Today I had 18k on the plan...and JS had 36k. Last long run before taper for both of us. She started early and ran from Crowfoot to Eau Claire to get her half of the run done. I got to Eau Claire around 8am and thanks to our foresight in installing the "Find My Friends" app on my phone - I could see that she was only 3k out...so I did some duck watching ;)
and in no time - she came around the corner:
Our plan was to continue east through the East Village and keep going until we hit 9k then turn around and head back to a celebratory coffee. It was a good plan.
So, we headed on our way. After 3 days of bladder training - I was hopeful that I could do this run without stopping for a potty break. When we passed the bathrooms in the East Village, I was happy to find I didn't instantly need to use them (first time for everything). The forecast was for rain and the skies looked ominous...but we were only lightly sprinkled on for a couple of kilometres and it was almost refreshing. Our rain jackets were almost overkill.
We ran and ran and ran - through Inglewood and down past the bird sanctuary. We saw the cutest little bird. Brownish-grey with flashes of red everywhere. So flitty and tiny. I loved him. (and we all know how much I hate birds). I did some googling and I think he was a House Finch. The pictures look closest to what we saw, but looks a bit fluffier...so I could be wrong on the breed.
We also admired the beautiful house (totally slipped my mind to take a pic either way) on the Sanctuary property and wondered what it was for. More googling told me it was Walker House.
It wasn't far past the sanctuary where we started to get into foreign territory. Neither of us had run this far south along the river before on this path. Soon, the sightings of birds gave way to the rumbling of trains as we passed by the Ogden yards. Then we crossed under Ogden Road and looped up and over the bridge for half a km to our turnaround.
At around 10k, we were starting to run low on water and energy. I popped a gel and downed some Nuun and hoped I would have enough to get through the rest of the run.
The city centre looked so far away:
Back near the Bird Sanctuary, things got complicated. I was dragging ass pretty bad and my left foot felt like the sock was bunching oddly and a hot spot was forming. We saw this huge spider and it gave me an excuse to stop for a moment.
I wiggled my foot around to re-position the sock...and felt a twinge at the back of my knee. Not a good twinge. A very, very BAD twinge.
I tried to run but it hurt. BAD. It felt like I had pulled something behind my knee. I tried to stretch it, but couldn't reach the spot. I power walked, painfully. I tried to stretch again. Nothing. Finally, I stopped at a bench and sat with my legs up and just reached for my toes. That finally reached the spot. A few tender steps later, I was able to run again.
But JS and I were officially out of water. And it was getting really hot out. I don't even want to imagine how bad it would be if the cloud cover hadn't been out. We were both getting pretty warm. We were keeping an eye out for someone in their yard with a garden hose - hoping to get our bottles refilled. Then JS spied the tap...it looked lonely so we decided to go visit it. While we were there - it was a very good host - offering us refreshments...
Normally, we wouldn't do this, but it was an emergency. Especially after last week's dehydration episode at the 10k. We didn't want to take chances. We sped up the lawn and refilled our bottles as quickly as we could. BEST. TAP. WATER. EVER.
(Thank you random homeowner...the 20oz of water you gave us made a huge difference. We made sure the tap was turned off tightly.)
Then, it was 5k to the finish. We struggled. We walked. We shuffled. We ran. We just wanted to finish. Mr. L was meeting us for coffee at Eau Claire so we wanted to make sure he didn't need to wait too long. And we were really just ready to finish.
Another water stop in the East Village and then we just booted it to the end. And I did it without a potty break. YAY! Knowing I can do 18k without one gives me hope for my almost 19K leg in the relay in just a few weeks. I was worried I would be relegated top dropping trou in the ditch...now I don't think I need to worry.
Coffee and cake never tasted so good.
I also used the mywhereabouts app to track my run. Figured out where I went wrong last week at the race. So, if you were following along on Twitter - you would have been able to see where I was and the speed I was going. I am unlikely to use it for long runs very often (I don't want to annoy you all), but now that I figured it out - it will become a fixture on race day.