Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 miles the hard way

As I got within a quarter mile of my house at the end of my run yesterday, "Mercy" by Duffy came on my iPod. And I thought "Oh yes, please, someone have mercy on me." I was suffering. My hips hurt, my lungs hurt, and I was just stumbling towards the end of the five miles. And it was all my own fault.

Alright, I am going to be honest with you all. I may have slacked off on my training a bit last week. As in, skipped a couple days. Okay, three. But before you jump on my case, let me just say, it all came back to bite me yesterday. Tuesdays are my long runs, and this week I graduated from 4 miles to 5. When I headed out yesterday morning, I couldn't find my rhythm to save my soul. But I kept going anyway, hoping my feet would eventually fall into a natural cadence. My legs felt tight, and things just didn't seem "on." But I kept going.

I changed it up by running on the other side of the river. The trail on that side goes further than on my side, which only makes a 4 mile loop from my house. I had run partway down the far side one day last week, and it seemed alright, so I figured I would be fine. Wrong. When I turned around at my 2.5 mile mark, I realized just how wrong I was. See, when you run down the river, there is something you don't realize. Because it is only a slight thing. But the bike trail on that side of the river is a bit of an incline. Meaning that once I turned around to come back, I was headed up. It wasn't like it was a big hill, or a mountain, but let me tell you that running two miles at even a bit of an incline felt like freaking Everest to me yesterday. It was awful. And meanwhile, the fog had settled down over the trail, boxing me in and making the air thick. My breathing became even more labored from the combo of running uphill and breathing in soup, and the lower half of my body was mutinying. And suddenly, I just couldn't run anymore.

So I took a few walking steps, cursing myself for being weak. I didn't walk long, and started jogging again, but had to take several more very short walking breaks on my way home. I felt defeated, sore, and disappointed. In myself. I wanted to call my husband and tell him to come pick me up. But I didn't. The only light in the entire story is that I made it home under my own power. And despite the few steps I had to walk, I still had a 12:19 minute mile pace. Which isn't that off for me.

I know that all runners say that some days, your runs are just bad. That they can't all be good runs, and that it is something everyone goes through. But it cut me down. The part of me that had been feeling like I was becoming a runner was crushed, and I felt like I was back at week one of C25K all over again. It was bad. So, today is a strength and stretch day on the schedule, and I am going to complete it and then try again tomorrow, which is a 3.5 mile run. Hope I can get my heart into it.

1 comment:

  1. I am with you on running outside - those little hills and valleys are hard! But you know what - you are a winner - you didn't quit and you still had a great pace!

    I am proud of you!!