post-long run doubts

20 Jan

Eric and I are in Buffalo for the weekend.  Eric is my sherpa, since he signed me up (without permission) for the Buffalo Marathon.  Which means that I pretty much call the shots for these long runs–I decide the when and where, and he goes with me and does things like talk me through the rough moments and guard the porta potty and protect me from any potential bad guys out there.

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So last night I passed out on his mom’s couch sometime around 10 (I think).  He said it was funny because I was laying all sideways (even though I was on the recliner part of the sectional, so my legs were in front of me but my upper body was to the side, if that makes any sense).  I vaguely heard the weather reports on the 11 o’clock news and Eric’s exclamation about the high wind warnings.  I put them aside in my grogginess, thinking that I was dreaming.  I was apparently exhausted, because I got up around 11:30 (i think) and went to bed, but I don’t really remember.  I don’t think I brushed my teeth and I know I didn’t wash my face, because I woke up with mascara under my eyes.

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It was SUPER windy when I rolled over around 7.  I had the most god-awful cramps in the world (TMI?  sorry.)  I curled myself into a little ball and pulled the covers up under my chin.  I just laid there, half asleep, thinking about skipping the run altogether.  “I can always go tomorrow” is a really good excuse, right???  I was still in that half-awake state when Eric said “yo you gotta get up.  we gotta get going.  let’s go.”  I was cranky.  Uber cranky.  But I figured a good run might cure that, I could at least attempt a run and go tomorrow if it were really that bad, and exercise supposedly helps cramps, so there was no reason not to go.

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So I ask what the temperature is, and Eric checks and incredulously says “41! I am overdressed and have nothing else to wear!”  So now he’s cranky, too.  Whatever.  We get ready and head out the door around 7:30.  We drove to a little park that’s about a mile from my parents’ house to park.  I figured that was a good starting location because if we needed to add a mile or two, we could do it in that park (it’s only good for maybe a mile because it’s so tiny.)

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We set out and realize the wind is at our backs.  Sweet!  We’re cruising along, and I’m trying not to think about the fact that this easy early run means a really tough last couple of miles into the wind and mostly uphill.  No matter.  We headed from park #1 to park #2, Losson Park.  It was just over 3 miles to get there.  We got in, Eric took a picture of the flag whipping in the wind, I ate a delicious shot block (I don’t get why these are any different than gummy bears or skittles, but whatever.  look at me being all “real runner” and eating “real runner” food).  We carried on.  The trails had a dusting of snow, but they were mostly great.  There are a lot of boardwalks throughout the park, and those were a little slick.  On our way back to the car around mile 8, I almost slipped and took out Eric, too.  Anyway, Losson is one of my favorite places to run, and we had a nice 2 mile jaunt through the park.  We got to the other end of the park and took the road about a half mile to another little park, the Reinstein Nature Preserve.  There are a lot of small loop trails through there, many around little ponds.  We did a mile-ish through there, coming across a creeper man (not dressed for a walk in the woods, wouldn’t look at us, eric finally said hi as we were passing and he just gave us a weird smile).  We left the park, this woman was coming in, Eric said “I think she just checked me out.  You should go fight her.”  I said, “I’m too tired for all that.”  We laughed and went back to Losson.  We backtracked through the park, then started our 3 miles into the wind, on a slightly uphill incline.  It wasn’t too bad except when the winds gusted, and then it was awful.  We were at mile 9 and this guy  comes around a corner at the same time that we were getting to it.  We wave hello. He doesn’t wave back.  He looked to be going about the same pace as us as he ran towards the corner (maybe even slower), but then he took off–I think to race us.  It took everything I had to hold it in check.  I had to remind myself that I was 9 miles into a 12-14 miler.  We were right on his heels for the 2/10 of a mile or so to the next corner.  He hit the corner and stopped to walk.  And I felt triumphant.  Mofo wanted to race, but I would’ve crushed him AND not had to walk AND it would’ve been after already having done 9.  Part of me wished I had gone with him to show him what was up (since he kind of inadvertently challenged us), but mostly I was glad I had kept to  MY plan.  And I’m sure he thinks he’s bad because he “beat us” in a quarter mile race.

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We made a quick pit stop at my parents’ house around mile 10.  Getting hugs from my baby sister was a good pick-me-up.  We ran the last mile to the car together and Eric called it quits.  We had gone 11.25.  I was so tempted to get in the car, too.  But I knew I needed to do a 12-miler.  I headed into Birchfield alone, banged out the last 3/4 mile and called it a day.

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We had a good visit with my grandparents today, then went to visit his dad in the hospital.  We were close to part of the race course, so Eric pulled it up and we were looking at the route.  And I started to freak out a little bit.  26.2 miles is a long freaking way.  2 hours this morning felt like an eternity.  4 hours is double that.  Oh. My. God.  Can I really do this again???  Adding fuel to the fire, one of my twitter friends reminded me that we are 18 weeks away.  Last time I counted the weeks til D-day, we were over 20 away and I had nothing to worry about.  Is that even enough time to train????  Oh. My. God.

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I know I will be fine.  I have so much time, I am training in not-so-favorable winter conditions, which will make me much stronger for the spring.  I am getting more and more mentally tough–I dragged my butt out of bed, ran although I wasn’t feeling well (I am still feeling pretty awful), and I did the last part of my run alone when I could’ve backed out.  I’ve got this.  But I’m still a little scared.

at least i will see beautiful things like this sunrise over one of the ponds this morning...marathon training!

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One Response to “post-long run doubts”

  1. Jen January 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    You totally got this! You’ve already run one marathon and you keep getting faster and faster! I saw this ad once that said “I used to run with doubt. Now it can’t keep up.” You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for!

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