What Was I Thinking?

Longest run to date yesterday: 9 miles.

It was completely unfun.

I wish I had enjoyed it more. Or that I didn’t have to walk a WHOLE  BUNCH during the last 3 miles. Or that when I was done I didn’t feel ill and sore all over.

But that’s not the case. I was miserable most of the time, and for no reason that I can pinpoint like in other runs that weren’t my best. There were hills, but they were all very doable hills that I’ve conquered over and over again. I didn’t eat a butt-load of terrible food that day. I wasn’t dehydrated or overtired or underprepared.

I just felt tired and weak. I got a few cramps in the final third of the run, and that certainly didn’t help. (I really need to try some of those core workouts from Runner’s World recommended by a commenter last week…)

When I got home, I took a shower and then a two-hour long nap. I wasn’t sleepy; the nap was accidental. The kind of nap that just happens after a period of laying in bed because you can’t force your body to move anymore and there’s nothing else to do but sleep.

What really worries me is not this one run, because – really – it’s just that: ONE run. It’s the next bunch of runs. I’m supposed to do ten miles with Friend #1 and one of her friends (the one I ran with at last year’s Turkey Trot) on Saturday. What if I can’t do it?

The week after that it’s 11. Then 12. Then the half marathon, which I really want to be able to complete without having to walk.

Am I being unrealistic? According to all sources, this is a totally reasonable goal. Maybe – for me – it’s not realistic. Maybe I need more time. Maybe I’ll simply never be a distance runner.

I don’t know…

Maybe this is just too ambitious of a goal for me right now. I’m not sure I can do it.

I don’t intend to give up based on one bad run. Or even 5. But man am I feeling more than a little discouraged.

Now accepting words of encouragement. Go.

12 Responses to “What Was I Thinking?”

  1. Rachael Says:

    There is no shame in walking part or all of the half -marathon! It is just as much an accomplishment. When was the last time you (or anyone you know) ran/jogged/walked really really fast for 13+ miles?

    Having done the 1/2 last year — I can tell you that the day of the race is super fun, its like a party out there. Its not boring, you will have a great time, and you will be very proud of yourself when its all said and done. Even if you walk really really fast for a stretch or two or three… :)

  2. jodiebettcher Says:

    so you had a bad run. Shake it off. It's only one and you will do better next time. And your next run is in New York where the hills are like your bumps. You'll do fine. I have faith in you.

  3. bodybypizza Says:

    Don't psych yourself out, my friend. Stay present. You can't worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You probably had an off day. Sure, maybe you didn't down a bunch of terrible shit yesterday, but maybe you're still feeling the after effects from your 'Bad Food = Bad Workout' moment a few days ago. I know I'm still feeling the mounds of crapola I ate on Easter.

    There might be a few things you can do to help you with your long runs in addition to the stuff from Runner's World. Slow your pace a bit. Shorten your stride when you're getting tired. If you need to walk, walk (I am anti-walking myself, but it's better than dying… I GUESS…I kid). Cut one of your two-mile days out and just relax. Maybe you're burnt from the intense schedule. That reminds me. Which schedule are you following? I'm doing Hal's Novice schedule and the longest run is 10 miles. You should consider tapering before the Half itself. Kind of unheard of to run 12 miles the week before!

    Give yourself some credit. You are doing AWESOME.

  4. Alicia_B Says:

    Don't let one run get you down. It was 9 miles! That is a LOT of running. You will do great! And if you can't run 10 miles on Saturday, so be it. You may have to walk a little of it…or you may surprise yourself and find this bad run was just a fluke. Just doing the half marathon and the schedule you have been on is a HUGE accomplishment. I envy you! Be proud! I am.

  5. jord_05 Says:

    I struggle with the “unreasonable” issue more frequently than I'd like to admit. You can do the 10, 11, 12, and 13.1 miles. Feeling off and not being able to pinpoint exactly why… it sucks, but it happens. Give yourself a few hours to feel low about it, but then put it behind you. Your next run will be all the better for it. Hang in there!

  6. Sue Says:

    All I have to say is… 9 miles! That is awesome! Yeah, you felt like junk after, but you have to know — mentally — that you CAN do it. Next time when you feel like walking – try to get in the “zone.” Crank your ipod to a highly motivational song – and push yourself to run for (atleast) one more song. Keep it up – Run Strong!

  7. Kimberly Says:

    You're right, Rachael: There's no shame in walking part or all of the half marathon. It's just that I set certain expectations for myself, and I don't give myself much wiggle room. I need to work on that, because I'm not sure that I'm doing myself any favors. Thanks so much for your encouragement and point of view :)

  8. Kimberly Says:

    Hey! Thanks for taking the time out of your insanely busy schedule to help talk me down! Your thoughts were really helpful. When I ran yesterday, I kept telling myself to slow down a bit to ensure finish, without worrying about how long it takes. It helped.

    I'm doing a cross between Hal Higdon's novice and intermediate half marathon training programs. I didn't like that the furthest I'd run on the novice program was 10 miles. Now that I'm into it, though, I'm wondering if my problems as of late have been because I'm pushing too hard. Really, I'm probably still a novice. I think if I backed off now and switched to a less intense schedule I'd feel like I failed. I'm unwaveringly stringent on these things. Thoughts?

  9. Kimberly Says:

    Thanks! Let's hope the 10 goes better. Here's to Buffalo and it's flat, flat terrain!

  10. Kimberly Says:

    I'm working on that whole “pride” thing… Thanks for your encouragement! It means a lot!

  11. Kimberly Says:

    Well, I took a little more than a few hours to feel low about this run, but it's behind me now. And yes: Hopefully it will only help me become a better runner. Thank you!

  12. Kimberly Says:

    Good advice, Sue! I think these long runs are more of a mental challenge than a physical one at this point, so getting in the “zone” is really important. Cranking the tunes helped. Thanks for the words of encouragement!