Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Truth about a Bad Run

"Relish the bad training runs. Without them it's difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones." -Pat Teske

Yesterday 20 miles on my calendar. That would be my longest run to date (previously longest was 17 miles). With only 7 weeks until my marathon I am almost at the pinnacle of my training with this 20 miles yesterday, a 22 miler in 2 weeks, and then the tapering weeks begin. Tabatha and I met up at the Waterfront park at 7 am ready to being. She has completed 2 marathons and is quite a bit faster than me but has no problem holding back and running at my pace without a single complaint. I feel so lucky to have met her, and several other new running buddies over the past few months. I really don't see how people train for a marathon alone, I don't know if I have the determination to do a 20 mile training run alone. Major kudos and respect for those who do. I knew the day would be warm-ish (56 degrees and sunny) so I wore just a tshirt and windbreaker, but thank goodness I brought gloves because the first 2 hours were windy and foggy, the sun wasn't breaking through. Every run I seem to complain about my hands being cold,  this time was no different....the gloves were fingerless but I suppose it was better than nothing. Tabatha and I both seemed to be on the same page as far as not really being able to find out rhythm. We stopped at a gas station for her to go to the restroom and she asked me to check my mileage figuring we were 7 or 8 miles, UGH. At the 10 mile point I noted that our average pace was 10:49 so I was pretty happy with that. I've run halfs with an avg pace in the 9's but training runs I try not to push very hard because distance is more important that the overall pace AND every time I really push it I end up with little pains and I don't have any spare time for that right now. In my head I was blaming not getting in rhythm on Friday nights dinner..Two Jack in the Crack Box tacos, three mozzerella sticks, and a diet coke. Oh, then two oreos for dessert. Oops. Definitely not the best fuel for physical activity.

At mile 14 all hell broke loose. I started getting the WORST stomach pains. The kind that make you just wish for your bed so you can curl up into a ball and pass out until it's over. I was still 6 miles from the end of the route and nowhere near my bed :( I tried to stick with the intervals (3/1's) but after about 20 seconds of running I just couldn't do it. I've only ever had pains like that once before during a 8 miler about two years ago, but I wasn't doing distance runs then. Now I'm doing distance runs (9+ miles) at least every other weekend, if not weekly. So the pain kind of took me aback. I've felt so strong lately and been faster, turning into a better runner, so this came a little out of the blue. I've run so many times after a huge mexican feast the night before and never had an issue. Apparently fast food was the undoing of me.

"Bad workouts and races -- we all have them and we always will. Accept that the body has an ebb and flow that we don't quite understand. Some days you just feel 'off.' As hard as it is to accept a bad workout or race when there are valid reasons, it's doubly challenging when there appears to be no reason at all. I used to worry about this, but now I just shrug it off as the quirkiness of the body and mind. Don't invest in it or over think it. Move on."
-Greg McMillan

 For about half a mile we had a companion in a yellow lab that followed us. I got worried about him as we got further from his home and towards heavier traffic, so Tabatha shooed him "Go back home dog. Go!" 16 miles. The sun was finally above us so at least it wasn't totally miserable and cold out. Knowing I had another couple of miles to walk was a little depressing. Running 3 miles I can plan on being done in 30 minutes...walking 3 miles, man that doubles the time it takes to get back to the car. I just wanted to be done. Mile 17.I got the worst metallic taste in my mouth. I could feel it traveling up from my stomach to the throat, the mouth, ewwww. I quickly walked to the furthest side of the road and bent over expecting to throw up. Didn't though. Had to spit a little, no blood. The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful. We swapped home-owner stories/complaints. Talked about our kids, husbands, plans for the day. Finally got back to the car. Ended up being 19.3 miles, a little short of the planned 20. If I had run and didn't feel like I was dying I would have made up the distance but I was just happy to head home. Still got almost 20 miles on my legs, and the avg pace, despite walking 5 whole miles, only jumped up to 12:51. It use to take me that long to run a mile, so to average that on a distance run where I walked a huge chunk I was able to still hold my head up. Next time will just have to be better. Next time I'll blow my time out of the water and have a 19..3 mile PR!! haha.

"We all have bad days and bad workouts, when running gets ugly, when split times seem slow, when you wonder why you started. It will pass."
-Hal Higdon

Also I made some delicious oatmeal muffins this morning. I had a special little helper, here are some pictures. The recipe is in my pinterest board "Tasted and Approved."

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