Friday, July 30, 2010

Highs and Lows

After the pleasant eight-mile run I had on Tuesday, Wednesday morning I plodded through a four-mile slog that was anything but. I felt as if I were wading through a swamp. My legs were heavy as stone. As the torture ground on, I descended into one of those self-doubting black moods we all have at one time or another. Does any of this sound familiar?
  • I don't know why I even bother.
  • I'm dying and it's only been two miles, how the hell am I going to run a marathon?
  • I'm never going to requalify for Boston if I don't improve, and FAST.
  • This is fucking stupid.
  • Maybe I should just downgrade to the half.
  • Fuck that, maybe I should just quit racing altogether.
  • I am pathetic.
  • I'm so fat.
  • I've got to get out of this funk.
  • Maybe I should just accept that I'm getting older and slower. Maybe 2009 was my last hurrah.
  • It didn't used to be this hard. What happened?
And so on.

I was plodding along around 3.8 miles in, desperately wanting this horrible run to END, when I came to a four-way-stop. I proceeded across the intersection, vaguely aware that a car had pulled up at the stop sign. Then I heard someone call out to me:

"Good job. Keep it up, young lady. Good job."

I looked over and there was an older gentleman in the car. I said, "Thank you!"

No, I didn't start running a 7:30 mile all of a sudden. However, it did lift my spirits a bit. I stopped slouching so badly and finished the run feeling slightly better about myself.

I opted to do my pace run today instead of taking my traditional rest day, thereby freeing up one morning of the weekend for other things. I was determined to get this one right. "Pace" means my marathon pace, 8:35/mile or less. I owned that bitch.

8:24, 8:12 (wtf?), 8:23, 8:24.

Same route, same mileage as Wednesday...but a full minute per mile faster. What's more, I felt great. I was running instead of plodding. Maybe there is hope for me and my second BQ quest after all.

The next time I run will be my 16-miler in the super awesome guest location. I can't wait!


bt.grapevine said...

I had the same list of doubts creep into my head during my alleged “tempo” run yesterday. Can you send that nice motorist over my way?
This long distance stuff really is at least 50% upstairs. If you can get your head believing it, your heart and legs will follow…

Junk said...

Loved the self-doubts. Made me laugh. I identified with them. Fortunately or unfortunately I embrace that black world especially when starting training. Best wishes and keep up the blogging.

Jaime Runs said...

SUCH a great post. I have felt the same way often when running and the same negative thoughts creep up.

You should hire that old guy to follow you around on days you're feeling down.

joyRuN said...

That crap goes through my head all the time. Except for #3 ;p

Some runs just want to be sloggy & uncooperative. Hate those.

Morgan said...

You totally owned that pace workout! Now go enjoy the super cool guest location of your long run! :)

Xenia said...

I think that stuff all the time. Might be why I'm not racing for anything now and not wearing a watch when I run. It's liberating if not a little directionless.

So, let's hear about this interesting long run of yours now...

mr loser said...

Right on the money with the internal demon dialogue; that same doubting bastard lives inside everyone's head. Always fight the power, always.