Saturday, July 23, 2011

Run, Walk, Crawl, FINISH!

Today was the dreaded 12 mile hill run. I found out two days prior that my running partner would not be able to be there. Then I found out the night before that due to the few numbers of people running 12 miles (there is another training group that is up to 8 miles) I would likely not have a coach by my side for the whole run. As someone who ran alone for a LONG time, I have grown accustomed I have someone.

But I decided I needed to toughen up ... buck up and push on. Coach Jim had emailed me and said the original 12 mile route wasnt going to work ... and so he wanted me to run the 8 mile route with the other group, finish and then head back out. That seemed like a cop out to me... so I told him I was going to do the original plan, with or without my running partner. I asked if maybe he could come back and get me when the 8milers were done and he promised to do so.

So this morning... humidity was high and the air was thick, but temps were  supposed to be in the mid 70s and it was cloudy. This is my kind of weather! We started off ... and would you believe I was NOT in last (I am bringing up the rear every single week) I was holding my own ... heck I even passed someone. I felt STRONG untl about mile 7 ... I gutted it out through mile 7 but my mile 8 or not only were my calves cramping but I was starting to cramp in my back ... I stopped at the gas station to get some gatorade ... and just a few minutes later I see Coach Jim.

At this point, he offered me to run back to the park the short way ... and we could do laps around the park (lots of hills) but that felt like such a failure to me... I felt ok, I was still sweating and I was not cramping too bad, so I felt like I could honor the original route. I was able to hold in until mile 9 at the base of the big Josh's Hill. I made a mistake at the last water stop (one mile earlier)... I was wheezing so I took a puff of my inhaler. I always carry it, but I have never used it during a long run or race. And now I know why ... after that puff my heart rate was out of control... so at the base of the hill, Coach Jim made me lay down and put my legs up and rest for 5 minutes.

I made it up the hill ... walking it mostly (and wanting to die) and was able to run for another mile or so ... but at 10.2 I was done. It felt sooo hot, I was dizzy, I was cramping... and I just couldnt do it. We had one more big long hill to make it up. I asked Coach Jim if I could just wait in the shade and he could get the car. He said ok (pretty sure he was a bit worried about me) ... and before he left I spontaneously just started crying (I am NOT a crier) ... and said "I feel like such a failure."

Coach Jim then said... no im not getting the car you are going to make it home. We are just going to walk ... as slow as you need to. But you can make it home. You worked too hard up many hill for 10miles to consider yourself a failure... and slowly I walked home. The last mile was a 18min/mile, but yes I finished!
I cant help it though... I still feel like a bit of a failure. I know I shouldnt, but I wish I could have myself push through.

Including the walking... my time was 3h and 1 minute for 12 miles. My PR for a half is 3:16 ... up until the 10 mile mark I was ahead of my PR.

I know the hill runs are good for me... and make me a better, faster runner. But I am terrified now... terrified of how my next half marathon will go  ... terrified of the 13.1 run next week ... my confidence is really shaken...

But then I got home ... and even though I am disappointed with myself I had the best comment on my page "I dream of doing what you do" WHAT someone dreams of limping their way through 12 miles... and I realized no matter what the pace, the speed, or the time its about finishing. I also realized that I was in the sun from mile 6 on out (as evidence by my sunburn) ... and my mid 70's.... well the weatherman lied. It sure felt hotter than 70's ... turns out it was 84 degrees and with the high humidity the heat index was 91 degrees. Hmmm no wonder I felt terrible...

My headband today read: Run, Walk, Crawl, Finish!

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