What a weekend!
I started my weekend early Saturday morning – I woke up at 4:00AM to drink my coffee and eat some breakfast before meeting Scarlette and Leslie at 6:20AM for a 18 mile run. I was out of my usual pre-run breakfast food – Ezekiel english muffin and almond butter so I had cereal… not really a power-packed breakfast. I should have taken the time to at least make some oatmeal, but who knew….
It was cold out, as usual, and although I intended to run in shorts I made a last minute decision to change into my running pants. I am happy I did. We set out at a nice pace and chatted for the first couple of miles. My plan was run to these milees like I am going to run the race – walk through the water stops every two miles. For the marathon we are running in March the water stops start at mile 3 and run every 2 miles from there.
At mile three I walked just long enough to take my Power Gel and water. I tried something new. I bought a fuel belt and in one of the bottles put 4 gel packs in (2 oranage and 2 vanilla) and topped it off with water. It went down furprisingly well.
I continued this process and my stomach actaully felt good. I did not get any cramps or anything. I will use this method from here on out.
Scarlette and Leslie were probably about a half a mile ahead of me. I was going my own pace and taking the short walk breaks so I got a little behind. We made a pact to all go our own pace and I wanted to know they wouldn’t feel obligated to wait for me. It worked out really well and I focused on just running my run. Even though we are not running side by side it is good to know they are out there.
At mile 12 I started to really slow down and felt stiff and tired. I tried to pick up the pace and felt like I was really going a bit faster, but when I looked at my Garmin my pace wasn’t changing. I felt like I was running as hard as I could but it wasn’t reflecting in my pace. I started really to get frustrated. I was working hard but I just couldn’t push it anymore. My body hurt and I still had 6 miles to go. I got really down and questioned why I was even doing this. Mentally I was so done I did not want to go any further. I just wanted to sit down in the road and cry.
At this point I was listening to music and it just wasn’t doing it for me. I had a book on tape that I just started so I put it on. It is Wayne Dryer’s, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your LIfe”. How appropriate. If I did not change my thoughts at that moment I was doomed. I started running again. My first thought was about my watch. When I calmed down I realized it was on “average pace” rather than real-time pace. The pace it was showing me had my walk breaks factored in, that is why it was showing me so slow! When I got up to speed and looked at the right pace I was running a 10 min pace – exactly what I needed and thought I was doing! That was a big relief.
The book started about how you have to “just be”…. everything is what it is… if you just accept everything as it is and stop fighting what your expectations and brain are telling you things will get easier. Well, that was the problem alright. For the next couple of miles I tried to just run and focus where I was. I am running down a beautiful country road and the weather is perfect. The sky is a blue as I have ever seen it. That got me a few more miles.
Then a hill came and I had to walk. Again, my legs were tired and stiff. My left hip hurt, my right foot hurt. I was tired and I still had four miles to go. I made a deal with myself… just get back to the car and you can be done. That would be 16 miles, not 18. I told myself that if I could run all the way back to the car I could stop. It worked.
I got there and saw Scarlette finishing up her 18 miles. She looked strong – as I got closer to her she was limping a bit, too. She saw that I was upset about the run and gave me a pep talk. Thank goodness we are in this together!
I got home and got another pep talk from John. He is getting really good at these pep talks – he is surprisingly sensitive when it comes to me and this training! He is the ultimate competitor and told me that things like cancelled races and injuries, etc., are all part of it. You just have to take things as they come and keep working hard. He said things like bad races and problems during races just make him come back stronger and harder. I need to work on that.
After packing for my trip I had my hair appointment before going to Mom and Dads. I was looking forward to a nice relaxing evening with them and my brother and his family. I got there and they were all in the back yard around a bon fire. I was so aweome. I had a cocktail and a few handfuls of Chex mix and crackers. Then I had another drink, and one more. Three small drinks by my standards – no big deal at all. EXCEPT for the fact that I have not had liquor in weeks AND I had not eaten anything all day except for that bowl of cereal, four gel packs and a coffee… I didn’t refuel after my run or anything. I was so buys I forgot to eat. NOT a good combination. I felt terrible and was so tired I crashed. I missed dinner – I think I had two bites of chicken – and I missed the poker game.
I woke up feeling fine and after a cup of coffee and Mom’s homemade pancakes I felt fine. We relaxed all morning before Mom and Dad took me to the airport. My trip was smooth the whole way. I got to the hotel, ordered some food, and broughtit back to the room. I just wanted to relax. My favorite meal at this hotel are their crab cakes and a iceburg lettuce wedge with blue cheese:
Now I am going to shower and get ready for bed!
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