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.