Hello Everybody, John here. I wrote earlier about my 14 mile training run. My wife rode the bike alongside me and crewed me during the run. She is currently training to crew for me during my 100 mile run in October. She went ahead and wrote about her experience yesterday. Enjoy!
Yesterday I convinced my husband to go to the local beach and do a long run. John, as you know, is running two ultra-marathons this year. He wanted to just weight train and then do the elliptical trainer for an hour. This sounded particularly dull to me, and it would greatly benefit him if I pushed him to do some long running, so I said, “hey you need to run a long run don’t you? Let’s go to the beach and you run the trail and I will bike alongside you.” This seemed like a capital idea as I also need to train this fall for his marathon. I volunteered to crew for him and bike alongside for upwards of 50 miles or so. Last Saturday we went to a park and John ran seven miles and I rode next to him. This seemed very easy while doing it and I enjoyed taking in the beautiful weather and getting some much needed exercise myself. So I saw there to be no problem in doubling down! Seven miles was practically a cake walk so what is another seven! It was a lovely day, perfect in almost every sense of the word. We had a good time. I was feeling pretty good about our session. Fourteen miles in three hours! I was proud of John and feeling a little cocky that this would be a total breeze for me. Sure, fourteen miles is a lot less than fifty, but at this rate it would be no sweat! We got some dinner and some frozen yogurt and went home. We had some relaxing time watching some TV when all of a sudden I felt a dull soreness creep up in my legs. I thought “oh, I guess I’m a little sore, no big deal” and thought nothing of it. I did make a mental note to drink more water during my ride. A few hours later the soreness grew to a burning feeling that was not so easy to ignore. I asked John if he was feeling sore? He said matter-of-factly, “Yeah a little bit.” This gave me pause, for it was then that there seemed to be a soreness and a burning that was pretty bad. We were watching a drama on TV so John asked me what I was smiling about wanting to no doubt be in on a joke. I didn’t realize I was smiling until he asked me about it. I told him I was sore, and cracked a joke. We both laughed but I was a little puzzled as to the smile when I was in pain. I remembered reading that cats purr when they are being petted but they also purr when in pain. For example, if a cat gets hit by a car, it’s calm and purring when you check on it but it must be in pain. I thought, “could this be the same thing?” John noticed again that I was smiling, almost laughing to myself, and asked again to be let in on my joke. I told him about the cat purring thing and then the pain hit me pretty hard. I asked him to get some ice packs hoping to ease this burning in my legs. After icing them for about twenty minutes I felt a little relief. It was getting late and I had plans in the morning to attend church so I turned over and told John I was going to try and sleep but that the TV did not bother me. The burning was getting worse and I realized that I was tired but the pain was not letting me fall asleep. I glanced over at the time and thought it was getting late and that I’d better cancel my plans in the morning if I was not going to get a good night sleep. It was then that the burning grew too much for me to bear. I was sleepy and this damn burning was keeping me prisoner! It was then that I lost it. I was almost crying when I confessed how bad it was and John then chose that time to break the news to me that it would only be worse tomorrow and the next day. This threw me for a loop. I could not deal with the promise that this great pain I was feeling was only going to get worse! I cried out! I was so sleepy and in pain that I was saying, “I quit I can’t do this! This is for the birds! It’s not worth it! It’s like volleyball all over again!” [A side note: in high school, I rather enjoyed volleyball in physical education class but could not really get over how much my forearms hurt so I decided not to play. The cost was not worth the game for me!] He was surprised at my blubbering and tried to “Man” motivate me by saying “quitting is for losers!” I was silent for a few seconds and then cried out “I can’t do it! Don’t bother buying me a bike!” (We’ve borrowed his brother’s bike the last two weeks but were planning on buying a new bike this week). I was tortured with the idea that this was going to be worse tomorrow. I then grew too tired to speak. I only quietly whimpered. John grew concerned. He asked if I wanted the AC on because the room was getting hot and maybe if the room was cooler it would be more comfortable and I could fall asleep. He asked if I wanted to take a cool bath. I was sleepy and burning, and I couldn’t bear to do anything. I just wanted to sleep. He must have drifted off to sleep because I was alone in my prison. I then kept thinking of one of my favorite Elvis Presley songs “burning love.” The song kept echoing in my mind and it was sort of funny how this song seemed to have a new horrible meaning for me. It was like the pain in my legs was singing me a love song saying “we’re gonna be together forever.” I could see the humor in it but was too uncomfortable to laugh or be amused. I then must have managed to fall asleep. I was thankful when I woke up. First, I was thankful that I did not have nightmares. I was worried that if I did manage to sleep the pain would follow me in nightmare form. Second, I was thankful that the pain was about 60% less and a lot more manageable. Lastly, I was thankful that I had a new resolve to keep training. I told John I was going to crew for him. That I could do it. He seemed happy that I was not beaten. So now the plan is to condition and take comfort that recovery will be quicker each time. Pain is not going to beat me.