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.
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?
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.
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