Monday, September 20, 2010

Not all Runs are Good

Today's run managed to NOT be an epic fail for one reason and one reason only: I finished the 6.2 miles I set out to do.  I did not finish fast, even though there were fewer hills than I'm used to.  My legs did not feel good afterward, even though I hadn't run since last Wednesday. My water break was more helpful than hurtful, since it gave me a sidestitch for the last 2 miles.

I could attribute it to the fact that I haven't been eating well lately. Lots of unhealthy treats (are they still treats when you eat multiple ones in place of healthier food at meal times?) and not enough vegetables.

I could blame the fact that Ross and I are housesitting/babysitting so I'm not sleeping in my own bed, eating my own food, or living in my relatively allergen-free apartment. When I wake up with sore knees, hips, back, and shoulders, I know the mattress I've been sleeping on is too hard. Starting a run with aching joints is not encouraging.

I forgot to get my allergy shot last week (September is flying by!) and I need to refill my Sudafed. The 80+ degree sunshine and what felt like 80% humidity was a killer icing on top of this allergen-crazy-house + absence-of-allergy-shot-and-asthma-medicine cake. (I also forgot my Xopenex inhaler, which could have helped pre-run).

I felt GREAT the first two miles, pushed through to three, and then basically fell apart. My pace went from 10-minute miles to 12-minute miles. My hips and knees were complaining. I would've carried a scythe if it would have cut through the humidity and allowed me to breathe easier.

But I came home and took an ice bath.


And then a long, hot shower.

I was tempted to call it a bad run and make 1,000 excuses, but:

a) not all runs are amazing. That's the nature of the beast.

b) A year ago, I could barely run 2 miles in run-2-minute, walk-2-minute intervals, so this run is still a success. It's the longest I've run since senior year of high school and I'm proud of that fact! I always considered myself a runner, even during my years-long lapse in running, but now I'm proving it to myself again. (What does that say about me? Hopelessly optimistic or naively ignorant?)

c) Running is a surprisingly equal-opportunity sport. The only person you can fairly compete with is yourself. And despite my whining and grumbling, this run was actually (shockingly) only a minute slower than my goal of 70 minutes. I just need to even out my pace a bit for next week's run.

I'm running my first official 10k next Sunday and I'm so excited! Each long run makes my marathon dream more real. I've started and stopped marathon training twice. Once was in college when I was going to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon with Team in Training. (Hence the shirt I'm wearing in today's picture). I feel really bad about this one because I raised all the money I needed to (thanks to generous friends and family) but about a month into it, I got shingles and a month after that, I got viral pharyngitis. My doctor said no marathon. Something (nursing school, no doubt) was messing with my immune system and stressing my body more would make it worse.

The second attempt was last summer. Ross and I were really getting into it and suffering through long, hot runs after work (it helped that I got out of work earlier in Texas. It also helped that we had a trail system in our backyard). But then we found out we were moving the same weekend as the marathon I'd signed up for and I quit. I could've kept running, but I didn't. This year, I did. I ran through night shift, I ran through terrible heat waves, I'm running through hills since I don't have a gym membership, and I'm oddly looking forward to running through cold and snow (please feel free to remind me of this when I complain later).

And this year, one bad run isn't going to get the best of me!

Something to think about: Need motivation? Check out this video that's gone viral lately: All you have to do, is do it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm encouraged by this! I know what you mean - not all runs are amazing, due to so many factors. But I think that the fact we choose to get up, tie our shoelaces and hit the pavement is so much better than not :) Keep it up, Therese! I'm rooting for you for your marathon venture!