Yes. I am having a pity party for myself right now.
I took yesterday off to give myself a full day of rest and reprieve. I felt *great*! I got a good night’s sleep. I slept in until 6 am. Despite the light rain, I set out and met Andrea and Rob for a 16 mile run.
We planned to do 3 loops: 3.5 miles, 8 miles, and 4.5 miles. We set out on the first 3.5 miles and I felt great. We kept a fairly aggressive pace, around 8:30’s and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it for the full 16 miles. I’m trying to follow a new training plan that focuses on hitting your speed days hard and taking your easy and long run days, well, easy. 8:30/minute miles do not fall into my easy category. As soon as we stopped running after the first loop to pick up Marzia, I felt like the world was spinning. I was light-headed, spinny, and slightly nauseated. Ugh! Frustrating. I figured I needed some water, grabbed my bottle and set off with the group for the next 8 mile loop.
About 2 miles in, the wheels started coming off. At mile 6, I called for a “break” so I could take down my gel. I was losing energy, and while I felt like the rice cakes I had eaten for my pre-run breakfast were climbing back up my throat, I thought a gel would help keep me going. I was wrong. The next mile, I battled with the gel and the rice cakes coming back up. I burped them up and proceeded to burp them back down. Needless to say, I was not talking and I was not keeping pace with the rest of the group. I do have to point out, that my pace was actually not that slow! They were having an amazing run in the light drizzle and were hauling a@#. Still, it messed with my mind and I was soon feeling sorry for myself, depressed, and bitter that I could not physically keep up. Rob dropped back and ran with me for a few miles, talking and helping to keep my mind focused on something else. Then, Andrea fell back with me and ran a mile next to me telling me about her Christmas shopping success last night. I desperately wanted to share that I too had a successful night of Christmas shopping, but all I could do was breathe and focus on putting one foot in front of another. As we hit mile 10, we came to a stop light and had to stop. I welcomed the break. Andrea asked how I was doing and all I could come up with, was I just felt weird. I felt light-headed, still slightly nauseated, and was having a stomach cramp. I decided to walk for a bit and Andrea took off to catch up with Rob and Marzia. After walking for a half mile, I started off at a slow pace and realized I felt good! It was then, I decided to put my mind over matter and knock the rest of the run out at my own pace.
I met up with the group, told them my plan, and we set out on the 3rd and final loop= 4.5 miles. I could do this! I looked down and I was keeping up at around an 8:40 pace. 1 mile down. I started slowing down. I started positive self-talk. I could do this. Only 3.5 miles left. Ok, now only 3 miles left. Andrea pulled ahead of me. Rob and Marzia were way ahead of me. And here started in another stomach cramp. I slowed to a walk and cut the route short. I knew at the pace they were running, they’d catch up to me and figure I had cut it short. The cramp subsided and I started running again, slowly. Or, what I thought was a slow pace. I realized I was going near a 9:20 pace, which, is actually right where I should be for a long run! I stopped at a stop light and saw Rob, Marzia, and Andrea right behind me. As the light turned green and we took off, we said good-bye and planned to meet back at Andrea’s house. I started to get bitter. Just over a mile left. Given the fact that I had taken yesterday off, I should be hauling a@#. Look at what I did 2 weeks ago on my 16 mile run- I picked up the pace to an 8:00 average the last 5 miles! Why was it taking every last effort to just keep going at this point now? Selfishly, I started hating on my friends who were having a great run and pushing the limits. I wanted that great run. After the epic fail of a long run last weekend, I deserved a great one this week dammit! As I finished, I was closer to a 10:30 pace, not an 8:00 pace. And the entire last mile, I was swallowing back bile that was creeping up my throat. Humbly, I took what I had left and finished my run.
In retrospect, I should be proud of myself. I was clearly not feeling well. Whether I have a virus or a bug, or it is just the same GI issues that I’m battling with, I don’t know. But something is not right. This run should not have been that hard. And I should not have been fighting back to keep food and bile down. That has thankfully never been a problem in the past. My overall pace for the 15 miles I ran was 9:22. That is right where I should be. And the fact that I stayed on target, my target, my pace, despite how awful I felt, well, I guess that shows I am strong. Even though I felt like a major wimp during it all, especially when I wasn’t keeping pace with my friends.
Pity party is over. No sense in dwelling on it. I’ll take my rest day tomorrow. I’ll re-hydrate. And next week, I’ll hit it again.