This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, September 07, 2007

To Run or Not To Run

I got up Thursday morning, all rarin' to go for a five mile run. I was adrenalized, looking forward to a nice run with Keith and the Girl on my iPod (I'm catching up slowly...I think I'm in mid-August now).

So I'm in the kitchen, with my running gear on. I see Tim, all dressed up too. He casually asks what I'm doing and I say that I'm getting ready for a run. As I say this, my brain clicks...Thursday...Thursday...oh, he has a bid to make at 7:30. I look at the time: 7 AM. Hmmm...if I'm running, and he's out meeting a customer, then who's going to watch the rugrats?

I know! I know!

So, I go back upstairs and get ready for work.

And it felt SO GOOD outside.

Instead, I ran about 10:30. Still feeling pretty good that I'll be solo and listening to KATG. I LOVE that podcast and it has replaced any music flavors I'm feeling.

The weather still feels pretty good. I'm feeling pretty confident.

I map out a plan that I'll take a familiar route that is approximately three miles and add on to the front and back of it. When I'm done, I'll walk to a friend's office and pick-up a sign up form for the Second Empire 5K coming up at the end of the month. It's a 'fun' race. I say 'fun' because it is a nice route and pretty fast with a downhill finish. A few years ago I made my PR there that stayed my PR until my Run for the Oaks race this year, which, BTW, was my first post to this blog.

Anyhoo, it was a PR that was soooooo hard to do. I may have mentioned this in this first post to the blog, but I'm too lazy to re-read it so I'll just repeat it (if it is mentioned). $Bill, Tim and I started out so fast on this race. At the first mile, our time was called somewere well below our normal mile. My recollection is that we all looked at one another like, WTF? Really? But I think we were really like stone-faced, trying to stay erect instead of collapsing against our rapidly rotating feet (ala Roadrunner).

But at some point, I knew I was kicking it more than I was ever used to doing. People I knew were trying to talk to me and I was like -- please help me. I don't know how to slow down or stop!!! But no one could recognize what came outloud as "Ow Ow Ow" or maybe it was "oooshhhiiiiitttt". It's hard to remember this many years later.

I do remember feeling like I didn't like how hard and hurtful it felt. But when I crossed the finish I was done and elated at my new PR. But I have felt extremely intimidated by that PR -- and I think that course -- since then.

So back to Thursday...

I go out on my run and I am feeling GOOD. My legs were feeling the hardcore Back to Core class from the day before. But they seemed to be telling me "hey, we're not in pain...we can do this" so I just went.

And it felt great. There are just those days where running along is so nice. No worries about making or breaking pace and of course, just listening to the iPod and going into a zone. Don't get me wrong -- I prefer running with others but I was fine with being solo today.

I go and go and run up every hill until the first big hill. It's a little hill with a longer slant upwards than others. The cool thing is that after running up, it levels off a bit and then kind of slopes downward the rest of the way...well, until the next really long, steeper hill.

So as I run I'm thinking that I'll be running up that hill. Once I get to the hill, well, barely making the turn to go UP the hill, I had already decided that I would be walking that hill.

I'll walk this hill and save my energy for the other big hill. That's what I say to myself.

I continue running after the short walk up the hill and realize that my feeling good feeling was no longer around. Now I'm thinking about how hard the rest of my run will be after this piece is over -- this piece being the nice route until the big hill. Once I hit the big hill I have two choices: cut the run short and go through an up-and-down-course that takes me up a big upward slope that I HATE. Or go longer and go on a path that takes me upward on a very slight, hard-to-tell-you're-going-up slope (which kills your legs) but end up running flat then towards a downward finish. I was sad that those were my two choices, but I also knew I wanted at least three miles and the short route would not give me that.

So I opt for the longer one. It's not much longer, but it would've have given me an opportunity to push myself even further to get close to five miles. But at this point, I'm just hoping for three. I have already given up on the five miles.

I get to the second big hill and walk it. My legs and ego are now shot. I can't even be sure I can run the rest of the way back. I walk even a bit further past the top of the hill -- nothing good in this route until I make a right...before I can make a right, I have to run a long straight upward ways.

It was at that point that I had decided I was not going to do the Second Empire 5K and I didn't care if I was a wussy. This running stuff is too hard now and in race mode, it's worse. And I can't run Second Empire and have a slower time than the original time. And there's no way I can beat my PR, or even _meet_ my PR, in this condition!!!

So it was a crappy run even though it started out so wonderful. I hate that. And it's back to beating myself up. And now I have a 13 mile run this weekend that I'm already thinking won't happen. I mean, I'll run a portion of it, but I can't imagine being in a better condition Saturday than I was Thursday...

And despite all of this, I still love running...

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