Humbleness… turned to bitterness

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.

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