Good news! My bad eye is on the mend! Just in time for the other one to go south... really. Fortunately I took Chasen's advice and began putting antibiotic drops in both. So now they both look almost normal. I think from a distance you wouldn't know anything was up.
So today was to be the *dunh dunh dunh* 20 miler. I laid out everything last night and got into bed at 9 PM. Unfortunately I was still awake past 11 PM, and my alarm was set to ring at 2 AM. I did NOT sleep well. But I got up at 2:10 and started the process. At first I was ELATED to discover that my eye was not very "gunked over" until it dawned on me that it had only been shut for less than three hours. Oh well! Tonight will be the real test of just how much better it is.
Mind you, I gave PLENTY of thought to picking 3 AM as a time to run. There's just no other option to beat the heat. I mean, it's 80+ degrees by 8 AM usually, and it's still 90+ degrees at 9 PM. That basically rules out the whole day in terms of distance running, in my book. That leaves darkness, which brings cooler temps and no blazing sun to contend with. Now I have to vent a bit. Please indulge me.
Some nay-sayers have inquired as to whether or not it is safe. Well, check this out. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke is NOT safe. Suck it! Here are my safety measures:
1) wear blinky lights on both front and back
2) wear a small flashlight on my shoe (Road ID is on the other shoe)
3) wear a reflective hat
4) carry a flashlight (which I really only needed for my Garmin at times)
5) only go down main, well lit, highly 'policed' roads
Do you know how many of those steps I used to take pre-Isaac when I ran in Benton, Arkansas? None. Stupid, I know. But times have changed, peeps.
Here are the perks of nighttime running:
1) no sunscreen required
2) practically no traffic (you can't get hit by a car if there are no cars)
3) PLENTY of police cars out there to watch me
4) much lower temps (trust me, here in "Memphississippi" the sun alone is blazing hot!)
So there you have it. I am sticking to my guns. If you were in my shoes, you'd probably do the same.
On to the running! I hit the start button at 2:55 AM. I was aiming to finish by 8 AM. I did a 5-mile out-and-back first, but at 8.5 I just HAD to get to a restroom. Thankfully my local grocery store is 24-hours. This brings up a good topic. I used to NEVER have to make a pit stop until I started adding protein to my pre-run breakfast. Do you have the same issue? Let's face it... we can hold in pee for a LONG time but not the other...
I got back to the front of my neighborhood at 10 miles and headed out the other way. This time I ran to my church and back which put me at 15 miles. I did pretty well for the first 15. My splits were pretty consistent. I should note that when I ran 17 a few weeks ago, I did well until mile 12. So I guess I am pushing the wall back about one mile per week. Good! My next long run, several weeks from now, will be 23 miles. Hopefully the wall won't crop up until mile 18 or more.
The final five miles (all done in the HOT SUN, mind you) were basically walked. Ick. But I covered the distance and that is what matters to me. As I said, I managed to push back the wall. I still have training runs of 23, 26 and 29 miles to go. You better believe I'll be starting them even earlier!
Jeff Galloway says to add about 2 minutes to your goal race time during the long runs, and he also stresses that you can not go too slow during the long runs. AND you're supposed to slow down even further for temps over 60 degrees. My kind of guy! My splits (all done at 2:1 until mile 15) were 14:13, 14:44, 14:31, 14:45, 14:27, 14:43, 14:28, 14:38, 14:25, 14:22, 14:40, 14:21, 14:43, 14:47, 14:59, [the wall] 15:46, 17:18, 19:38, 19:33, 19:10. Obviously I was dragging at the end!
Of course I took my traditional ice bath afterward and am doing quite well now. How 'bout them apples?!?