Running Was Not Enjoyable Today

I dutifully suited up in my winter gear preparing for the mid-thirty degree and mildly windy weather.  But something happened that I was not prepared for.  About two miles in I was looking at some flags.  They were blowing the wrong way. How can a flag blow the wrong way?  Well, I am glad you asked.  The wrong way is the way that they do not normally blow.  The wrong way is a tail wind on my first leg and a head wind on my major middle leg of my run.

I had overdressed.  I was quite warm and didn’t feel good.  I didn’t feel smooth.  I felt slow.  I unzipped my coat and the moist air coming out on each step was steaming up my glasses!  I wanted to walk.  My calves were tight and my left foot started to go numb again.  I was thinking about when I’d stop the run.  I was thinking about how the best thing for my training would be to call it a day.  …But if I finished I’d have the longest week of my life.  And as I thought about that I also knew that I’d be proud to cut it short in spite of losing the title of the longest week.  But I chose to be stupid and kept running and I even made things worse.

At the first checkpoint, my parents house (6.5 miles in), I stopped and left my wind breaker.  Wind breakers break wind (gross).  That is what they are designed for.  And like an idiot I took it off and charged into a head wind with two very wet shirts.  I was instantly cold and felt that way for another hour and a half.  If I hadn’t been so cold I might have been thinking about how dead my legs were and how slowly I was running.

The last time I wished to be done with a run this much was when I ran the Marine Corps. Marathon in 2008.  But I soldered on like an idiot for the sake of running 71.5 miles in a single Monday-Sunday span.

I thought about what went wrong since I very rarely have a bad long run.  Here are some ideas:

  • I didn’t eat enough this week
  • I ran too much, particularly the 9+ miles on Friday.
  • I didn’t dress properly
  • I was trying to get over a cold all week
  • I need to make a sacrifice to the great gods of running (Lord Nike, Prince Mizuno, Sultan Saucony, etc)

The most likely it is a combination of all of the above.  The most important lesson is that I lied to myself.  Running by feel requires being honest with yourself and I lied — twice.

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