Those two funny things that come creeping in when they are the least welcome. Last friday I ran 12 of the slowest miles of my life. I took a lot of breaks, and my legs felt like I was asking them to run at an 8 min pace rather than the near 11 min pace I was actually maintaining. I finished, felt proud that I didn’t give up, told everyone I was fine with it, and did my best to pretend I wasn’t lying.
This morning was my first speed work out in 3 weeks. I didn’t do speed work the week before or after Whiskey Row, trying to be smart and give my legs a break. Today I had 6 miles on the schedule with 4 tempo miles at 9:03. That’s actually what was on the schedule for last week, so I didn’t skip, I’m just picking back up where I left off (since the plan didn’t account for an other half marathon in the middle of it). After the first 2 tempo miles, I kind of thought I was going to die. First of all, I had forgotten my ipod, so I had no music, and I think part of what really got to me was hearing how out of breath I was. It’s bothered me before on easier runs where I haven’t used music. It freaks me out, and makes me feel like I need to stop, or like I’m more tired than I am.
Second of all, I had already stopped in the warm up, but by the end of the second tempo mile, I needed to stop for the bathroom again. The truth is, my body has felt off for the entire last month, ever since I had what I thought was the stomach flu around the time of Pat’s Run. I am going to finally make a doctors appointment to get myself checked out, but that’s an other story. Anyway, I stopped to use the bathroom and get some water after the first 2 tempo miles, then made it through the third before having to stop to catch my breath. Honestly, I felt like I was going to need to do that after the 2nd one, and needing the bathroom was kind of a convenient excuse. I mean, I really needed to go, but I was not cursing the stop. So I stopped and stretched after the third one, which kind of makes me feel like I kind of cheated the whole work out, but whatever. I finished the 4th just barely, walked the first 200 meters of my cool down, and then resumed to jogging the rest.
My paces were mostly on target–9:04, 9:01, 9:03, 8:59, but it felt soooo hard, and I just felt frustrated and discouraged. I’ve been asked no less than 15 times in the past 2 weeks if I’m over training. No M, not just by you 😉 The truth is, I have no freaking idea. I read all these amazing, inspiring running blogs, and they don’t take time off unless they’re injured. I’m following my plan, with the exception of adjusting the step back weeks around Whiskey Row, but maybe I haven’t had a legit easy week because of it? Maybe the temperatures have all the sudden become 20 degrees higher while I’m running, and I’m not used to it? Maybe I’m still not recovered from WR? Maybe taking spin, lifting weights and swimming the day before was a bad idea? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m feeling frustrated. I’m feeling like I can’t do it, and a little bit like a failure.
Let me say, I know this is irrational. I know there are people who would be thrilled to go out and get through six miles, or even .6 miles! I was that person, so I get that I’ve come a long way, and I have a lot to be proud of. I also get that there are people out there with way bigger problems than a bad run, and that given my body’s tendency towards injury, I should just be thrilled that I have been running relatively pain free. And I am!!! Beyond thrilled, actually. I am so grateful for what my body has been accomplishing, and the determination that has allowed me to grow so much these past few months.
I am also a person who is rarely satisfied, sets big goals, and doesn’t believe in not meeting them. I love this about myself. Even days like today, where it is hard to be that kind of person, I am grateful for the drive and determination I possess, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I know that I just need to keep pushing, and eventually I will start logging work outs that I feel great about again. I just need to be okay with being frustrated today. And I am. Mostly.
Luckily, I also have the world’s most supportive husband that tells me things like “I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you’re doing an amazing job. How many other training runs did you meet your goals on? I am not going to sit here and let you beat yourself up over 1 bad run.” I know he’s right. I need to get the F over myself. Also, reading this post helped put things in perspective.
I had my pitty party. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it. It was really a lovely event, even with a small party of 1. Next time I’ll be sure to put your invitation in the mail, but for today, it’s over. I’m moving on, and I’m going to try to take this run as a learning experience.