Anyone out there still reading, I need some input. I am about 98% sure I have a sinus infection. It has thrown off my training all week, I feel sick, etc etc. So the question is, do I keep running and push through it? Do I go see a doctor? (Which is, of course, an extra expense I would rather not pay if I don't have to.) Will it go away on its own???
Yesterday there was a 3.5 mile run on the schedule, and after the last two runs I had that were justbad, I was kind of dreading it. I decided that maybe I should mix it up a bit and try running somewhere new. Sometimes recovering the same ground, especially the ground where you have found yourself walking instead of running, can be a bad thing.
Since moving to Sacramento a few months ago and starting running again, I have been wanting to go to this park downtown where it seems like all the runners go. It is called McKinley Park, and has a big dirt path around it that is very knee-friendly. It has a large pond with ducks and geese and a rose garden, and lots of grassy area. My daughter's specialists and the hospital she has been admitted to twice are all in Sacramento, and I would pass this park when driving her to appointments or going home to shower while she was in the hospital, and I would always see people running at the park. It is kind of a Sacramento thing to do. So yesterday I thought I would go out and try it.
I was a bit intimidated by the time I got to McKinley and got out of the car. I mean, there were real runners out there. What if I completely didn't belong? I had to overcome the fear of the other runners judging me and just get out there and start. I had heard that the lap around the park was a mile, so I was geared up to do three and a half laps and then walk the other half of the lap back to my car. However, as I came back around to my car the first time, I checked the MapMyRun application on my iPhone and found that instead of having gone a mile, it was only .77 of a mile. Which really irritated me, because now I knew that my counting was off, and I didn't know how many laps I would have to do. (Of course I could have figured this out by checking on my phone when the mile actually came around, but I don't get a lot of oxygen to my brain when I run and this sounded like too much work.) So I did a few more laps, wanting to walk at times but not allowing myself to.
As I was coming up on my third lap, I figured out that some runners were crossing the small street at one corner of the park - the dirt path continued around another grassy area that was about half a block and that technically is not a part of McKinley at all - at least not on the maps. In one of those "ooh" kind of moments, I realized that the mile around the park must incorporate that area as well. So I added it in to that lap. Without going into all the gory details of my huffing and puffing, there were several times I wanted to quit, times when I thought I had run further than I had only to be snapped back to reality by the running app telling me I still wasn't done, but in the end, I made myself run the entire distance. And it could have been worse. It could have been better, but it could have been worse. It was good for me to overcome the voice in my head telling me I needed to walk, because I knew at that moment that I didn't "need" to walk, I only wanted to walk.
After running at the park, I felt like a true Sacramentan. However, I am not a big fan of doing laps when I run - I might as well be at the track. I kept thinking "Ok, I have passed this stupid tree 4 times now..." When I run, I would rather get somewhere. If I had my way, I would run all of my miles one way and then call my hubby to come pick me up - I don't love covering ground I have already covered. But it was nice to be out with other runners, to feel like I was doing something that the "real" runners do, and I succeeded at finishing, so overall it was a good morning.
I just need to refocus my mind and quit being so down on myself. Negative thinking definitely makes the whole thing harder.
How's that for a post title? Now you have no idea where I'm coming from, right?
Well, the sucky suck suck suck is in reference to my run this morning. As in, those are the words I would use to describe it. I was Sucky McSuckerson. Today was a 3.5 mile run, and I was looking to redeem myself from my bad 5 mile run on Tuesday. But once again, heading out, I couldn't find my rhythm. And the run was hard. I pushed and pushed and pushed, but then on the way back home, I broke. I walked a few steps. Cussing. Started to run again. Went for a bit before having to walk again. Cussing some more. Now here is the thing - I don't cuss. Ever. So while I was cussing every time I stopped, it was really mild. So don't think I was the potty mouth runner out on the trail. "Damn" was as bad as it got. But for me, that is bad.
I kept running, stopping three times to walk several steps. My knee and hips hurt, but nothing so earth shattering to force me to stop. I just couldn't do it this morning. Runners out there, help me out - why am I hitting the wall this week? And how do I get over it? Could the rise in temperature be making things harder on me too? Why do I suck??? After last week, when I finally felt like I was becoming a runner, I am feeling really low.
Ok, so let's move on to the something fun. Namely, the Bloggy Flip Flop Exchange that Becca is hosting - go and check it out! Basically, you send in your name, address, and flip flop size, and she will pair you up with someone from somewhere else. Then you send them a pair of flops, along with something from your town to give them a feel for where you live. Fun, right??? As a Cali girl, I live in flip flops about 85% of the time, so this is great for me!
Well, I am off to try to not suck for the rest of the day - wish me luck.
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.
Ok, I am getting this in under the wire, and I honestly have so many other things to write about how my training has been going, and when most of you read this I will probably actually be out dying on the trail by the river doing it, but it needs to be stated tonight:
TOMORROW I HAVE TO RUN 5 MILES. I am completely a little bit freaked out nervous. It is a mile further than I have ever run before. And I thought 4 was kind of pushing it. However, when I think that in a couple weeks I will be doing 7 and 8 miles, I think that I should be grateful for 5. At any rate, it is happening. In the A.M. Like it or not.