TNT Group Run #16

Today’s run was early. Really early. Start time was 4:15 AM. Plus the run was at a place about 45 miles away from my house. And we were carpooling, so I had to meet at my friend’s house at 3:00 AM so we could drive to the start point. All of these factors meant that I had to get up way too early. I had my alarm set for 2:00 AM, but I woke up at 1:45 and just decided to get up then.

We got to the start point, a truck stop in the middle of the Nevada desert. Seriously, that is basically all there is in this “town” where our run was. A truck stop and a prison. Nice, huh? I was a little anxious about today’s run after last week. (And thank you for the kind comments, especially Karen‘s that I got just in time to help boost my spirits before this run, it meant a lot to me to receive a little bit of encouragement.)

The plan was to run along some road in the desert. The San Antonio team was supposed to go 9 miles out and turn around to do a grand total of 18 miles. The Nike team was supposed to go out 10 miles and come in for a 20 mile total. We started out and it was very, very dark. I seriously should have brought my headlamp just to see the debris that was strewn along the side of the road. Oh, and to see the snakes.

Yeah, there were a lot of snakes out. A couple people saw snakes crossing the road (or at least the glint of their eyes in the darkness), we heard the rattlesnakes off the sides and at one point a sagebrush directly on my left “rattled” as I went past. YIKES! Plus I stepped on a little baby snake at one point. And there was roadkill, some lovely fresh carnage strewn across the road that had to be avoided.

The first 9 miles seriously felt like a breeze, I was surprised when we had to turn around because it felt like it came so soon. I did have about a 10 minute period where I didn’t record any stats on my Nike+ because I had paused it briefly at a water stop and forgot to start it again. I’m not entirely sure of the accuracy of this claim, but the gal that was at our turnaround point told us after that she had actually gone out too far, about 9.5 miles. If that’s the case, we actually exceeded our 18 miles but I’m just going to stick with the 18 total.

The second 9 miles was tougher, but not unbearable. My knee felt a little stiff and achy after a while, but not too bad. I had on a brand new knee brace and the support it gave was amazing, I wish I had been running in this thing the whole season. The worst part of the run was the last 3 miles. You can see the truck stop very clearly, as it’s the only thing emerging from the vast expanse of sagebrush, yet it is still 3 whole miles running toward something that doesn’t seem like it is getting any closer until about the last half-mile. A little disconcerting visually.

The good thing about starting/finishing a race at a truck stop is that we had bathrooms readily available at the end of the run. The bad thing about that was the bathrooms are full of mirrors and bright lights (as opposed to park bathrooms that we usually have access to on run day). It was really great to see my face covered in a crusty, white film from the sweat. The beauty of endurance athletics.

And even though my body is a little sore today, I can walk and move amazingly well. Last week’s run left me feeling like I wanted to lay down and not move for hours (or maybe days). Today I feel pretty sprightly, considering the distance. The only thing that is not that great is the intense pain in my lower back.

My waist hydration waist pack, caused a large wound on my lower back. I don’t think BodyGlide would have helped this, but it was an entirely new injury. I went through my previous marathon and all of my training so far with this same pack, so I don’t know why today it decided to fight back and hurt me. Showering was sheer agony, the feel of water falling on that spot was enough to send me into tears. And yet, it’s a little bit like a badge of honor… silly to feel kind of proud of a running wound. I desperately hope it heals quickly.

BTW – I ran 18 miles today! That just feels awesome to say that.


  1. Congratulations on 18 miles. No matter what… that is an accomplishment.

    I have to say that if I stepped on a baby snake, my heartrate would spike so high, I wouldn’t be able to keep running. Just reading about all the snakes made my heart rate increase. We have a ton of snakes around here, but thankfully, I haven’t seen (or heard any) other than the one in my driveway a couple of months ago. I think that is why i like to drive down to the bay to run. I don’t think the snakes like the ocean.

    Great job on the run. I am glad that you have healed nicely. You’ll definitely be ready for that marathon!!

