Today was going to be my long run day after close to two weeks since my last long run. We had decided to pick a new route with a challenging hill and more mileage. A route we had estimated to be around 25K. My running mate was nursing painful shins after Thursday's 16K run, so I was on my own, which is fine by me. Anytime.
So I was up at 4.30am. My weight is still 80Kgs (has been for the past three days), one more kilo to go. I took a banana and some water then stretched as I watched CNN's Jonathan Mann's electoral map showing Obama ahead of McBush. He also explained the Bradley effect, which the analysts said would affect 2-3% of the pro-Obama votes. Economy trumps race, they agreed. Cool, I thought, assured.
Knowing well that this would be a long run, I took with me 200ml of water, which I carried in my left hand - yes, left is weak, so let it learn to be strong. I just started with an easy pace along the 800m stretch of Outering Road toward Jogoo Road.
I met three runners in the first 1K on Jogoo Road; 2 girls and a guy and wondered who the lucky guy was. Considering it was around 5:06am, I was impressed that the trio were serious about running.
I took an easy pace; close to 6mins per Km since I was gonna clear upwards of 23K. I met a buddy at the 3rd Km mark but he was going in the opposite direction. At about 4K, my sweat was pouring freely and I wondered whether it was the sweatshirt I was wearing? Or was I leaking?
I cleared the 5.4K Jogoo road and weaved into Landhes road, and made it through the busy Machakos stage without incident and into Haile Selassie.
Anyways, I easily cleared the first 7K then my right foot developed a pain just after I had crossed Uhuru Highway and entered Ngong Road. It was a familiar pain so I just twisted my ankle around and around for some 5 seconds then shifted the load to my left leg. After about 400metres, it was back to normal and I resumed my normal pace. The hill to National Library is quite a challenging one and by the time I reached Nrb Hospital, it was 1hour and I knew that I was past 10K and yet was not even half way through. I reached Mbagathi way and turned left toward highrise. It was longer, far longer than I expected and by the time I reached Langatta Road, I had covered at least 7+4+4=15Kms. I met three more runners close to Nyayo Stadium and crossed from Langatta to Lusaka Road. Then my left leg started yelling.
I shifted the load to my right leg as I started down Lusaka road, meeting two other runners. The pain in my left leg abated and I resumed to normal running. I had run around 16Kms by the time I hit enterprise road, which stretches 4Kms. By the time I was clearing Enterprise road, I had cleared my water and thrown away the empty bottle. Then I tackled the remaining 7Kms that is likoni Road. I used my right leg to give my body a drag as the left one had shut down and had taken to yelling and kicking every time it was given some little work to do. So I let the bitch have her way and only occasionally gave her scraps of work. By the time I reached Jogoo road again, I was amazed that I was still running, one crazy driver forced me to sprint out of danger and I was excited to know I still had energy. Then I started flying the last one Km home and I did three impressive sprints before arriving back home. The time I had taken was 2:27:25. If I estimate my pace at an avg of 5.5mins per Km, I covered 27Kms. The longest I have ever covered in my life.
I knew I had pushed myself harder than I had planned. So I took my time to stretch thoroughly and comprehensively. Then took water, some nuts, yogurt, an apple and two slices of bread.
Almost miraculously, I have no injuries. I only have some painful bruises in my butt, which are puzzling me because I had skin tights on ?... I think my legs are finally strong. Or are they?
So, anyways, I will probably do a recovery run on Tuesday then a 20K on Thursday before a last 24K on Sunday.
I am eager to join weight watchers who are in the 70s and I think I will be firmly with them on Tuesday.