Mace, Used Water, and Frozen Lady Bits a.k.a. My 18-Mile Run

Today, I ran 18 miles in about three hours and thirty minutes (five-hour marathon, here I come! Whoo-hoo!).

My Garmin was having issues, so I kept having to reset it. I don't have my first two miles' exact splits, but they were a bit on the fast side for me. All of miles 1-4 were at about a 9:52 pace. Miles 5-10 were at an average of 10:28 pace. In the last 8, I averaged a 10:50 pace. Pretty solid run for me, consistency-wise.

Unfortunately, I turned that same ankle at 16.3 miles. It was on a straight stretch, no holes---it just gave way and turned to the right again. I think it's still weak. I need to figure out some exercises to strengthen it or wear my ankle brace in latter miles of these long runs!

There were three funny things that helped make this run memorable:

1. Armed and Dangerous-- Today, two friends met me at the head of a paved four-mile trail in the woods for our long run. It’s kind of isolated and not somewhere a woman should run alone. At the beginning of the run, we took inventory of our various self-defense articles. I had my hand-held “Runner’s mace” and one of the other girls had the same mace as well as a tazer. A pink tazer. Her mom-in-law bought it for her online when she found out she was running so much. So, heavily armed and dangerous (to ourselves if no one else…..), we headed out.

Then something strange happened at the 6-mile mark. My friend maced herself. I had my mace in my pocket, but she was actually wearing her on her palm. I don’t know if her trigger finger got antsy or what, but the next thing I knew, she was yelling, “Oh my gosh, I just sprayed myself!” Luckily, it was a light spraying, just a little got on her hand, in her mouth, and on her forehead. I guess it could have been worse. She could have tazed herself!

2. Thirst Quencher or MAYBE NOT-- At the fourteen-mile mark, my friend and I discovered we were dangerously low on water. I had about two ounces left and she had about two. We were exactly four miles from the car and the temp was creeping up into the 60’s. We thought---What to do? Try to walk to a gas station? That would have put us at 18+ miles and we didn’t know if there was one nearby. Then we saw Runner Man coming toward us. We were near the parking lot at the opposite trailhead from our cars, and we figured Runner Man was parked nearby. (There were several people on the trails by this time and quite a few cars there.) As he ran by, we flagged him down and asked if he had any extra water in his car. (Note to self: flagging down strange men in the woods and asking them to take you to their car….. maybe not the best plan. But we did have the tazer. And a few folks in nearby cars.) He said, "Sure." We went to his vehicle , stood at a safe distance, and he comes out with this travel coffee mug. He says, “Let me just take a drink and you can have the rest.” Hmmmm. Used water was not what we had in mind. So, polite southern women that we are, I pretended to pour some into my water bottle and my friend actually put some in hers. She poured it out right up the trail as we laughed about it all. Sorry, stranger dude, we weren’t THAT THIRSTY.

3. Ice Baths Are Not for Sissies-- So, after running 18 miles, I drove the 20 minutes home (I have to say rather poorly---mental and physical function were not top notch at this point) and decided to try an ice bath. Anonymous had recommended them on my post about my 16 miler. I took a warm shower to get the salt off my skin and to get my body temperature regulated, put on a warm sweatshirt and got ready for my ice bath. I filled the tub with cold water and put in two glasses of ice cubes. Yikes. I put my ankles in. That wasn’t too bad. I tried to force my body to sit down, but I could not bring myself to submerge my lady parts in there. Nearby was sitting my two-year-old’s plastic potty chair. I figured if I put it in the bath, I could sit on the potty and still get the benefits of the ice bath. So, I plopped it in and sat down on it. I was keenly aware of how RIDICULOUS I looked as I sat, naked from the waist down, on my two-year-old’s potty in a bath. Unfortunately, only knees and ankles were covered with water. It's a pretty high potty. I finally “took the plunge” and sat in the water, lady bits and all. It. Was. Hideous. Worse than the 18-mile run. I made it about 17 minutes. So, Anonymous, I’m pretty sure ice baths are not for me. I’ll just be a sissy!


StangLuvr said…
Nice....congrats on the 18 miler. Do you have any other long runs planned? You may need to tape your ankle or wear a brace to support it. Make sure you ice it and give it rest when you can so it will not nag you.

If I stay with my marathon training, I have a 16 miler this weekend, TK 1/2 next weekend, 20 after that, 14, then another 20. Then I taper down to race day.
MCM Mama said…
Great job on the 18 miler! HOpe you can find a solution for the ankle problem quickly.
YEAH! Congratulations! Sounds like an awesome run!

Take care of that ankle.
tamara said…
Thanks for the mental picture of Runner Mom in the tub of ice water atop the little potty!! And, though I am not officially a runner anymore, I do know (via a friend of mine that is a marathoner) that you should tape your ankle or wear some sort of support on it for your whole run. And there should be some sort of safety on the mace, don't you think?? So that one cannot mace themself. Too funny, girl!
StangLuvr said…
Oh my gosh...I think I just peed myself at work laughing so hard. This is too funny. I tried the ice bath too after my 18 miler. I just got my feet in. There was no way I was sitting in it. My boys would have fallen off.
great job on the 18... I wish I were done with mine, two more days. I have a mace that I wear on my palm every run outside... I sure I hope I dont mace myself Sat. Way to tuff out 17 min in the ice. I have heard somewhere that just the cold tap water is cold enough, so I dont put ice in the bath anymore. I still hate every min of it though. I always think of all the things I coul dbe doing during that time... ;)
Amy said…
Hahahhahha! awesome.

But, dude, I totally swear by the ice bath... but you did it totally wrong. You can't take a warm shower first.

Here's my routine and I do this after EVERY run over 14 miles... First, start running cold water in the bathtub, then go grab the ice tray from your fridge (or bag of ice or whatever) then put the ice down NEXT to the tub where you can reach it. Get into the tub with the cold water. Get adjust for a few minutes and then dump the ice in. I usually grab fistfuls of the ice and rub it along my knees, hammys,etc. And I sit in there and wait for the ice to melt.. usually like 5 minutes (max). Then I stand up and take a hot shower.

It sucks, but it works for me... I'm rarely sore the day after a long run.
Run Mommy said…
Awesome work! Now that 18 is under your belt - the rest is gravy!
Tina said…
Yay for finishing 18 miles! I usually stand in my pool to "ice bath" for (only!) 10 minutes wearing my running clothes with a big towel over my shoulders for a little warmth. Don't forget to have a hot drink and something to read while you wait for the clock to tick. :)
17 minutes is longer than I've ever made it in an ice bath! But, they work. They really do!

Good work on the 18 miles!
Faith Martin said…
I ice my legs sometimes after a long run, but I use the handheld shower head, and after a nice hot shower, I turn the water to cold, and focus the hand held shower on my legs. They feel so wonderful afterwards, for about an hour - I dont do it much, pretty much a sissy too.