Sunday, June 20, 2010

The 11-miler that wasn't

Workout: 9.95 miles in 1 hour, 38 minutes; average pace, 9:52.
Workout fuel: Half a Banana Bread Larabar before run, the other half at 6.6 miles

I was supposed to run 11 miles today - that's what I wrote on my schedule. I wanted to run 11 miles. Actually, I sort of wanted to run 12 but thought I'd see how I was feeling. I wasn't feeling 12 miles. I barely was feeling 8.

Why? It could be any number of things.

*I didn't sleep well. The blackened tilapia had stirred up my acid reflux, and I was feeling the twinges of an attack as I laid in bed.
*The downstairs neighbor had his dog outside, and I woke up at 12:30 a.m. to the sound of his barks.
*The barking continued until 2 a.m., and I maybe got to sleep again at 2:30.
*Denali dog woke me up at 7 a.m. for food and the morning visit outside.
*I stayed up and got out on the trail about 7:45 a.m., at which point the sun was already blazing.
*It just wasn't my day.

Once again, this long run was split into two but this time I ran the first part by myself (6.66) and the remainder with Mark and Denali. I felt OK but tired the first part. There was some nice shade on the trail and I was able to start off at a slow-to-moderate pace - with several of the miles clocking in at 9:55.

Things changed the second part. Mark was waiting for me with the remainder of the Larabar and a fresh water bottle. I decided to run into the house quickly to use the bathroom and change my tank, which was drenched in sweat. We started off, with about 4.5 miles to get in. The first two, I guess, were a test but doable. Then, once again, I felt like I fell apart at mile 9. I was tired. My legs felt heavy. And I was HOT. I was gulping down water and that in turn caused cramps. It was a vicious cycle.

We stopped about mile 9.5 to refill the water bottle at which point Mark looked at me and said that I wasn't looking so good. "You don't have to do this, you know," he said. I told him that I wanted to get to 10 and then we'd walk the rest of the way. We had to stop to cross a busy-ish street at 9.95, and I knew I was done.

As we walked home, I vocalized how disappointed I was in myself - that I couldn't do the 11. That I had to stop for water breaks and not run and drink. That I didn't deserve to put a sticker on my training schedule.

"But you just ran almost 10 miles," Mark said. "How is that bad?"

And now that I've eaten breakfast, had some coffee, I'm able to say that running 10 miles instead of 11 isn't bad. It's OK. Better even because I listened to my body.

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