I’ve slept through my alarm many times…

…but never have I slept through it to miss a run.

Until Saturday.

I wasn’t even particularly tired on Friday night; I laid down at 11pm to get up at 4am, per usual, to start my long run at 6am, per usual. 5 hours of sleep is plenty for me, and I’d gotten about 7 hours on Thursday night, so if you follow the school of thought that subscribes to “your Saturday run depends on the sleep you got on Thursday, not on Friday”, then I was good to go.

Except. I was sleeping in a room with a really loud fan – I was visiting saint of a boyfriend, so this was not my room – and I put my phone inside my purse without turning the ringer up. I left my purse open, sure that I would still be able to hear the alarm go off at 4.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I woke up and immediately ascertained that it was not dark outside. Whatthefuh, I thought, and then looked at the clock. 7:38. WHATTHEFUH-?! I bolted out of bed, fumbled my glasses onto my face, checked my phone to make sure that I had indeed missed both of my alarms, and stopped- there was a sound outside.

Rain.

I peeked out of the blinds. A virtual monsoon- whatthefuh? I’d had no idea it was supposed to rain, much less torrentially. I dug out my laptop and checked the radar: rain, rain, rain, with no signs of abating. Right – then and there, I made two snap decisions: 1) go to the bathroom immediately 2) long run happens on Sunday now!

[I later realized that I should have seen this coming: last year, the last weekend of August was when Hurricane Irene dropped its rains all over the mid-Atlantic, and I was also then stranded inside on Saturday and forced to run on Sunday. Huh.]

So, having decided on long-run-on-Sunday, I pittered about for a bit and decided to just switch my cross-training and long-run days, which is perfectly allowable under The Plan. I’d hoped for a break in the rain to go for a bike ride, but when it became obvious that that was not going to happen, I hit up saint of a boyfriend to fire up the Wii to do some of the Fit exercises. Great idea, right?

Well… Yes. And no.

I started out with some yoga to warm up, and then did some boxing and stepping and more boxing and hula-hooping ang yoga, and then moved on to the strength exercises because I figured it would be better to get my glute- and hamstring-strengthening exercises in instead of doing them on long-run-weakened legs on Sunday. I worked the ever-loving shit out of those muscles, and felt great, if a little wobbly, by the time I was done with them and had thrown in some skiing and more boxing and yoga. I stretched, showered, and went on with our day as planned.

Saturday night it became apparent to me that I was going to be a bit sore on Sunday. Before I went to sleep, I gave myself a quick massage and set three alarms on my phone to wake myself up at 4am, and put the phone on the hard wooden surface of the nightstand next to me and turned the ringer waaaaaaay up.

4am came, and my phone went off, and I barely heard it. But I heard it, and grogged myself into waking up, and started to get out of bed.

When my feet hit the floor, I had one very acute thought: OW. The entirety of my upper legs- basically, everything from the knee up to and including the butt – was sore. Not just oh-this-is-a-little-bit-of-DOMS sore, but you done gone messed up real, real good sore. Immediately I knew that a) going downstairs was going to suck and b) this was going to be a 14-mile run not without pain. But, what can you do but run through it?

After much silent cursing to myself and even more silent groaning as I eased myself down the stairs, at 6:15am I was out the door and on the pavement. The run itself was absolutely wonderful; I ran part of the marathon course I’ll be doing in November, and it was fantastic – when the leaves change, it will be even more so. The weather was perfect: 68 and overcast, though the 98% humidity I could have maybe done without. I took plenty of water and snacks with me, and hydrated and ate appropriately, and absolutely 100% did not bonk or even come close to anything resembling a wall, which was awesome. I feel dumb using the word ‘nice’ to describe a long run, but that’s exactly what this run was – everything just fell into place and it was such a great thing.

Except.

Dear God the downhills. 🙂 I think this was the first run I’ve ever had where I was wishing desperately for flat or uphill terrain, because the downhills are all on your quads and glutes and hamstrings- and there were, unfortunately for me at the time, plenty of downhill stretches on this run. [When the marathon comes around, I know I will be grateful, but on Sunday I was not so much at all…] It was painful, yes, but certainly not the worst thing I’ve ever been through, though I was laughing most of the way at how pathetic I knew I was going to look later on in the day hobbling around on sore legs. I stretched for about 30 minutes when I was done, but in the back of my mind I knew: this is not going to go away until Tuesday. Enjoy! 

And here it is, Monday afternoon, and I am pretty much laughing with every step I take because I look like a fool. I have a 4-mile run tomorrow morning, and I’m not actually sure that I’ll be un-sore in time for it, so I’m planning a route with as little downhill running as possible- though, the more I walk around, the less it hurts, so who knows how tomorrow will go. Lesson learned: strength exercises THE DAY AFTER the long run, NOT NOT NOT the day before, at least until my muscles acclimate to them a little more!

In other news, there’s an all-women’s 4-miler this Saturday at which I’m volunteering. This is my first time actually volunteering for a race, and I’m manning the water stop at mile 3.1. I might be more excited about this than I ever was to actually run the thing! I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere of the event from ‘the other side’ – I’ve run this race 4 times, most recently last year, and it’s a pretty cool experience as a runner. I’m secretly (maybe not now that I’ve said it) super-pleased that it’s almost exactly 7.5 miles from my house to the race course, and hey, my long run this week is 15 miles…

I hope I can wake up on time. 😉

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One Response to I’ve slept through my alarm many times…

  1. Ahh, the lessons we learn. But you lived to tell the tale. Hope you aren’t too sore for your 4 miler tomorrow. Happy running.

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