Saturday, April 2, 2011

Well, that bit the big one.

So today was the "big run" I've been building towards for a bit now.  As my mom's house is about 13 miles away from mine, I thought it'd be a fun practice at the 1/2 marathon.  So I tracked out a route, stuck some bandaides in my ipod armband (blisters have become a frequent problem), and hit the road.

Things did not start off well.  My ipod seems to be having some play back issues with podcasts.  When I attempted to listen to these, they would randomly stop, which would for some reason also turn off my Nike+ tracking.  That was annoying, and it meant I had to just random shuffle through my music, or choose to listen to nothing for like, a million hours.  I chose the music, but had a terrible time getting my mind of my discomfort.  Bleah.

The first 3 miles were rough.  Not sure if it was the running along side of traffic, or the intimidation of knowing how far I had to go, but it was rough, and felt  pretty impossible.

But then Mile 3 hit, mile 4, 5, 6, and so on, and it got a little better.  I got into a groove, a long slow run to be sure, but progressing decently.

Everything was going just peachy until about mile 9.  By mile 9, things got hairy.  My legs were already exhausted, my knees and ankles ached, and I had a persisting pain in my chest.  Don't worry, I thought, you've done better.  You've gone farther.

And that's how I felt until about mile 11.  By that point, the hard was getting harder, and I had a completely disheartening realization.  I was too far away from my mom's house.  There was just no way I'd make it in two measly miles.  And this realization was crippling for me.  My ipod calibration, which I'd thought was rather good, was significantly off.  I had no real idea how much farther I needed to run.  I hadn't actually run 11 miles yet.  In fact, I'd never run 11 miles.  And my speed, which was already disturbingly slow, was actually even lower than I'd thought.  Here's another thing about running, about most things, probably:  Most of it seems to be in your head.  Knowing that I haven't been doing even as well as I'd thought, knowing that I was wrong about how far I'd come, well, it was a pretty wicked blow to my psyche.  After that, all I felt was my pain, my exhaustion, and the fact that I was stuck out in the boonies with no help, phone, or water.  Suckage.

But I kept running.  I ran through all the pain and internal whining, right up to where the nice lady who lives in my ipod suggested I'd "met my goal of 13.1 miles".  About a minute after that, somehow I wasn't running anymore.  I'd slowed to a walk, a walk which I maintained for a few minutes, ran a couple minutes, the back to walking.  Total walking time was about 7-10 minutes, and that was it for the quitting.  The last heck-if-I-know-how-long-it-was, I ran.  Dang the end always hurts.  For so much of this trip, my body screamed to stop.  But eventually, I was there.  Collapsed on the front lawn while I regained my ability to stand upright, certainly, but there.

The total trip took 2 hours, 40 minutes.  That trip included 3 stops at lights, 2 stops at drinking fountains (the walking trail had drinking fountains, that was great) 10 minutes of walking, and well, 2 hours and 40 minutes of pain.  I don't really want to know how slow I run.  I am so freakin exhausted.  My knees are killing me.  The arches in my feet ache.  Oh, and I have the WEIRDEST looking sun burn I've ever seen on a human.  Pictures to come, but as a spoiler, I don't need to wear my armband anymore to get the cool prestige of constantly wearing my armband.  AWESOME.

So I guess I kinda did it.  I don't know.  I went from my house to my mom's house.  I tortured myself, and I can't say I feel great about it.  Far too much disillusionment for one day.

Ah well.  You live, and you learn.  And you've still got 4 more weeks to get a little better for that Half.  Oye.  Time for some aloe, ice, and a few days of rest before any running happens again.

And shoot, at least I'm getting skinnier.  That's a thing.

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