8.12.2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

I run, but I am not a runner.

I wear a ratty old t-shirt; I don't have the newest lululemon quick-wicking, poly-propylene, fire-resistant $78 dollar t-shirt. I still struggle a lot. I lack motivation. I dread going out some days, even though I feel great once I am done. I still think, as I am running, about how much I would like to walk. This happens all the time. But I always tell myself, "just one more mile, just one more mile."

And that is how I run. One mile at a time, for 3 miles, or 6 miles, or 8 miles. Or 13.1 miles. And someday I will run for 26.2 miles. And then I might move to Turkey and lie on the beach all day eat dolmas and hummus and never move again.

On Saturday, my thermometer said it was 93 degrees. While this is hot, I have been running in the evenings most of the time and it is generally around 90 degrees then, so I thought nothing of it. I went out and did what Hal Higdon calls an "easy pace run", where you run only 3 miles at your half marathon pace. Sounds like a cinch, right? But I was dying. Literally. The sweat/humidity was dripping off of me; my face was the color of lobster bisque; I was panting like a Pomeranian. It was Hell.

So, my next day on the Hal Higdon schedule of Hell was Sunday, the long run day, and my goal was 8 miles. After my 3 mile "easy pace" run, I was sitting in the car crying/hating running with the AC blowing full speed on my face and as my brain cooled off a bit, I (got really smart and) decided that in order to not fall over dead of heat exhaustion and to keep myself from hating running completely from now on, the long run would have to be at a cooler time. So, along came the 5:30 am wake up plan. This is all well and good, except that Sunday is my ONE chance to sleep in. Out the window that went in the name of running. Ciao sleep (sorry mommies, I know you are thinking, "Dude, I never get any sleep and this girl is complaining about one little Sunday morning. Boo hoo her")!

Sunday morning I got up, had a cup of coffee and some breakfast and hit the trail running. Literally. It was 78 degrees outside. I ran. I kept waiting for the feeling to come back, you know, the one that I have had pretty much EVERY DAY that I have run in MO, but it didn't. I ran and was happy, not too sore, not too hot and not feeling like walking! One hour and 18 minutes later I was done. It wasn't even 8 o'clock yet. I was already done.

And I felt good. Not just physically good, and believe me, I felt physically GREAT, but mentally good. I felt confident that when my race comes in the fall, I am going to nail it. I am going to finish, not with dread in my heart but with a good feeling. I have been doubting that a lot. The runs I have been doing have been draining, even the short ones. And, while I may not be running at my goal pace (9 minute miles for a half marathon, which would bring me to a sub 2 hour half), I am feeling better about myself and my running.

Even if I am not yet a runner.

This post is a Fitness Friday linkup with Jill at: 
Fitness Friday Blog Hop

I have a couple of questions for the more seasoned runners (or smart people in general!). One: My iPod keeps dying. I think it's from the humidity. Does anybody know a way to protect it/fix it? Two: The strap that keeps my iPod on my arm is giving me chafe. Three: I have never used Gu or any of those supplements. What is your take on that? Any tips? 

6 comments:

  1. Do you use body glide? If so I would try that on the skin where you wear your ipod. That is odd about it dying, though - that has never happened to me!

    Also, I think those slow pace runs are actually ran at a slower pace than your half marathon pace - it's great that you can do those easy runs at your HMP, but you can definitely ease off and run those at maybe a minute slower than you half marathon pace? Those long, slow runs on the weekend are supposed to be ran a bit slower as it teaches your body how to convert fat into energy. It isn't as important to run them slow when you are training for a half, but when you train for a full, you definitely have to ease off on those long runs or your body won't learn how to do that for the long runs or most importantly, on the day of the marathon!!

    I would most definitely consider you a runner!!

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  2. I think you're totally a runner :-)

    Also, I love that you call it the "Hal Higdon Schedule of Hell".

    So glad your long run worked. I can't deal with this heat. I have been running on the track all summer, and finally moved outside last Saturday morning (attempting to run 8) and made it about 5.5 (with some crying and vowing to never run again). So, I'm pretty impressed with you!

    Have a great weekend!

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  3. Way to go on the long run! I'm attempting one tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. It always amazes me how much different each run can be.

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  4. You go girl! I'm at the same place running-wise, and it's frustrating some days!

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  5. Early morning runs are the best. And they're also the time that is least likely to get interrupted. I was so happy to read, "not with dread in my heart but with good feeling." Nice job!

    Not much help with your questions except to say I cannot stomach Gu no matter how hard I try. I use Sports Beans and Power Bar's Performance Bar cut into 1/3s.

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  6. I am not a runner. I can barely get through one mile before I want to die.

    They keep telling me it gets better, but I sort of think it won't. But this post gives me hope that, no matter how much I hate it, I can still do it.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!