Monday, November 23, 2009

3 hours and 15 minutes of misery, but I made it

It was time for my first relatively long run since the marathon about a month ago.  The weather was supposed to be amazing (mid-50s in November doesn't happen too often in Colorado) so I decided to head back up to Gold Camp Road.  The road was covered in snow pack in areas but for the most part it was clear and dry. 

At the beginning of the run it was around 50 degrees.  With the cool mountain breeze this was just warm enough to work up a good sweat in the sun and have that sweat turn into an icy chill in the shade.  Something just wasn't right from the get go.  Earlier in the day I had attended a funeral for a former co-worker so my mental state wasn't ideal.  Physically I just couldn't get going.  My legs felt like lead weights from the first step to the end of the run.  I was struggling the entire time whether I was going uphill or down.  My hamstrings were tights and this caused my upper abs to over-compensate and they fatigued quickly.  I couldn't find my usual form.

My goal was to run for 3 hours and 15 minutes.  I approached my wife in the car around 2 hours and 45 minutes into the run.  While filling up my water bottle she asked, "How's it going?"  I responded, "Miserable.  I'm freezing and my legs are destroyed."   "Maybe it's time to be done?" she offered.  I thought about it.  For the past hour or so I'd been thinking about it.  I knew if I quit before my desired time that I'd regret it.  I knew it would destroy my confidence and eat away at me before my next run.  I also knew that, if I had any chance at completing an ultra, I had to get the word "quit" out of my vocabulary.  I had to shift my definiton of discomfort; I had to learn to block out the messages that my body was sending me telling me it was time to throw in the towel and I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.  I walked for a few minutes and then started to run again.  I finished the 3 hours and 15 minutes covering around 16 miles (I don't have my Garmin in front of me for the exact distance).  Considering the elevation, my physical and mental state, and the fact that I walked for a little bit, a 12:00 average pace wasn't so terrible.  But, it was far worse than where I needed to be (or what I was normally capable of).

It was definitely one of the top 5 worst runs I've ever had.  I don't think I fueled well enough that morning (I had a small breakfast and then only ate a bag of chips before I started the run around noon, I don't know what I was thinking?).  My mental state wasn't great.  My legs didn't want to cooperate.  Looking back it was a terrible run for building base mileage or covering terrain.  But, for continuing on despite every inch of my body telling me to stop, it was a perfect test (and success).


No comments:

Post a Comment