Maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to converse before 6am. Or at best, before the endorphins from my morning run have kicked in or the caffeine has begun to seep into my veins from my first cup of coffee.
This morning Josh and I tackled our pace run (we’re back in training mode, remember!?). It was tough to get out of the warm bed knowing that the winds were blowing at 22 mph with gusts up to 30. Luckily, the temperatures were above freezing this morning, so the windchill made it feel like it was in the mid 20’s. (not bad for the midwest this year, in fact, that’s pretty darn balmy!) The run started out good. I was sore from my new power and ploy workouts, but in a good way. It felt really good to be moving and I was breathing easy.
Our strategy was to run 2 miles as a warm up, run 3 miles at pace, then a 1 mile cool down. About a mile in on our regular route in our neighborhood, Josh asked if I had taken my prescription steroids before the run (it has been a miracle drug for my sinusitis!!). He commented that he could tell- I had never attacked a hill like I was running up it this morning, especially while being sick. That got me thinking… if this is our regular route and normally we run a 1 mile warm up, not 2 miles, we would be starting our pace going uphill. For those of you who have read my blog before, you know I am no fan of hills. So, I simply stated that we’ll need to find a new route for our pace runs, this isn’t going to be a good route with all the hills. Usually, I’ve run a very flat out and back for my pace runs and it’s worked out very nicely for me. That’s what I’m used to, it’s within my comfort zone. I received a very snarky reply back from Josh. “Well, that makes sense to run a flat route. Because in reality, there are no hills during a marathon. So, why would you want to practice pace on a route that is similar to what a real race will be like.” I was floored! I will admit it. Expletives ran through my mind. Coupled with knowing he was right and knowing that it takes me out of my comfort zone to run pace on hills. Back to the expletives! Instead of calling him the names I was thinking, I retorted “you’re rather snarky this morning.” Apparently the thought was mutual. Rather than recognize that I was commenting on the route, Josh took my comment personally, since he chose the route. As I tried to present my case, we hit 2 miles and it was time to pick up the pace and stop talking.
Thank goodness! At this point, I was fueled with aggravation. I didn’t want to be running near Josh. Instead I put my head down and concentrated on my pace. We were running uphill (again) with the wind at our back. About 3/4 into the first mile at pace, we turned around and ran into the wind. Even though we were now going downhill, it took more effort to push forward, making the last uphill feel easy in comparison. I told myself repeatedly we were only running 3 miles at pace and I could hold strong through it. After all, I don’t like being a wimp, especially in front of Josh. Around mile 4 he asked how I was doing. I had lagged behind him going up another hill. I was breathing heavy. Frankly, I felt like crap. I was dizzy and dehydrated, most likely from the steroids. At first I ignored him. I didn’t want to talk. I was still ticked. But he asked again and I snapped “fine!” That was it. Josh called a time-out on me (our “tool” to diffuse contentious situations so we can talk about it later in a civilized manner). That only refueled my aggravation and pushed me through our last mile at pace. Immediately after those 3 miles were complete, I stopped to cough up and spit out the phlegm that had been rattling around in my chest and throat. Once I caught back up with Josh, we continued on at an easy pace the last mile back home. At this point, I was feeling great. I was feeling an enormous sense of accomplishment for having completed the task in such windy conditions. But, I couldn’t share it with Josh. I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m stubborn. And I can be darn cranky in the morning. I knew I was being ugly from the inside-out. But I still knew I had a valid point in all of this… if I could remember it…
Post run, I was greeted with a hug from Josh. Clearly we both worked through our angst during those intense 3 miles. With endorphins still rattling through our nerves and coffee brewing, we were both more realistic. Which, brings me back the start of this post… maybe some things just shouldn’t be done before endorphins or coffee :).