Monday, November 12, 2012

The Bad Runs

It's no secret that I love running.

It is my social time and my stress reliever. It keeps me sane and gives me goals and a way to push myself past what I thought was possible.

Most of my runs are great. I enjoy just about every single one, whether it's a "hard" run or the miles feel like they are flying by.

Of course, I am only human, and some days, I suffer from bad runs just like the next person. And, of course, the great runs always make up for the bad.

"That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is." Kara Goucher

Friday evening was not one of the good runs. I was scheduled to run with my friends in the late afternoon. And not just a few miles. We were aiming for 20. I'm not sure what made me think, in my #teammorning body, that I could run 20 miles so late in the day. I've become a bit more accustomed to single digit afternoon runs, but I really did not think through the fact that this was going to be 20 miles. No small feat.

Not only were we running in the evening, but I had a full day beforehand. I had taught aerobics and gotten in a Crossfit workout (Fight Gone Bad! I'll share this another day...) as well. To say my body was probably already exhausted is an understatement. And it had completely slipped my mind that I had run a marathon only 5 days prior. Who am I and why do I think I am superwoman?

With all of my running friends, I think I get into a state that all the miles I put in is "normal" or even below-average. When I have friends training for 100 mile races and putting in 20 mile runs 2 or 3 days a week, I somehow feel like I should be doing the same thing. Never mind that I am NOT running a 100 mile race anytime soon. It's funny how your sense of normalcy completely goes out the window.

Anyways, back to Friday. So we head out to the Cedar River Trail. This is where I will be running my 50k December 15th. It is nice and flat and we had planned to do 10 miles out and 10 miles back.

The entire car ride down, I felt fine. I was singing and dancing to the radio and chatting with my friends. It hadn't really hit me that I had to run 20 miles.

We started our run and it was COLD! This becomes important later. About 2 miles in, I was hurting. Nothing particularly hurt, I was just spent. I was completely out of energy and wondering how I was going to get through 18 more miles. I trudged through the next few miles, trying to drown out the negative thoughts in my head and just listening to my friends talk.

At one point, we turned up another trail and decided to go out 3 miles and back three miles to continue on the main trail. About halfway to the turnaround, I just couldn't run anymore. My body was making it perfectly clear that it was done and I just didn't have it in me to keep going. I kept telling myself to push through but the thought of 12 more miles seemed too overwhelming.

Tired face.
I told my friends to go ahead and that I was going to walk until they caught back up to me. I turned around and started heading back down the trail. Of course, I was beating myself up about not sticking with my friends.

After about 10 minutes of walking and ending up at the starting point of the trail, I decided I felt better and started running back to where my friends were. I was able to keep up with them for a few more miles, but inevitably, I crashed again.

At this point, it had gotten very cold. I'm talking 30 degrees or so. None of us had planned for the cold weather and figured we would've been done before it really got cold. Not so much.

Pretty day! But COLLLDDD!!!
I headed back towards the car (which was still about 6 miles away at this point) and ended up doing run/walk intervals to keep myself warm. I have to admit, I was still beating myself up over not sticking with my friends. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I run 20 miles?


My friends ended up catching up with me about a mile before the trail end, so I was still able to "finish" with them. It goes without saying that at this point we were all flirting with frostbite.

My friends know me well enough that they had some choice words in the car on the ride home.

They reminded me that I had run a marathon 5 days beforehand and had hardly had a chance to recover from that. I had also done several workouts already in the day and to top it off, my body wasn't used to running in the evening.

After they laid it all out there, it became obvious. I am not superwoman and CANNOT do all the things. Even if I want to. I had tried to pack too much in and definitely needed to back off. My body was literally yelling at me to take a step back. Ok, ok, I will listen!

Right now, my goal has shifted to include more rest and recovery. I don't think my body was ready to go so soon after my "marathon" last Sunday, and I obviously wasn't paying close enough attention. I am running the Seattle Marathon in 2 weeks and want to be good to go for 26.2 more. So for right now, it's neon compression sock time!


  1. Pure connect loveeee :) Be good to your bod! Sometimes the only way to go farther and faster is to rest up. PS: what compression socks are those?

    1. Agreed! They are Pro Compression. By far my favorite compression gear. They are tight without being too restricting. Highly recommend!