  2. I can’t begin to imagine running 18 miles through snakes. It makes the German Shepard seem relatively harmless.

    GOOD JOB! You’re my hero!

  3. Well, I think you mentioned the one thing that would turn me into a faster runner……dodging rattlesnakes.

    Nice job on the 18 miler. By the way, with all these runs that you have to get up in the wee hours for….when the heck do you ever sleep?

  4. Lisa: 18 miles definitely feels like an accomplishment. I remember reaching this milestone in my training before, but it feels even better this time around!

    LVGurl: Yeah, I don’t know why those recommendations aren’t given out to everyone since they do that run every season!

    Momm-O: Yeah, the snakes were creepy… but the German Shepard is still scary! And you’re MY hero…

    Karen: Maybe that should be a motivator at races, sending snakes out after the runners? When do I sleep? Never… that’s a problem lately. I’m living on an average of about 6 hours of sleep each night and on long run days I usually go to bed after being awake for 21+ hours. I’ve gotta stop living like this.

  5. Awesome job on the 18 miles! That’s so great! Well done!

    The wound from your hydration pack sucks. That happened to me last year from the seam on my shorts. My fuel belt rubbed against it for all 26.2 miles and it took weeks for it to heal. Totally sucked. Neosporin might help to heal it faster – that was one thing I didn’t try last year.

  6. Congrats on the 18 miles! I hate it when you end up with a mysterious wound…my Nike+ band put some great cuts in my arm on my run yesterday…youch!

    AND I can’t believe you awoke so early! Kudos to you for getting up that early to run!

  7. What was their reason in starting the run so much earlier than all the other runs you’ve had this summer? Especially on a course where you really need to see where you are going because there are animals and snakes. I don’t get it. Sounds like some silly planning on the part of your coaches. Were you sharing the road with cars too? I thought running in South Mountain Park was bad, but at least they time it so we don’t start running until its just light enough to see. Wow I don’t think I could have handled a run like that. You are one brave girl! Your run sounds like a nightmare I’ve had. BTW you might be surprised at how well body glide works. I put it all over my lower back and it generally keeps those hydration belts from leaving scars.

    Hey get some extra sleep this week, I’m tired just thinking about getting up 1:45 am!

  8. ~moe~: I’ve been using the Neosporin, as well as big bandaids. Hopefully it heals quickly and doesn’t scar!

    Rachel: It is rather surprising some of the things that can suddenly wound you while running, huh?

    Alissa: I have no idea why we had to start so much earlier, it was a little frustrating. They told us last weekend was our last SUPER early run, since the weather should be cooling down some. But I don’t see why a half-hour earlier was necessary on this one, especially when a little extra light would have been helpful.

    When I first wrote this post, I wasn’t sure about the injury on my back and I didn’t think BodyGlide would help, but now that I’ve been nursing that spot, I think BodyGlide probably would have helped. And I’m glad to know that you’ve had positive experience with it for preventing those types of things. Guess I need to pick some up!

    I am trying to get some extra sleep, trust me! That 1:45 AM still has me feeling a little run down!!! Thanks for the concern, I appreciate that.

  9. hey jill, believe it or not,but diaper rash ointment can also work on areas that are chaffed. trust me.

    and wow girl, you are insane to have to get up that early – or should i say your coaches are crazy to have you up that early – my god – you could not get me up that early!! and i would have totally freaked out with the rattle snakes. I think i’d be just like you and Alissa where those are concerned.

    sounds like you suffered the injury on your back like i did with the 20 miler and my camelbak. it sucked big time, i share your pain.

    congratulations! i wish i could say that the first 10 miles always feel like a breeze!

  10. tgorourke: I’ll have to keep the diaper rash ointment in mind for chafing. Unfortunately, right now I am contending with a large open wound that oozed yellowish-green goo for the first two days following the run. Ew…. Is your Camelbak-inflicted injury healed?

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