That post title is a real teaser eh?
Last weekend I ran 10 miles. The weekend before that I ran 9 miles. I want to talk about that weekend because that, my friends, sucked. Big ones.
9 Miles was the furthest I had run at that time, and I was scared going into it, but ready. I could feel myself starting to doubt my abilities, but I had a little mental pep talk and I felt like I was ready to go. It was pretty cold out that morning, and I wore all my fancy running clothes to keep me warm but I still felt like I’d need a jacket. So when I left, I had Under Amour, a running zippy by Lucy, and a fleece jacket. Too much? Yes, too much.
We were running a new path, and I was really enjoying it at that time, my stride was good, my pace was good and I felt awesome. I was rocking out to my music and mentally telling myself how awesome I was. I was like, “Hey self, you are kicking ass on the last 5 miles, you’re like already over half way there”.
And then my iPhone spoke to me, and told me I had only ran 2 miles. Fuck.
I immediately felt like this was not going nearly as well as I thought it was. And it wasn’t. And it was going to get worse. After I had gotten to mile 3 or so, I started to get hot. Like super hot because I decided to dress like I was running in an Arctic tundra. I wanted to ditch my coat somewhere but I had my car keys in it, and this world is full of crazies so I didn’t want it to get stolen.
Mile 4 took forever to hit because the whole time I kept thinking 4.5 miles is only half. HALF! Our turn around point was at 4.5 miles and as I turned around, I just looked back and thought…I’m going to die. This is it. I’ll never make it back. If I had my phone, I would have phoned a friend and shamefully drove my ass back to my car. But I didn’t have my phone, and my only option to ending the misery at this time was to get to steppin’.
By this time my intervals were shot. I never knew if the beeping in my ear was to run or walk. My feet started to hurt. My hip flexors gave up. They were tired of working and instead of really running I was doing this sort of walk, leg thrust thingy. Where basically instead of putting your feet first you’re throwing your hips forward in hopes your legs will actually follow. It was painful and required a lot of thought. To make matters worse, walking was actually harder than running. My body was totally giving up on me, and I couldn’t even take solace in walking back..I had to jog because the walk was much harder.
At this point I realized attempting to hit any kind of time goal was lost. So when I did walk, I stopped to take some pictures of the beautiful Michigan Fall season happening around me. Honestly, I love Michigan in the Fall.
Then the scar tissue chimed in. I have never had my scar tissue hurt while running before but at mile 7…it was screaming at me. Excruciating pain in my lower left abdomen, not even at my former stoma site. It was horrible, every step was like a stabbing pain. At mile 7 I really wanted to give up. Honestly, more than I ever have before. I was done. Mentally and physically shot. Angry at myself for choosing to run this far. Angry that I had to carry my coat and that I even brought a coat. Angry that my interval training was still beeping in my ear and that my play list was repeating and that there were cars at intersections. EVERYTHING made me angry.
Every time I felt like I was close because I thought I recognized something, I remembered that my running app tells me my mileage, so clearly I was not close. Mile 8 hit and I was like ok, just a mile. But at that moment a mile had never been so far. I was walking with the grace of a zombie at that point. The anger had passed and now I was really hopeless. Sad my body couldn’t do it, and gave up. I got all full of tears as I started to realize, if I can’t hit 9 miles, I’ll never hot 13.1 in the race in Vegas for Team Challenge. I was defeated. I wanted so badly to just sit down, and cry it out, but I knew if I sat, getting up would suck and I still wouldn’t be back at my car.
Finally, the iPhone chimed in. 9 Miles! Yay workout completed. The problem? I wasn’t back at my car yet. The course was actually 9.5 miles…I still had .5 miles to hobble back to my car. And hobble I did. I got back there and just sat. Didn’t move. Still just second guessing the shit out of myself.
I got home and slept for 4 hours. My body trashed. Angry. Sore. Hurting. My ego crushed. I called my running pal Lauren, from Forward Is A Pace and lamented my awful running experience. I wanted to curse the day I signed up for TC, and myself for even thinking this diseased thing I tote around (my body) could handle 13.1 miles. I needed a pity party.
I was sore for about 5 days. Legit pain in my hips. A constant reminder of my failure at 9 miles.
And last weekend, I woke up and went to the same park…and I did it again but instead I did 10 miles. And you know what? It sucked. Everything happened almost exactly the same but the only difference is, I went further and it didn’t hurt as bad. I didn’t nap after. My body recovered much faster. I got frustrated and angry at some points, but I didn’t want to give up or cry. I wanted to get back to my car still standing.
I’ll say this about running, it doesn’t get any easier (at least not for me), but it doesn’t get harder either. I pretty much max out as hard as it will get, and stay there and then its just a mental battle of getting through the tough part.
Additionally, I did 10 miles without a bathroom stop. I checked bathrooms for 5 miles and all of them were locked, and while I would have preferred to have one as I would have probably couldn’t have stopped worrying about not having a bathroom, I didn’t need one. It’s not that I needed to go, but running makes you want to poop even with people who have healthy colons. So, I just wanted to have the security of a bathroom every few miles. But I didn’t. And it didn’t matter.
And on that note, here are some pictures I took while running the 9 miles. Pictures don’t do it justice.