Training Run: 23 miles cut down to 17

This past weekend I was initially scheduled to run 26 miles for my last long run.  However, due to missing my 23 mile run after thanksgiving, I decided to cut it down to 23 miles instead.  This 23 mile run should have been enough to push me through the finish come marathon day (many training plans don’t take you to the full distance).  I had already hit the 20 mile mark on November 10th and felt like I had more life in me, so 23 miles shouldn’t have been too much of a jump for me.

What I didn’t account for was the toothache from hell.  On Friday (after 3 days of pain), I finally made the decision to get to the dentist. It turns out that a tooth I had broken 8 years ago (and had fixed) was not in good shape.  I will be needing a root canal and crown, but it’s not scheduled until this coming Thursday–Merry Christmas to me!  Anyhow, long story short, I was forced to try my best to complete a 23 mile run while hopped up on pain pills and antibiotics.

The weather was a perfect 55 degrees (in December, in CNY!), a runner’s dream!  Despite the beautiful weather, I was hesitant to lace up my running shoes.  I had spent a good part of the night before vomiting (due to my drug cocktail) and I wasn’t feeling 100%.  BUT, I sucked it up, this was my last long run and I was going to try my best to complete it, I had to.

I was careful to pace myself and take it easy and with every 5 miles I gained a sense of owning the run.  I truly felt like I had it in the bag and that I would be able to finish the planned 23 miles and maybe more.  I felt this way until mile 16–at that point the pain meds and antibiotics were kicking my ass.  A sense of nausea and light-headedness began to creep in.  I managed to press on for another mile before I made the decision to call my husband.  Once I began to feel faint I knew it would have been stupid to continue on.

I felt so defeated, but accomplished at the same time.  I was proud of myself for attempting a 23 mile run in the miserable state that I was in.  I only missed the mark by 6 miles and I know my body would have carried me through if it hadn’t been for the medications.  I am hopeful that this will be enough to carry me over the finish line.  I know my body and mind are ready, but I can’t help but be nervous.  What if I didn’t train enough?

I have faith that I can do it, but only time will tell.