I was all set to do my big 1-8 this past Sunday. I had my fuel belt stocked with dates, a Larabar, and water. Clean kerchief tied around my head and my favorite running pants were even laundered. But the prep didn’t help me out in the motivation department. I was reluctant to leave for two reasons: 1) I had to tear myself away from prime quality time with the kiddos while we cheered and booed the Kid’s Choice Awards and 2) running has just plain sucked monkey balls lately.
I still have a few moments when I catch myself smiling at the wonder of my legs and the gorgeous nature all around me. They’re just few and far between the moments when my lungs are caving in and my body is moving through cement. It may be a few weeks yet before I get any real results, but in the meantime, I had something of a solution: a return to (mostly) clean eating without the (mostly) business. I am on Day 10 of my SweatItOut Whole30Challenge, but only Day 3 of absolutely NO cheating. I do feel better. I made it through the entire morning (which included a trip to the pediatrician’s office for a not-so-well Bear) with nary a yawn or a pause to catch my breath. I even managed to hold an intelligent and witty conversation with another adult. I made it into early afternoon before my body said, “Nu-uh. We’re done now.”
So I took a nap. I ain’t ashamed.
And now I feel moderately myself again. Which is good, because I am scheduled to run as soon as Hubby walks through the door.
Which brings me back to Sunday and the 18-that-became-15.8.
I chose a long run day to change up my fueling system. I wanted to stick to the Whole30 ideals and ditch my Gu for all natural dates with a Larabar for backup. Well, that was just dumb. I got heartburn, felt nauseous, and couldn’t eat more than the three I had at the end of my first hour. Which means I ran nearly two more hours with no extra fuel (the Larabar was far from appealing as well). Also, I ran outta water. I must get a four-bottle belt soon because two just ain’t cuttin’ it.
I slogged my way through more than 13 miles before I started toying with the idea of calling Hubby to pick me up. But I kept thinking of a post on the SweatItOut fan page where I had declared my intent of 18 miles, only to be assured by some fabulous gals that I would indeed rock that distance. I had to press on. The last thing I wanted to do was admit defeat. It was around 14.5 miles that I started experiencing tunnel vision and staggering into the middle of the road. It was yet another half mile or so before I really felt the time had come for backup.
Hubby came to pick me up, my white knight in dirty minivan. I felt awful and drained for the remainder of the day. This was not my recollection of training for Run for the Red last year. I signed up for another marathon because I had such fond memories of running through the shade of spring leaves; soaking up the sunshine even on chillier days; bursting with pride when I continually farther and longer distances. I remember too the shin splints and the knee pain; the blackened and then missing toenails; the stomach cramps and sore muscles. But what really sticks in my head is my love for running.
I need to find that again.
So tonight’s run will be short. It will be slow. I will listen to a book instead of music to make certain I do not pick up speed. I will walk when I reach my interval breaks instead of running through them. I will look at the early evening light and notice the beauty around me. I know I still have it in me, buried beneath worries about pacing and the recent Body Betrayal (that’s what I’ve decided to call it for now). The key is relaxing enough to rediscover the love.
My training isn’t over for many weeks yet. I still have time to change the direction. And I said I was gonna, so I am.