Sunday, July 22, 2012

Help me Hal, that was terrible!!!!

Saturday was the 3-month mark to the Free Press. One friend said "That's a long way off [and a long time to be in training mode]." Another friend said "Wow! That soon?" I agree with both of them. In some respects it seems a lifetime away, in others, it'll be here in the blink of an eye.

My buddy Hal said to do 12 miles. I love sleeping in late, so I did so. The next best option was to wait and run in the evening when the sun had passed its peak height. I had been asked on a date, however, which meant I had to run in the middle of the day. Ugh! I could have gone to the Y, but it didn't seem too bad outside. Haha was I fooled!!!

Before heading out I had 900 calories and 2 huge glasses of water, slathered on sunscreen, and wore both a bandanna and a visor to help with sun and sweat (it was a good combination for keeping sweat off my face). None of that helped one iota.

My route didn't help either. The easy way to run 12 miles would be to run two 6-mile laps. I don't like doing multiple laps though, so I rearranged my route to be a serpentine out-and-back. It was awful. It started as run 9 minutes, walk 1, then after 30 minutes became "walk as needed," including an 8-minute stretch of solid walking.

Being in the shade wasn't terrible, but the sun was brutal and my only thought was "I need water!"I stopped at a church hoping to refill my water holster, but it was too early for Saturday service, ergo the building was locked. I trudged on, parched and panting. I wasn't just thirsty, the dehydration was causing super weak muscles and a fuzzy, light-headed brain.

Around mile 9, I was on a road I almost never use when a car honked. My immediate thought was "get a life, jerk!" Then I thought "hmmm that's the same as my brother's car." Said car pulled into a driveway and I approached it, realizing it was my brother and his kids. Hallelujah! "Do you have water?" I gasped. He gave me both kids' sippie cups. I was completely grossed out at drinking after kids, but the dehydration was worse. I guzzled one, and poured the other into my holster. I had 3.5 miles to go, so I was off. Something good was that I never seriously considered asking for a ride home.

I wanted to quit so many times. 7 miles was good enough, right? Well, not really. Hal says it's ok to rearrange and skip the shorter runs in an emergency, but don't skip the long runs, no matter what. They're the crux of the training program. If I quit after 7 miles, I would still have to do the full 12 on Sunday. Some people might break up the long run into a 7 and 5, but I don't. I see the long run as having to be done all at once.

It was AWFUL!!! It got done, but my time was abysmal. At that pace, I wouldn't even break 5 hours. Yet I keep telling myself that Hal, Nita, Scott, all the serious runners I know advise me to not be focused on the time when it's extreme heat or cold. So I tried to focus more on the fact that I finished than on the horrendous time I logged.

Then I got home for the worst part of all - my date cancelled due to a family member being in the hospital. Did he not realize I spent the entire horrendous run looking forward to the date? Boo!!!!! Had I known the change in plans BEFORE my run, I would have waited and run in the cooler evening. Double boo!!!!

Marathoning is all mind over matter and I feel like the matter won. The hot, dry, sunny matter kicked my @ss. Yet at the same time, I FINISHED!!! Maybe the matter was just more challenging but my mind won after all? :D

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