This week’s Training Team long run is one of my favorites–running from the Forest Park visitor’s center to the arch and back. The route was supposed to be 13.48 miles round trip, but Meghan told us we had to call an audible and take a more northern path to the arch because there was a 5k on our planned route on Market street.
So I wasn’t sure what the mileage would end up being, but I planned to do the whole route with the 10:30-11 group because it’s just fun to run to the arch.
The route ended up being the reverse of the Rock ‘n Roll course in parts, like going up Lindell and left on Grand past the Fox Theater.
We went east on Washington, passing lots of Cowboys fans in town for the Rams game, and eventually made it to the arch.
It’s not easy to get a 630 foot tall monument in one shot.
This was when I was still in my happy phase, about 6.5 miles in. As we headed west on Washington the hills started getting to me. Up, down, up, down. Plus the one Gatorade and one refill of water I had wasn’t proving to be enough. So as we approached Grand again, some point around 9 miles, I walked. I knew I still had to get back to Forest Park and after 9 miles of running it didn’t matter to me if the miles were walking or running.
It did matter to me that I was out of water. I had half a vanilla Gu I really wanted to take but I needed water with it. I remembered two girls from another pace group said they would set water out near a car at Laclede and Vandeventer, so I walked that way, hoping they still did even though our route changed. I was overjoyed to see this.
I was the first one there; I don’t know if anyone showed up after me but I was pretty amazed that the supply was untouched. I figured random street people might grab some–we were in the city, after all. I took two waters, consumed the rest of my Gu, and attempted to run again.
Unfortunately my body wasn’t really having it. I could tell I had at least one blister and even though I had several Shot Bloks and the Gu, I was severely lacking energy. So I walked a lot more.
I got into Forest Park and saw these adorable ducks sticking their heads in the water and their butts in the air.
I was close to 13 miles by this point and decided to run in the park a bit to guarantee I’d complete my longest run ever. And I did! Thanks to the fact that I couldn’t locate my car (I walked right past it), I covered 13.66 miles!!!
I’m very proud and amazed by this. Earlier this year I couldn’t run 3 miles without pain, and now I’ve gone further than ever before. It’s a slower pace but I’m just so immensely grateful my body can do it without stress fracture pain. I just love the feeling of total exhaustion after a long run, being covered in salty powder from my own sweat. And I love eating after long runs.
I haven’t been to a Hardee’s in over a year but I swear that bacon egg and cheese biscuit and hash browns were some of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The high sodium content was exactly what I needed.