Struck Out and Then Struck Down

No updates all week because…well, I guess I’ll tell you why.

I did go run my 11 miles last Saturday, and…well…this is hard to admit out loud, but I will. I didn’t love it. I hated it. Those last two miles were hell. I discovered what the “wall” is. I didn’t think you could hit “the wall” on such short distances, but when I found myself unable to even barely lift my feet to trudge up the last hill, tearful, sick in my heart and my stomach, I was pretty sure that was the Wall.

I tried a new fueling plan last week. I started out with a GU while still in the truck, a few minutes before taking off. I don’t eat breakfast before these long runs and for such a long run, I thought it would be good to have something in the tank before even starting out. And I think that was a success; I felt great for the first 7 or 8 miles. However, I was significantly more thirsty than usual. I had already gotten into my water bottle on my fuel belt by the time I hit 2 and a quarter miles, where my training team had set of a SAG stop (I am assuming SAG stands for “stop and go” but I have never asked to be sure), and so I topped it off there at the SAG. Then we had about 7.5 miles to run before getting back to the SAG, and I was completely out of water only 5 miles into that distance. I drank something like 20 ounces of water in 6 miles. I think that was too much.

I took my second GU around mile 6 or so. I had a third one packed but it was not a GU, it was a ClifShot, and I had been wary of it since I had never tried one before. Anyway, by the time I hit the SAG on the way back, with only 2.25 miles to go, I was terribly thirsty, and wearing down.

I wasn’t thinking especially clearly by that point, I just wanted it to be over. But in not thinking clearly and having run out of water, I chose not to take that third energy gel. That was a mistake. The only bright spot in the last 2 miles was when I had stopped to walk along Cary Street, and a guy said to me “Pick it up, slack ass.” I wasn’t even offended (too tired to be offended), I just replied “Slack ass indeed,” (too tired to come up with a witty answer). He laughed out loud and said “You aren’t a slack ass! I’m standing here smoking a cigarette. I should know better, but then, I am a Marine!” I laughed; the whole exchange felt surreal, but it brought a smile to my face, and put a little bit of spring back in my step, for a little ways, but I was really done by that point.

I drug myself back to my truck, feeling ashamed (irrationally so), embarrassed that the parking lot had mostly emptied out, or people were standing around chatting, stretching, looking happy, flushed, and great, where I looked and felt like death could have taken me at that moment, and I would have been fine with that.

Worst of all, my total time was 2:20. I was crushed. Even though the route turned out to be closer to 12 miles than 11, I felt like my hopes of running a 2:30 half marathon (particularly on a trail, not a road race) were completely shattered.

I went home, heartsick, ashamed, and completely deflated and depressed. I didn’t even really talk to my family about how it went.

The next day, I could hardly move. I was in a lot of pain, all over and in general; I had the added misery of hormone poisoning setting in. This just made me feel that much worse about my performance and my potential to do well on race day. I stayed in my pajamas all day, watched too much t.v., ate crap for food, and moped.

And then Monday came, and with it, came a day-long fever, chills, headache, sneezing, and all the miseries associated with a nasty head cold.

Well, that helped give me some perspective on Saturday’s run. I fueled poorly throughout the run itself (I really needed to take that third energy gel), I was either more dehydrated at the start than I felt, or I was over-hydrating along the way, the aforementioned hormone poisoning ALWAYS drains me of some energy, and I had no idea at the time I was coming down with a bug.

Training-wise, this week has been a complete wash, which is sad because I was really looking forward to trying out and breaking in my brand new Brooks Adrenaline 12 GTS shoes I got last Friday. Monday, I was too sick to get out of bed. Tuesday, I stayed home from work, to worn down to do much of anything, though better than Monday. Yesterday and today have been continued recovery days, but with no extra energy to devote to even a short run.

I am planning on packing gear to run tomorrow, a short run, maybe 3 miles, maybe the fun new 2.5 mile route I ran last week. I don’t know.

Saturday is a drop back run, and we are doing 8 miles, which I am thankful for. If it was the 12 mile week, I am not sure that I would be up for that quite yet.

I desperately need a good run. One of those where you smile the whole way. Saturday’s run was so demoralizing that even with the justification that came afterwards, I still find myself wondering if maybe I didn’t bark up the wrong tree with this whole half marathon business. I know in my head that isn’t the case, but my heart is beating out a message of “You really suck at this. Why did you ever think this was a good idea???”

Screw that.

I have always been more of a Head Over Heart kind of girl anyway.


3 responses to this post.

  1. You don’t suck. You are are amazing. I believe in you!!!


  2. I didn’t comment earlier because I was going to call and give you kudos and affirmations and now I suck because I didn’t follow through. Anyway…. You’re doing great, and you know that already, so I’m only commenting to tell you that SAG stands for Support And Gear. Now you know.


  3. […] sore, unhappy, thrilled, and did I mention tired? I didn’t crash into the Wall like on the 11 miler from two weeks ago, but I was very emotional. I understand this is normal but I do find it highly […]


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