I know I just posted about having a busy weekend, and it was, and truly this week is so busy I’m not really sure what to do. So, I really shouldn’t be blogging, but I feel like I owe you, my fellow runner readers, a real recap of my Saturday Run from Hell…or “in Hell”. Not only that, but I’m feeling the need for a “procrastination break”. So…here we go.
I arrived in Arizona at about 8:30 pm on Friday. I had gotten about 2 hours of sleep the night before, so I was exhausted. I got to bed about 10:30 and set my alarm for 4:45 am. I needed to get in my 10 miles and with the AZ heat (and weird humidity) I wanted to be done sooner rather than later.
My alarm went off at 4:45. I heard it. I looked at it. And then I felt the pounding in my head. It was horrible. So, I snoozed my alarm…and continued to snooze it until 6:00 am. Finally, I rolled out of bed, got dressed, headed downstairs and found the Advil in my brother’s cupboards. I know ibuprofen is not the best idea before a run, but I was DYING! I ate a little, pulled my water bottles out of the fridge (thanks to my sweet niece who had filled them up the night before), put my energy chews in a ziplock and was ready to go.
I left the house and it was sprinkling ever so slightly. It’s been rather raining in Gilbert over the past few weeks, so the humidity was out of control. Combine that with 85 degrees at 6:15 am and I was less than thrilled. I started out slowly, hoping the sprinkling and clouds would continue through the entire 10 miles. Of course, they didn’t.
The hard thing with running in Arizona (okay, one of the many, many hard things) is that I am so familiar with the area and the streets and everything is on a mile grid system, so I know exactly where I am and how far I’ve run at any given moment. I had no idea just what a mind game my running has been so far. It is a game I have been winning, for the most part. On Saturday, I wasn’t just just playing a tough game. I was playing a losing game. It was my body versus my mind and with no strategy, my mind had won before I even left the house.
I got out the door late. I knew I had to be back and ready to head out the door with my sister-in-law and kids by about 8:30. Already, the odds were stacked against me. And then you change all of my circumstances. I was running on streets instead of up the canyon on a trail. I’m used to doing pretty good up and downhill stretches. I look forward to the down hill because it’s the second half of my long runs. No downhill on Saturday. Just some gentle slopes now and then. And the streets stretch forever. The asphalt was hot. The humidity made it so my feet (even with Sport Shield on them) were rubbing horribly. My head was still hurting. I couldn’t seem to get hydrated enough, so I kept drinking, but then I had had too much water.
The battle in my head began at about 2.5 miles into my run. Here’s how it played out:
Body: “Seriously, you cannot be giving up. You have run 13 miles. 10 is no big deal.”
Mind: “Yes, but it’s hot. It’s humid. Your feet are killing you.”
Body: “My feet aren’t hurting that badly. What’s one more blister?”
Mind: “You are only 3 miles into this and already you have had half of your water.”
Body: “So, I’ll be plenty hydrated for the rest of the run.”
Mind: “You took that Advil, but your head is still pounding.”
Body: “You do have one there…my head is killing me.”
I begin to walk.
Mind: “What if you end up passing out? You didn’t bring your cell phone with you.”
Body: “I’ve never passed out in my life. I think I’d stop before I got to that point.”
Mind: “I don’t know. You’re not exercising very much sense right now.”
Body: “I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
Mind: “You told Shelley you would be back by about 7 am. What if she starts to worry?”
Body: “She is a bit of a worrier. I’d hate to make her worry.”
I turn around and head back to the house.
Mind: “That’s right. See, now doesn’t that feel better?”
Body: “Yes, it does.”
And that’s how 10 miles turned into 6.5.
So…this week we are going to do a little more street running to prepare for our 15 miles this weekend. We are going to sacrifice blogging, the “Eclipse” release party tonight, socializing and other enjoyable experiences to get enough sleep. We are going to continue to lay off the Diet Coke and make sure that we drink plenty of water. And we are going to make sure that we make good food choices.
While I don’t love running, I do love the feeling of a good run and I have been missing it. I think that, as long as I can stick to the plan, this weekends 15 miler should be great…and if not, at least I’ll have some good company.
The playlist was my 13 mile list with one change…I added in U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.