Friday, January 27, 2012

Power through or Stop?

My long run for this week was 7 miles.

I normally do my long runs on Saturday morning. The group I run with on saturday now does yoga after the run AND goes to brunch. I missed brunch a few saturdays ago and I never make it back in time for yoga. So, this week, I decided to do my long run on Friday morning. However, on my group's facebook page, a shout out for a thursday evening run. I thought I'd just do my long run on thursday evening, sleep in on friday, do a shorter run on saturday and go to brunch. (I really am looking forward to brunch :P)

I get home, my sister and niece were there, so I got caught up in talking/playing with them. I rushed out of the house without a bottle of water OR eating anything before the run. Ideally, I would have a tablespoon of natural PB and an apple. When I got into my car, I noticed I had a box of raisins--thank goodness! They came in handy.

I got to the park and the ladies told me that we would do 2/1 intervals. One girl wanted to do 6 miles, so the plan was we would do 2/1 intervals with the other girls for 3-3.5 miles, then we would continue on for 6 miles, and I would do the final mile by myself.

Good plan, right? Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

They are destine for failure.

We started the run, I was a bit out of breath, but able to keep up. We got to mile 1 pretty quickly. We did about an 11 mm (run/walking intervals). This is faster than I normally do my long runs, or better yet, any run. But I was feeling ok, so I decided to keep up with the girls.

Mile 1-2 was a distaster!! I suddenly got a very bad pain in my calves. I tried to run through the pain, but knew I needed to stop and re-lace and stretch. I also had to use the restrom. By this time, the girls were about a block ahead of me. They turned around to see where I was, but I waved them ahead.

I stopped and used the restroom. I also retied my laces and stretched. I actually thought about turning around and going back to my car. I was at 1.14 miles at this point.

I told myself to buck up and power through. I started jogging REALLY slowing, until the pain in my calves subsided.

Miles 2-3 were spent jogging really slowly. I actually saw my group up ahead. They very nicely waited for me at the entrance of the park to make sure I hadn't keeled over. I was able to trail them until 3.5 miles. When they stopped...

I was tempted to leave the park, also. However, I told myself I would do 7 miles. By this time, it was getting darker. The park we were at is a wooded park with shallow streams of water. There are also signs all over saiying, "Beware of Alligators." There is also NO lightening on the trails (WTF, City of SL??).

I ate half my box of raisins, drank some water at a fountain and continued down an unlighted trail. I was actually getting some energy and felt great. But, it was getting dark.  There were also a lot of rabbits and I kept hearing rumbling in the wooded areas. I was getting FREAKED out. So I ran this part very fast. At one point, I thought about someone hiding waiting to get me. I fortunately hit 5 miles by the time I was finished with this part of the trail.

So anyway, I get back to the main part of the park. Two boot camp classes were going on, so I felt safe in that area. I decided that I would just loop around this part until I got to 7 miles. I stopped at the water fountains--and they cut them off!!! I started panicking at the thought of going two more miles with no water. However, stubborn as I am, I kept going.

I did one loop around the park and it was a whole .35 miles. I KNEW I'd go crazy looping that area.

So I saw some people walking and they told me there were people on the trail. So I went on the trail. It was SO dark. I kept asking myself, "Nichelle, WHY are you doing this??" ...but, I couldn't stop! Not because it was one of those great, soul pumping was actually pretty shitty. I had bursts of energy, but it wasn't a great, I can't stop feeling. It was more of a "please stop" feeling. But, I kept going...

I finally got to 6.5 and knew that .5 miles was nothing. The last .5 miles went by in a flash.

When I saw 7 miles on my Garmin, I got an enormous sense of accomplishment. I felt great for powering through and not allowing negative self talk to stop my efforts.

Since the run, I've been thinking...why? Why didn't I stop? I could have done the run on Saturday. I AM so happy that it's done for the week. But what if I am having a great running day on Saturday?

I've been pondering this all morning. When people have sucky runs DO they stop or do they power through? I normally get very stubborn and when I say I am doing X amount of miles, I do X amount of miles. But is that always smart training? I wasn't in pain past 2 miles, but I was not feeling the best. So is it silly to keep going or is it heroic? LOL.

I can guess why I had such a bad run:
1. I wasn't mentally prepared for a longer run.
2. I did not properly fuel.
3. I had drank a lot of water that day, but obviously, I may have been a bit dehydrated.
4. I was probably due for a bad run.

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