Thursday, December 6, 2012

Only Nineteen Left

As would be the case in a marathon, that phrase is far from encouraging. These posts aren't nearly as painful or sweaty, though. Ooh! Maybe I'll give myself a medal upon completion, too?!
a small part of my collection. Definitely needs a Blogging Streak addition.
Today's Topic : My Six Worst Running Experiences (in no particular order)
  •  The final run before my Stress Fracture diagnosis. Read all about it in this post. The worst part? Up until the point where I was fighting back embarassing tears of pain, it was one of the most successful Tempo Runs I'd had in months.
soooo not worth it
  • The attempted Tempo Run just prior to the aforementioned Disaster Jaunt. I have no post to bore you with, as it was prior to my blogging. In retrospect, the looming Stress Fracture might have had almost everything the teensiest bit to do with the failed workout. I warmed up for a mile and could not. complete. a single tempo mile. I was a physical and mental mess. We have all had failed workouts. This one was bad enough to stick in my mind as one of the most demoralizing training runs I've ever had. It was particularly bad because it followed...

  • The OTHER attempted Tempo Run just prior to the aforementioned Disaster Jaunt. Yes, it was Summer. Yes, it was disgustingly hot and humid. Yes, I had nagging pain which eventually turned into a full-blown injury. At that time, in my training, though, none of those factors were able to erase the defeat I felt when I was unable to complete this speedwork. They were workouts I'd done before. The pace was slower than my 5k pace, for goodness' sake! Those runs lead me to question everything about my running, for the first time, ever. I know how dramatic that sounds, but I had never before had to wonder "why am I even putting myself through this?" Up 'til that point, running had been fun. Even when it was competetive, it was still fun, for me. Now, with a goal of "Marathon", everything began to unravel. It was a very dark time, indeed.
"ooh, how artistic! See how she uses the photo to simulate the shadow falling on otherwise happy times!"
  • This 10k was so awful for so many reasons.
I was so excited about this race. It was the first in a set of races appropriately named Tour De Pain Extreme. The 10k was held in the morning, followed by a 5k the same evening and a half-marathon the following morning.
I realize that concept doesn't seem tempting to any most people.
I love 10ks, though, I love the idea of running fast after a morning race (the 5k) and would have a perfect excuse for why I sucked it up in the 1/2 the next morning. (uh...I just ran 2 races, yesterday...). In my usual form, I failed to peek at that above course map, prior to the race. Apparently, the "Extreme" portion of the title wasn't a fluke. There were four bridge crossings. In 6.2 miles. It was hot, hideous and such a disappointing start to the fun weekend I'd built up, in my mind. For the first time, ever, I didn't even look at the posted results, after the race. It was that bad.
  •  This 5k. Other than the quickie Genuine Mile race I'd done, it was my first post-injury race. I was so happy to be in racing shape, again, and had set my expectations way too high. I was simply not as ready as I'd hoped I was. It was so discouraging and, for the first time, made me question if I ever wanted to race a 5k, again. After some time, I was able to shake off the race, but it still haunts me, a bit, when I look at my upcoming race calendar.
somehow, the bands on the course had the oppostite effect of "motivating me"

  • And, finally, my first 18-miler. Again, pre-blogging days, so there's no link to an overly-dramatic and blurry photo-filled post. It was supposed to be a "long, slow day". My furthest distance, to date, had been 16 miles, so I thought it would be totally do-able. Five miles in, I had the first inklings of panic, about the heat and the way my body was feeling. When, at seven miles, I realized that I would have to finish out fourteen miles, just to get back to my car, the full-blown nausea and defeat set in. (it was an out & back, paved trail). I remember hating the lucky people on bikes. I shot desperate looks at anyone who passed, hoping they'd offer me some sort of solution to this situation I'd gotten myself into. 
  I stumbled to my car, at mile 14 and ripped off my sweat socked socks & shoes. I literally had to wring them out. A frustrated, whiny phone call to The Husband somehow provided the kick in the butt I needed. I shoved my blistered, wrinkled feet back into my shoes, and set back out to finish out those four miles.

Luckily, the experience provided me with a comprehensive list of "What Not to do on Long Run Days".

Bottom line :

To acheive runs that leave you feeling like this:
...sometimes you have to go through ones that make you look like this:
In lieu of Today's link sharing, you get the above picture.
You're welcome! 




  1. Here's a terrible run story: 3 years ago, I won my age group for the first 5K I ever ran. So, last year, of course, I had to go run that race again since it lined up with my schedule. Mind you, I only won it 3 years ago because it's held in February, in Indiana, on a hilly golf course, and most sane people are somewhere warm that day. I admit, I was hoping for another age group win. I though I could "easily" keep my time under 28 minutes, maybe even under 27 minutes, despite the fact that there were 6 inches of fresh snow... oh, and did I forget to mention being sick for 6 days prior? As in, coughing, hacking, sound-like-death bronchitis sick. So of course it was a great idea to drive 2 hours to my mom's and run.
    Those 3.1 miles felt like 30. I managed to finish in 28:30, and then coughed non-stop for 5 minutes, all while my mom threatened to take me to the ER if I couldn't get it under control (she's always worried about my asthma).
    Yeah. Pride goes before the fall. I came in 4rd for my age group, and was rewarded with being sick for another week. I've never felt that awful while running. I imagine that's what it feels like to climb Everest. It was terrible.

    1. oh my gosh. That hurt my lungs, a little, just to read that!

  2. Oh gosh, you're so right about getting through the bad runs to get to the good ones. But you should try not to run through stress fractures in the future ;) haha, bet you didn't think of THAT.

    1. where were you and your wisdom when I was running around in pain?!