Running is supposed to be difficult, right?

Some days you wake up like a firecracker. 

You lace up your favorite running shoes, throw on your neon, and scoot out the door feeling like a champion. You feel like a highly coiled spring, or a greyhound–fast strong and ready to run to the MOON. Mercury is your pace coach and the Victory Goddess Nike gives you a little tap on the bum as you go flying out the door.

This week hasn’t been like that. Not. One. Bit. It shouldn’t be that surprising, considering that I’m probably riding out the tail end of that nasty little stomach infection from last Thursday

Monday’s “gentle” 4-miler was a slog. I spent a whole lot of it wondering who snuck into my room sunday night and replaced my quadriceps with cinderblocks. 

Today I had 7 miles on the schedule. The workout I was going to follow was:
2 mile gentle warm-up
4 miles progression (increasing my pace every mile)
1 mile gentle cool down

Here’s what went down:
1 mile up the steep hill that leads to Phinney Ridge (9’35” pace)
1 GIANT FACE PLANT after tripping on a crack in the sidewalk right next to the woodland park zoo
1 mile spent questioning my sanity (9’11”)

Then I decided to buck up and do the run I had planned. I’m lucky to have the time and physical capability to train for marathons, so I put the FASTEST techno music I have on my iPod, hocked and enormous loogie and went for it. 
My splits for the next 4 miles looked like this:

Hmmmm…not exactly a ‘progression’ run but at least I finished faster than I started and maintained a semblance of what my marathon pace is. I gotta say the cool down (1 mile at 8’37”) felt REALLY nice.

So what’s the take away from all this? Listening to a privileged white PhD student complain about heavy legs isn’t exactly the most interesting thing in the world. 

Completing something as planned is empowering. Even if it doesn’t go the way you expected it to at the beginning. Also, the fact that I am using my training for this marathon to fundraise for the Humane Society REALLY helped me push through and pick it up a little bit during that last mile today. I wanted to slow down, but as the negative self-talk was creeping up and my brain started saying “Why are you doing this? This is uncomfortable,” I had a great answer: “I am training to support the Humane Society, my friends and family are supporting ME, I owe it to myself and everyone else to give it my best effort for today.”

Here’s the link to my fundraising page:
Sam’s fundraising page for the humane society

And then I got back in and took a selfie in the bathroom mirror. Man, I kinda did a number on my knees, didn’t I? And maybe I need to consider getting some gear that is not teal.

3 thoughts on “Running is supposed to be difficult, right?

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  1. I'm trying to ski every morning this week since the Nordiques are threatening to close the XC runs on Sunday. So far 2 for 2. When I headed up into Buckeye Basin for my normal “twice around” I told myself that I really should go “thrice around” since I'm going much faster than I was at the beginning of the season. But by the second hill I was convincing myself that my wax was too soft and I really hadn't had breakfast yet and thrice around could be downright dangerous and I really should get back in time to actually read the report we would be discussing on the call at 10. But, in the end I made it around. The snow warmed up a little, so the skiing actually was like, well, skating. But the kicker was that on the way up to Eldora, I was thinking about stopping for a latte on the way home. If I had time for an overpriced, badly made latte in Ned, then I had time for once more around. I felt better.


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