The day I almost gave up – 16 mile recap from 8.16.09
Although it’s been a little while since I ran my 16 mile training run and the little details have slipped away I certainly haven’t forgotten it.
That weekend we had company, Keith and Amy, visiting and while I knew that I was going to be a sore mess after the run I had to do it. I woke up at 4am and after stretching and eating I was out the door by 5am. For breakfast I had a wasa cracker with almond butter and half of a banana. I learned quickly that I really need to focus on eating a heartier “first breakfast” because this just isn’t enough to really fuel me for runs over 10 miles.
As I left my neighborhood I realized that I’d never been out the main running at 6am – and it was DARK. Unfortunately there aren’t that many street lights along my route and I realized rather quickly that there were even less than I thought there were. I turned my music down and really focused on my surroundings, so much so that when the strap from my Camelbak got caught between the backpack and my back I SCREAMED out loud because I thought someone was trying to grab me from behind, lol! This actually happened a few more times (apparently I’m a slow learner!) before I found a way to wrap it around another part of the bag so it wouldn’t get wedged there again.
Once I made it to the main street it was still too dark to continue on to Publix so I took a detour through another neighborhood that is very well lit. On my way back to the main street I got something in my sock that kept poking the back of my leg but I couldn’t see anything. I eventually had to take off my shoe and sock to see what was going on but I still couldn’t see anything. I was getting really frustrated at this point and literally had sweat pouring off of me before I finally put my sock back on and said “to hell with it” and kept running. I still don’t know what was in my sock! The sunrise was beautiful and I swear as soon as it came up the humidity went down and I felt like I could breathe again! What a glorious feeling! I went past Publix and into McDonalds and when I looked at my watch I had already gone 8 miles! Woo Hoo! I was halfway there! I felt GREAT and really thought that the next 8 would be a piece of cake…Riiiiight. I washed off my face and enjoyed the cool air for a little while before heading back out again.
For both 12 and 14 I noticed that it started to get really rough between 8-10 miles and this run didn’t disappoint, unfortunately. My hamstring and glutes were BURNING and no amount of stretching was helping. My knees were also really starting to hurt and I just plodded along and tried to get lost in the music playing on my ipod. Ironically somewhere during that time frame I also had my fastest burst of running speed because my fastest pace was a 10:36′/mile – not bad for me after running 8 miles!
Once I hit mile 13 I was in pain and I still had 3 miles left. I sat down on the sidewalk to stretch along the main road and just started crying. It was totally the “ugly cry” with sobbing and snot and everything. I’m sure I was quite the sight as cars, other runners and cyclists went by. I had a “come to Jesus” talk with myself because I truly wanted to give up. I felt like I was running so slow that I’d never make the cut off time that the marathon has (6.5 hours) and I just felt like I couldn’t do it; it was too much. That’s when I had to ask myself – do I REALLY think I can’t do it? Because if I REALLY thought that then I might as well just forget about getting up ridiculously early to complete the rest of the long runs and save myself the pain and suffering. I was thisclose to throwing in the towel when I realized that I didn’t want to give up. That even if I was the last person to cross the finish line I will have participated in something AMAZING and for such a great cause that it would be worth it. I picked myself up off of the sidewalk and continued on home.
When I walked in the house I burst into tears and Carl listened to me wail about how awful the run was and how I almost completely gave up. He was incredibly encouraging and I’m so thankful that he always knows just what to say to make me feel better. I took the traditional picture with my mileage but we had to make a silly little sign for me to hold up. I made the first one with pen but since you couldn’t really read it Carl had the idea to use black tape, lol! We are so klassy over here
Distance – 16 miles
Time – 3:53:16
Pace – 14:35′/mi