Tuesday, May 01, 2012
I usually try to keep my blogs positive, but honestly, Iím having a hard time doing that this time. This weekend was messed up, and my training did not go well because of it. I planned to run Saturday morning, but when I got up it was snowing and incredibly windy. I decided to gamble and see if Sunday would be better.
One positive about this choice was that I was able to go to GOTR practice and brought my daughter with me. Everyone is great about letting her participate even though sheís not old enough to join, and she loves it. We did our laps around the soccer field (in freezing, strong wind), and she did 8. She was so proud of herself, and I couldnít stop thinking about when I was in school and our class ran the mile. We had to do 4 laps, and I couldnít even complete half of one without walking. Iím so glad sheís healthy and active, and I think the GOTR message is great for her, too. Self-confidence is so important.
So, Sunday morning was sunny and slightly warmer. There was wind, but it didnít seem as strong. I was feeling pretty good when I started. I did a lot of exercise this last week, probably a little too much, but I didnít feel tired when I started. I was breaking in new sneakers and using my new iPod this run. The shoes were awesome. Iíve been having a lot of shoe issues and bought this newest pair on sale. It figures that the cheapest ones are the best for my feet.
I bought an iPod shuffle for running. Itís smaller and clips onto my shirt, so I donít have to deal with an armband that keeps falling off or chaffing my arm. There is an option to play a playlist straight through, but I thought Iíd try the shuffle setting and see what happened. Turns out my iPod really likes Tom Petty. I do too, but not for running. I was going pretty slow by the time I got into town and saw the time. I wasnít very happy about it. I wanted to cut some time, but it didnít seem like that was going to happen.
On my way into town, the wind picked up. I was probably a mile into my run when I found myself running against a very strong, constant wind on my right side. I was working hard to climb the hills, and I was worried because I knew I would be turning into the wind for the next 5 miles.
Those next 5 miles sucked. The wind was right in my face, and it never seemed to let up. At times I felt like I was barely moving, and when a large truck passed me, the wind was strong enough to stop me in my tracks. Andy and kids met me at my halfway point, which was another indication that I was going SLOW. Usually Iíve got 13-14 miles under my belt before I see them. I drank some Gatorade, complained about the wind, and grudgingly started back.
The next 5 miles were better. The wind was at my back, and I felt like I was going faster than before. However, when I got into town the wind shifted and was again blowing in my face. Iím not sure how that happened, but I was angry. My run home was supposed to be easier, but now I was battling the wind again and completely exhausted.
I fought my way up another couple of hills and stopped at the top to stretch. Everything hurt. My back had been aching since mile 5, my hips were way too tight, and my knees were screaming. I didnít want to start running again, but I did. My knees were so painful that I started to cry, which is pretty embarrassing when cars are passing by. I can only imagine how I looked to them as I hobbled/ran along crying. I was completely exhausted, and the wind would not stop. I still had 5 miles left.
So, I started my usual head games of why I should stop and why I should keep going, and you know what? Stopping won this time. I thought about it for a long time. Was I just making excuses? Did I have it in me to finish? What would it mean if I did stop? In the end, the pain won out over my pride, and I called Andy. I walked along the road until he came to get me, and I cried some more. I started having serious doubts about whether I could actually finish a marathon. I started feeling like everyone else was right Ė I was crazy to think I could do something like this.
Iíd like to say that the feeling is gone now, but itís not. A small part of me still doubts that I will cross the finish line Ė or even race. Thatís the scared part. The logical side of me knows that running into wind is a lot harder than a normal training run. I know that I have already run 20 miles and will be able to again. I also know that once I am actually in the race, I am going to finish it even if it takes 8 hours and I have to crawl across the finish line.
Itís hard to go into something without complete confidence. Itís hard to prepare for something that is so foreign to anything Iíve done before. And, I am dealing with a lot of doubts. On Saturday morning, I was talking to the other GOTR coaches about training because some of us are training for the marathon and others have done it before. I felt good. I felt confident. I was ready for Sundayís run to be a great one. I hit the wall the time before, but this time would be great and I would be properly fueled for it. And I didnít even finish. It just goes to show that you can only prepare so much for something. The rest is just dealing with what youíre given. I just hope itís a lot less windy on race day.
On the positive side, I did finish 17 miles.