I was with a terrific group last night running 7.5 plus miles on the trails. It was hot, ridiculously hot like running in a tub of split pea soup hot. No biggie though its the dead of summer in the trails so yeah, its going to be hot and uncomfortable.
The run itself was great, our route was plenty challenging and the perfect mileage for a Monday night run. One thing that was bothering me physically was our scheduled stops were causing me to feel stiff when we started back up again but that's do to my lack of consistent running lately.
Anyway, as we powerewd our way back and hit the few spots where we had to cross the street I was secretly grateful because at this point I was dragging ass. I felt a bit light headed, my footing was unsteady and loopy as we turned for the final 2 mile descent.
By the time we crossed over our final street crossing I knew that it was just over a mile to go and hey there's nothing left to prove here if you feel like slowing down slow down. Okay, I was following the front group but internally i was screaming "pull back a bit, your dehydrated". I was dehydrated, my head was pounding on the back and sides and I couldn't suck down enough water from my bottles so I knew I was dehydrated but as I kept telling myself to slow down my body didn't listen. The legs wanted to keep churning, keep flowing over those rocks and roots. Run through that little stream, it feels good and the 8yr. old in me gets a kick out of it.
With just a half mile to go I figured "ok pull back and cruise in." I didn't do it, I kept going in fact I physically had to interest in slowing down I was fighting a huge mental game and I was winning.
Out of the woods we emerge, in my mind it was 7 graceful deer coming out of the woods with one giant slobbering ogre just trying to stay upright.
I mentioned to a fellow runner on a previous run that my running posture is evolving, it feels looser, sloppier even. My arms feel like they flop fwd. and back and when i get tired my head falls fwd. and i find myself staring at my feet. I am a bit concerned by this because I work hard on keeping a nice form but I think this is part of me transitioning to a newer looser and hopefully faster runner. Time will tell.
Anyway as we hit the final, little stretch of road I do slow down a tad only to look for a water fountain but there was none to be found so my head slinked down, I looked at my feet again and I slowly started to pick up my pace ever so slightly just to stretch out a bit as we finish up.
My new favorite thing to do lately after a huge run is to go to the local 7 eleven and get a giant water or something. It doesn't matter what it is. I love walking in there completely sweat soaked, muddy, exhausted and stomping through the aisles. I picture myself looking like a swamp monster leaving little piles of sweat and mud everywhere I go.
Yay trail running!