Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Today didn't work.

As I may have mentioned before, I am planning to run a half marathon next month.  To this date, the longest I had run was 8.8 or so miles.

I worked the last two days.  The day before had been a short 5k run.  Today was the first of two days off.  I figured I needed to get a long run in one of these two days.

I woke up this morning and drug myself out of bed.  And I mean drag.  I don't have those leap out of bed refreshed and ready to take on the world, ever, but I was dragging a little bit more than normal.  I asked Sarah if we had any plans today and we didn't.  I wondered aloud if it would be better to run today or tomorrow and she replied that maybe we could plan something fun tomorrow if I ran today.  Made sense.

I had two cups of coffee and a hand full of berries then a small glass of water. (Edit;  Sarah reminded me I ate a Cliff bar right before I left.) Yep, that's some fine nutrition there.  I changed into my running clothes and checked the clock.  It was after 10:00, it was going to be hot.

So I went out and hit the road.  And the road hit right back.

The route I take come out of the RV park going downhill and meets up with a highway around 1/2 mile after I start.  Then it turns on to the highway and keeps going down for a bit which leads to the big hill.  It is quite a climb up with a short plateau halfway up.  At the top there is a prison and a movie studio.  This hill has dominated every run here thus far.  It is tough going out and tougher coming back.  Today I sailed up pretty easily and ran down the other side.  And I kept going.

I don't mark the mileage I want to run and then do it.  I pick a likely spot when I run and then run to it.  It is all a guesstimate about how far I have gone until I get home.  I could check the GPS, but I don't.

I ran down that hill and up the next and so on.  Before I knew it I was at the sign where I turned around for the 8.8 mile and kept on going.  I was pretty tired, but thought I needed to stretch it a little bit.   My throat and mouth was pretty dry and I was a little sore, but I kept going.  Down the next hill and up.  I picked another sign which I figured was around a mile past where I had gone before and ran to it and turned around.  I wanted at least 10 miles and figured this would surely do it.

When I turned around, a strange thing happened.  I couldn't see the big hill, the prison or the studio.  The realization of how far from home I was and how tired I was hit me.  I tried to rationalize that, at least I was getting closer now instead of farther away.  That worked for a bit.  I told myself that if it got too hard, I could quit.

That was it for me today.

Somehow the excuses for stopping multiplied enough that they overwhelmed whatever will I could muster to go on.  I managed about a mile before my body just stopped.   No real warning, then I was walking.  It wasn't like I made a conscious decision, I was just suddenly walking.  I still couldn't see the hill.  The blerch caught up with me.  My ego was depleted.

I walked for a bit, then ran for a bit, then walked, then ran.  Everything was screaming at me to just have a seat and rest.

I just didn't have it today.  I still plan on running the half marathon.  I failed today and will just have to try again another day.  I probably need to take my nutrition and hydration more seriously.  I have lost about 6 pounds since I have started training.  I just forget to eat.  The exercise level went up, but the calorie intake stayed the same.  I am in the high desert and it is dry.  Coffee is probably not the best pre run hydration.

I should also listen to that little voice that is telling me today might not be your day. I could have made six or eight pretty easily.  There were lessons to be learned from this failure and I hope I learned them.

I will succeed and it will be because I failed and then kept going anyway.