Sunday, August 19, 2012

The 16 mile Nightmare

Friday I was to run 16 miles as part of my Chicago Marathon training. I had nightmares leading up to Friday. I was truly dreading this run. One of the main reasons I was dreading it is that I also went caffeine free last week. For those of you who know my normal coffee intake, you will know this is no small feat. Getting through the first day was horribly difficult. I was to run 8 miles that day. I made it 4. My legs felt like lead, my head was pounding fiercely with a withdrawal headache; to put it mildly, I was a mess. I declared myself "sick" and went to bed. The only thing I emerged for was to pick Nate up from work, declare he was in charge of dinner, and after dinner, I literally went straight to bed. No lie, I was in bed at 6:30 pm and I slept the whole night. The next day was much better. The headache was gone but I still felt the "lead" feeling in my legs. Nate wondered if I had mono. So, you can see why I was dreading the 16 mile run. In fact, Friday I ended up cheating. I wanted to reach the 16 mile marker, but I knew I wouldn't make it. Maybe that's part of my problem. I talk myself out of things so easily. I ran 5.5 miles in an hour, which is my standard 11 mph pace. It was tough, but I could've gone longer. However, I decided that I'd bike the rest. And I did. In 40 minutes, I biked over 11 miles. Although I did go a total of 17 miles, I felt like I had gone two steps backward in my training. I'm honestly beginning to freak a bit about the race. I'm a month and two weeks out from it and I feel like I've got such a long way to go. I haven't met my weight loss goals for this training journey. I'm not running like the wind (the fantasy in my head is that I run long graceful strides with my hair flowing long behind me. As you know, I don't even have long hair, so I'm not sure how in the world this fantasy would even remotely become true). But what I need to remember is what I have accomplished. I'm now able to run 5 miles and even 10 miles without breaking into hives. I am stronger now than I ever have been. And, for the marathon, the whole purpose is raising money to take clean water to Africa - not Jenna running long graceful strides with long flowing hair. If I walk some...even a lot....of the race, I'm still there. I'm still participating. I'm still fulfilling my commitment. THAT is what I need to focus on from this point forward. And focusing on that, will help me run that much further and finish the race.

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