Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rough run

The training plan called for a 7-mile tempo run on Wednesday, and though I was still dragging from Sunday's Survivor festivities, I faithfully slept in my running clothes and set my alarm for 4:15 a.m. I even woke up when it went off. When I went into the bathroom to put in my contacts, though, I started hearing thunder and seeing flashes of lightning. Running in the rain is one thing; a thunderstorm is quite another, so I headed back to bed. I was disappointed but not heartbroken to get an extra hour and a half of sleep.

Wednesday was busy, busy, culminating in 5:00 dinner (tacos...mmm), 5:45 soccer practice, 6:30 PSR for J, and 7:00 church service (1/2 hr away) with N. By the time we got home and sat down to watch Survivor, it was 9. Still, I was committed to fitting in my run. When we went upstairs at 10, though, we were greeted by a steaming mess courtesy of our dog, who had dragged a pork bone out of the trash Tuesday night. So I had another half hour of scrubbing carpets before I could get outside.

Due to a disconcerting incident earlier in the day, I was nervous running alone so late, so I took my dog along. Mile 1 was pretty typical...and by typical, I mean rough. If i stopped running when i was tired, I'd never get past the end of my block. I just tried to enjoy the bright, beautiful harvest moon and hang on until it got easier. First mile (warmup) took 9:59.

Unfortunately, mile two didn't feel any better. I pretty much felt like I was dying the whole time. My legs were heavy, and I was already pretty close to a shuffle. When I hit the end of that mile, though, I felt better about how I was struggling. My time was (a fast for me) 8:46. That gave me a burst of positive mental, if not physical) energy.

Mile three began the stomach problems. Those tacos tasted great, but they didn't do me any favors during my run. My chest and lungs were burning, I was burping up taco seasoning, and I started thinking I should've spent more time in the bathroom before the run. I pressed on, though, and finished the mile in 8:59.9.

Running back was no more fun, but I consoled myself that I only had one more 2-mile lap (plus cool down mile) after this. I wasn't setting the world on fire, but managed that mile in 9:28.

The last 2-mile lap was just brutal. I should've stopped to go to the bathroom but didn't. I was breathing like the murder victim in a horror movie, and I felt like I was running like Phoebe, only sluggish. At one point, I was so grateful that it was dark and no one could see the graceless, lurching stagger that passed for a run!

The last two miles were 10:21 and 10:29. When I got to the house, I'd have run inside if I had the energy. I had told myself that if I gutted out the last two I could skip the cool down...and let's face it, those last two miles were slow enough to serve as a cool down!

So...a bad run. I felt terrible pretty much the whole time. It reminded me of my early c25k days, when I wanted to die in the middle of a 60-second run interval. A big part of me was thinking "What the hell are you thinking that you're going to do a half marathon in another week?"

Except. This run from hell was nearly an hour. Not 60 seconds.

Except. Even with my stomach in open rebellion and my legs feeling like dead weight, I beat my last 10k time by 2 min.

Except. Awful as I felt, I gutted out 6 miles.

Except, I felt like I was walking, and my lowest pace was 10:29.

It wasn't the confidence-building run I was hoping for, but even in failure it's clear: I've come a long way, baby!

4 comments:

Jack said...

I love the last part of this post. You did it...at 10 pm no less...and that rocks.

Slomohusky said...

Late night running gets harder and harder as I get older and older. I used to take off at midnight during the Summer for some great runs in my 20's. In my mid 40's - Anything after 9:00 PM - Zombie Runner. I actually like the excitment of running the lightening storms. However, I probably would've used it as an excuse to get more zzz's as well.

Jill said...

You went for a run at 10pm? THAT is total dedication! I've longed crawled into my covers by then (though rarely asleep. Dang laptop!!). Way to gut that out, despite the taco burping! It's not easy to run that late b/c of all the things you've put in the bod all day - I am very impressed!!

Kate said...

Thanks, guys...when I started running, I went mostly at night. Now, while I'm no morning person, I AM developing a love for getting out there and knocking out a long run before most people are out.