Relief from a string of bad runs

I was beginning to wonder there.

Last Saturday, I suffered through a 6-mile run at 12:15 pace. (I had run 9 at 11:47 just the week before.)

On Wednesday, I had a horrible-feeling run cut short at 4 miles at 11:30 pace, my heart hammering between 170-180 beats per minute.

Tried a redo the following day, wound up short of 6 miles at 12:36 pace, heart hammering again.

My friends worked to make me feel better.

“Blame the heat,” they said. “Blame the humidity.”

But if I felt this crappy when I was running just 6 miles, I know myself too well to know that I would not continue to suffer like that and would abandon my training. My marathon goal was in jeopardy.

I was dreading my long weekend run. How would I hold up to 11 miles?

Maybe I was dehydrated on those earlier runs? Maybe I was spending too much time in air conditioning and forgetting how to sweat??? Who knows why a string of bad runs descends …

I made sure to drink a lot of water the day before my long run, since I was outside a lot.

I also probably ate more than was wise. “Fueling up,” I told myself.

I packed a stupid fanny pack with some small water bottles for the run. (Geez, I hate being burdened with the sloshy weight!) I was going to be sure to stay hydrated!

On the morning of the run, I caught myself starting out at a sub-11-minute pace.

It’s so hard to pace myself when so many metrics in running revolve around getting faster. Just because I CAN run that fast for a time, doesn’t mean I SHOULD when I have a long run ahead of me.

I slowed it down, and kept a pretty darned steady 12:15 pace.

Got to about mile 3 and realized I wasn’t suffering . . .

I imagined that the sound of corn leaves slapping in the wind was applause.

clapping corn

Go, Katie, go!

I got to the pathway next to the Monument and was cautiously optimistic. How could I be other than optimistic in such beautiful surroundings as these?

Yes, this really is Nebraska.

Yes, this really is Nebraska.

I downed half a bottle of water and carried on.

I encountered several other runners and bikers on the path to the Monument visitors center, including a guy wearing neon orange who’d passed me on the way up the County Club hill.

“Good job,” he said, apparently recognizing me from a few miles back.

“You, too!” I piped.

Gosh, I love how runners are so supportive of each other.

I was feeling so good, I went right past the visitors center, ran “on the Oregon Trail” and took advantage of a fiberglass oxen photo op.

See? Life is great! I'm not pulling a loaded wagon! Or wearing a pioneer dress!

See? Life is great! I’m not pulling a loaded wagon! Or wearing a pioneer dress!

Downed a Gu and another half bottle of water, plus a slug at the drinking fountain, and off I went on the downhill portion.

I was kind of dreading mile 9-10, where I hit the wall the last time I ran this route.

I drank the rest of my water at my previous “hit the wall” point. Only about two miles left. I can do this!

Yes, my legs got a little tired by the end of the run, but my endurance was there!

I even made it 11.82 miles!!

I mowed the lawn, then took a nap, and hardly felt sore.

I think I can do this marathon thing!

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

4 thoughts on “Relief from a string of bad runs

  1. I love your comment on how you thought the corn leaves was applause! Isn’t it great how the world talks to you as you run! I quietly giggle as the “wide load” trucks drive past me!

  2. It makes such a huge difference when other runners say “hi” or anything at all! Congrats on 11 miles – good luck towards your marathon goal!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s