To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Run #25 - Love is a Battlefield

I'm not sure what to say.

I had cautious optimism 5 hours ago when I was lacing up my shoes and heading out for my first ever seven mile run.  During the podcast I was running to I had to stop and text myself something the speaker said.
Fear is a reaction to the unknown.
It really hit home. That was what was going on.  

I love to run, and today my run was a battlefield. I have found my running weakness and it is my own mind. I think I had a mild tinge of fear about running this new, unknown distance. I mean 7 miles is a lot! I started this whole running thing with a goal to initially run around the block. That changed to running a mile. That led to a 5K. And now here I am exactly 6 weeks away from completing my first half marathon. I know I can do it, but I was still nervous about the seven. What would my body do? Could it run that long? Where would I be able to run for 7 miles when my town is so freaking small?  Subconsciously I had all of these worries, and it really came to bite me in the ass!

The temperature was really nice (around 55 degrees) and rainy. I love running in the rain. I set out in short sleeves, arm/leg sleeves, a skirt and visor. Once I started the wind kicked in and the rain came down harder and harder. I wasn't phased - it just made me feel like a bad ass! I had the new water bottle attached to my hand and everything felt really natural.

Then it happened. I hear talk of The Wall. Well, if it is possible to hit a wall on a 7 mile run then I ran smack dab into it..... about 3 times. My mind just went. Once my mind gives up on me I am a lost cause. I spend too much energy fighting with myself and feeling miserable. It just sucked today!! I did just come to a complete stop under a tree and watched 3 deer watching me. I just had to stop and try to get myself together. And then I almost puked on three separate times. I really wanted to just do it and then feel better, but it never happened. At 5.7 miles in I had to stop under another tree. I stopped the Garmin and just had a pep talk with myself. I shan't repeat it, but I'm pretty sure the f word and its variations were in one sentence  alone 3 times. Thank goodness the weather was terrible and no one was out to notice or hear me. I was so happy when this run came to an end. Today I did not love running, but I wasn't going to give up on myself. I powered through to the end, completing all 7 miles in 1 hour and 16 minutes, for an average pace of 10:51.

It felt like an epic fail. I suppose I feel like a failure because I love to race. I am always racing when I run. Racing myself and my Garmin. I TRY to slow down or just let myself run easy, but I always want to feel like I pushed as hard as I could. This run I just couldn't push at all. I tried so hard but my stupid mental battle got the better of me.

South Umpqua River
The best part of my run was the mile long walk of shame home. I had no one to impress. I had nowhere to be. For a while I stopped and watched the river that is just rising like crazy. It always reminds me of Willy Wonka's chocolate river when it gets like this! I turned on some Fiona Apple and sang the rest of the way home. I was completely amused when I noticed a car noticing me. Their light turned green - they didn't notice. The lady in the car behind them laid on the horn. I enjoyed the moment to just laugh - but then went back to wallowing in my self pity party and enjoying some angsty girl music. It helped!

So I guess it was a success. I hit a new milestone. But I am not proud of how it went down. I really can do so much better, so I will redeem myself with my next long run!

If you are interested, here is a current shot of the NORTH Umpqua River. We are hoping we won't hit flood level out here. You've seen this same river behind my 6 mile victory photo - BIG change and it is only getting higher!! I'll add both, for comparison.
Last week:

This week:


  1. You should really be proud of yourself! You ran 7 miles. You ran in weather that gives most people the excuse to log some extra couch-time. And you FINISHED what you set out to do! That is HUGE!

    I totally know what you mean about that mental game. I run WAY slower than you and I've had to deal with some horrible mind games out there. It sucks when it happens. Just try to deal with all the negative crap that bubbled up to the surface and then tell it not to join you next time.

    And AWESOME job on the 7 miles today! I'm sure you even managed to inspire the gawker at the stoplight.

  2. 7 miles! That's a great accomplishment! And hitting the wall means that no matter what the time says, you challenged yourself today. Congratulations on running further than ever. It will get easier.
    I race myself whenever I run, too. I'm addicted to my garmin and crunching the numbers to see how I've improved (or not).
    Just take a moment and be proud- you ran seven miles!

  3. 7 miles is a big deal and you did it. Hitting the wall is good, it shows you how to push farther. you could have packed it up and headed home, but you didn't! Imagine how great 7 will feel next time:)
    keeping my fingers crossed about flooding for you guys. hopefully the water stays down.

  4. Good job on finishing 7 miles!
    Good job on not just quitting the run because it is so easy to do that.
    Be proud of what you have done.
    And do you know that you ran WAAAAAAAY faster than I did?
    There will be a better run sometime later. Everyone of us have good runs and bad runs. :)

  5. Finishing 7 miles is great!! And hitting the wall happens to everyone. Good job pushing through!

  6. that run was NOT a failure, you broke through all those mental walls and finished!!! I've had my moments battling my brain on a run, it's hard to deal with, but you did great. : )

  7. Hey, you got it done. You didn't give up, so that is success. Your next run will be better!

  8. Not every run will be awesome, so props to you for getting the job done, even if you didn't have a great time doing it.

  9. Perseverance. Sometimes it doesn't feel good persevering through obstacles, in this case the dreaded wall, but in the end, it makes you stronger and builds character.

    Your next run will most likely feel so effortless. Why? Because your out there doing what it takes on your battlefield. GreatJob!

  10. Like everybody said, you DID it!!! That's awesome! And I always love the recaps of your runs. You are so good at entertaining yourself :) You've also inspired me to get my butt running, I only ran 8 miles TOTAL last week I think! Your widget says 36 days, YIKES!! Can't wait though!

  11. Awesome job on getting done! YOU GOT THIS!

  12. 7 miles FTW!!!

    You did really well - running is all mental (so they say).

    At least you are getting out there and running - I am still on the couch recovering!!

    Happy running, and thoughts of no floods heading your way!

  13. I've realized that running is mostly a mental game after a certain distance, for me it was anything over 6 miles originally. But you sucked it up and did it and were able to overcome the crazy deamons! :) Everyone will always have some mentally challenging runs but as long as we look past them and keep on going, that's all that matters! Congrats on the 7 mile milestone! :)

  14. what an awesome accomplishment! congrats!

    i ran this weekend in the rain and cold and now i'm sick :(

  15. Sometimes you've just got to walk. I had that day on the treadmill this morning...blech

  16. Hey, congrats on doing it!! I struggled w/ some training runs too - but that just makes the good ones that much better! Keep up the hard work - you CAN do this!!!


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