Monday, August 6, 2012

Training is Hard

My half marathon training is going well. Yesterday David and I did a 5-mile run. Was it the best run I've ever had? No. Was it better than not doing anything at all? Yes, of course. What stands out most about that training run is that I cried more on that run than I have on any other training run.

Why did I cry? Well, I'll tell you why. We recently upped our interval training from running for 4 minutes and walking 2 minutes, to running for 4 minutes and only walking for 1 minute. We did that run on Tuesday morning last week for 45 minutes. That's 9 intervals in case you can't do math that fast (I can't do math that fast). I survived that run. We had a friend along with us and she did a lot of talking to keep me distracted, so that was good. Thursday we didn't run because we didn't want to get up and my knee hurt. When we left for the run on Sunday it was about 7:45. We had a good start. When we were about 2 to 2.5 miles into the run I just stopped. I couldn't do it anymore. My knee hurt (not the same one as Thursday morning, either), I got a really weird shin muscle cramp that was just odd feeling. It sucked.

I cried. A silent, except for sniffling, cry. The tears came and they would not leave. I couldn't stop them, no matter how much I tried. And I did try. I don't even remember all the things that were flying around in my head. But I have a feeling it looked something like this:

The only thing that I said to David during this whole time was, "I just don't think I can do this." He responded with a very appropriate, "BAH" or something like that. Thinking about it now, nearly 40 hours later, that's what it sounds like in my head. I think that he actually told me that the overall race thing I can do. Which I know. But at that moment, I didn't think that I could lift my legs up and start running again. I knew that I couldn't do another 4x1 yesterday. So I didn't. I didn't run anymore 4x1s.

But, I did run again. And I ran the rest of the time (well, not solid, but you know, I didn't quit). I may have switched back to my regular 4x2 interval, but the most important thing that I did for myself was not quitting when I was down. I felt like a rock star! I overcame my most serious mental block to date. I didn't do it alone, either. Had I been alone I may have just curled up on the ground in the fetal position and cried until David got concerned enough to come look for me. That man has done more for me than he probably realizes. My friend Kari has too. She gets up at the ass crack of dawn to come run with us when she doesn't have to be at work at 6:45.

But anyway, I'm getting a little off course. When I did my first interval of running after the tears started I was just going to run a little bit. There must be something about the pounding, though, because I kept running, for 4 minutes, and nearly all those thoughts were gone. It felt good. It was liberating. It was like I was saying screw you to those negative thoughts. I walked for 2 minutes after that. And then I ran again. And then, I ran again, and again, and again.

When we got finished, I thought to myself, "We should have done 6 miles." Had I not had my breakdown we would have finished 5 miles in under an hour. That's amazingly incredible to me. I know that there are a lot of people out there that can run 5 miles in under an hour, but to get this beast of a body to move that far in that amount of time is absolutely amazing!

Tomorrow morning is another session of 4x1s for 45 minutes. I'm sure that I'll survive it. Why? Because I'm the little engine that could, that's why!

Tell me: what's the hardest thing you've overcome in your training, or in anything for that matter?

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