Soooo I ventured out yesterday morning for the first time in a week (thanks again politics). I was all panicky because as I mentioned before the half marathon is a mere THREE WEEKS AWAY which really means I only have two more weeks of training and then a taper week, and my longest run so far is nine miles, blah blah blah. So I decided to just kick it into gear with an eight-miler yesterday.
I felt great for about the first....I don't know. Two miles? About a mile and a half into it I passed this other runner, and then she took a shortcut to cross the street and I used the crosswalks (odds are I would die in some freak accident if I didn't), and so she ended up ahead of me again and the whole thing was awkward. I was worried she was going to be running the exact same route as me and I just did not want to deal with it, because I am annoying and competitive so I would have HAD TO try to stay in front of her and it would have turned into a tempo run and it was approximately 7,000 degrees with 110 percent humidity so I was not in any mood to do a damn tempo run. Luckily she turned a corner and I never saw her again so it was just me, my bad attitude and six miles to go.
I just felt like crap for basically this entire run. About five miles in I got the worst side cramp I've ever had in my life - it hurt so badly I almost started crying; I couldn't breathe at all - so I had to walk. I literally cannot remember the last time I walked during a run, I think I was probably 14 or 15. It's just not something I do, for a lot of reasons but the main one came rushing back to me last night and that is this: it is so mentally difficult for me to keep running after I stop. I am not beating myself up about walking, at all, because I had no other option, I literally couldn't keep running because breathing and moving at the same time was too painful. But once I started running again it pretty quickly became a case of, "Well I'm in pain now too so why not just stop again...I already did it once so this run doesn't matter now anyway."
I think the side cramp happened because - in my brilliance! - I didn't drink any water before I set out, just two cups of coffee. It was muggy and gross outside and I was sweating BUCKETS. In my quick walking break I found a water fountain and, though I didn't feel particularly thirsty, chugged a bunch and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, THE CRAMP WENT AWAY LIKE MAGIC.
Anyway, I slogged through the rest of the route and as I was about a mile away from home this SUPER PALE ALBINO MAN passed me and I just lost it. Seriously. And that was when I took my third walk break, the one for which I have no excuse. I was just SO FRUSTRATED. Frustrated that the run felt like crap and my legs were heavy and I couldn't breathe. Frustrated that I hadn't run all week. Frustrated that this race is in three weeks and I'm nervous that I'm not ready and it's going to suck. Frustrated with myself, with my job, with my weekend, with being in Wisconsin, with EVERYTHING. So I walked. For about half a block. And then I got mad and sucked it up and JUST BECAUSE, ran an extra three-quarters of a mile. Because, excuse my language, fuck that. I am not weak and I am not a big whiny baby, and I was acting like both of those things for the better part of that run. (And also for the better part of the weekend. It has not been a great few days for me.)
The extra mileage sucked and looking back I probably shouldn't have done it. I really wasn't feeling good and I think there's a good chance I was actually real-life dehydrated. When I stopped at the end of the run I felt clammy and had goosebumps, I thought I was going to puke and my legs didn't really want to hold me up anymore. Learning the balance between stopping because it's healthy and safe and stopping because you're being a baby is difficult for me; I pretty much always assume that I'm just being a baby so I keep going. (This is probably the only time I have been wrong, honestly.)
So! The good news is that my pace wasn't awful for all of my drama and wanting to die (7.89 miles in 1 hour, 12 minutes; 9:07 average) and...well that's about all the good news. Also my running watch broke somehow (NO idea how this happened, I just found it on my kitchen table all busted) - the loop that holds the watchband snapped, so to use it during my run yesterday I had to loop it around the strap of my tank top and tuck it into the bra, NOT AWESOME - so I need to go get a new one. I am sad. I get weirdly attached to things like my running shoes, watch, etc. It's just that we have been through SO MUCH TOGETHER, you know. It's like:
:( Goodbye Timex, I will miss you, and even though I will probably replace you with a clone of yourself, it just won't be the same, at least not for like two runs and then it will probably be fine.