Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Demise

Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a ride and a half.

So. On Friday, I ran 5k in 33:30. Without water. Without a knee strap. And without stopping. It was great!

I really had to focus and redirect myself every once in a while to "run the mile you're in". I never realized how much I obsess over little things like how far I've run or how far I have to go.

It's pretty awesome that 5k, which seemed so long and far away when I first started, is now easy.

While I was running, I was making a mental list of points to remember about my 10-miler the next day. It included "No Fear" which may seem like antiquated sports doctrine, but is still personally and socially relevant. It also included "Let the mind lead, not the body". And a reminder to pump my arms when I'm feeling sluggish. This may be a Playskool technique, but it works for me.

I also had my first rush of drugs to the system in weeks. . . I was really visualizing my post-10 post and even my post-race post, proclaiming that "I survived Airport Hill" - complete with pics and everything.

Well, that was Friday.

Saturday I woke up later than I intended. It was already a little warm out when I started. I had gone the night before and got some new Spencos, some running socks, and some GU energy gel.

I had also mapped out a 10 mile route and was ready to go.

I did 3 miles, and that 3rd mile was tough because it was uphill. I figured I'd do some GU after that 3rd mile, so I could continue going strong. I drank the sugary, syrupy substance down, walking and rinsing out my mouth - and promptly got back to it.

As my body weakened to the point of being flaccid, I remembered an "experiment" my mom did with me when I was about 15 or 16. She told me to put out my arm and push up against her hand, resisting as she pushed down on my arm. I did. I was able to hold up against her. Then, she gave me a spoonful of sugar (not the Mary Poppins kind!), had me wait a few seconds and we did the same thing again. This time I was weak and could not resist. She pushed my arm down.

Yeah. That happened to me after the GU. My entire body felt limp and weak. I tried to keep running. I tried and tried. I spent much of the 4th mile walking off and on. It was very hard to get going again. And the fear took over. Big time. And my body took over. My mind suddenly had no place there. It was awful. I began to doubt. I began to give up. I knew that passing by the street that led to home would be the point of no return - either for quitting or for keeping going.

As I went into my 5th mile, I knew M had gone ahead of me on his bike and headed home to get me some chapstick. I got to the end of our street, and I suddenly cried out "I don't wanna do this!" And then, I burst into tears. Sobbing.

I walked down our street, found a shady corner, sat down on the street corner and cried. Which made my sunscreen run and sting my eyes. I rinsed it out and cried some more. Part of me was disappointed that I hadn't adequately outlined for myself my motivation for wanting to do this race. Part of me was upset that my body gave up and arm wrestled my mind into quitting.

But, part of me was relieved. Running had stopped being fun several weeks back. While I credit training for this race with getting me up and beyond running 5k in ways I never could have expected, it also became drudgery and felt more like a chore than something I really wanted to do.

I tried to complete my 5th mile. I tried to keep going. I finally just gave it up for good. M supported me and said he wasn't disappointed in me - I gave it a good shot and "5 miles is a lot!" So that was something.

I haven't run since then.

I'm thinking tomorrow I'll go out for a leisurely 5k.

It'll be great.

But, I'm still sad. (And kind of feel like I'm letting you down, Jen.)

'Cuz I kind of don't know where to go from here.

Back to One Hour Runner? Running 3 times a week and doing a 3-4-3 rotation for a total of 10 miles a week?

Who knows.


Jen said...

don't feel bad! I can totally feel your pain! I got up this morning to go running and thought "this will be nice when I can run because I want to and not because I am training" I soooo understand how you feel! I am excited for when this is done and I can just run 3 times a week w/ buddies and stay in shape and hopefully lose a few more pounds! You are awesome, you know that!!

Michelle said...

You're amazing!! Sounds like you have some things you're working toward! I love it, it's inspiring to me!!