friends to cancer, as many people have. One of my friend's fathers is currently diagnosed with cancer and is fighting a losing battle and he knows it. Just over twenty years ago I lost my own father to cancer. I still think about him every day and miss him. Around about this time on my run I started welling up inside, to the extent that I found it difficult to breathe. Physically I was fine, but emotionally I just couldn't get these thoughts out of my head.
So I have decided to dedicate my first marathon, in about 10 weeks, to the memory of my father. Not in a sad way, but in a "look what you have helped me to achieve" way. I think he'd like that....
Anyway, I ended up going just over 20k and being distracted so much at the end that I got totally lost! I started walking in the direction I thought was right but I wasn't sure. I stopped to ask directions and the guy said, "over that way mate". Really, so helpful, I was already going "that" way. So I started running again and asked another guy and he was a lot more specific. I was still about 2k out of the way, but jogged or walked home, covering about 3.8k in total after the main run.
I had my protein drink, water, bananas and did stretching. My calves were tight, probably due to low electrolytes. I'll do some research and see what I come up with. I'll be taking it easy the rest of the day and will do a walk tomorrow, maybe a swim.