Going into this week's run I was prepared to explain how we're tapering before the marathon. I was prepared to talk about some running-related things (like how I feel when I don't run), but to keep today's post fairly short. I mean, this was only 12 miles. I've run 12 miles plenty of times. Twelve miles is easy stuff. However, I was not prepared for the reality of today.
This past week has been more than a little stressful. My neighbor gave birth to her second child, leaving me to care for her two year old for the day. While I am in NO WAY complaining about this, and I think he's a super-awesome kid, waking up at 3:30 in the morning, caring for a 2 year old, and working a 15 hour day is exhausting! Then, on my morning off (the only one I get), one of my employees never showed, so I got to work a little extra. After that, I thought I'd finally get some extra rest, but my best friend called and shared some upsetting news with me, leaving me with little sleep and a lot of stress. Anyway, going into this run I'd gotten little sleep, had a lot of stress, had missed all of my weekly runs, and had not eaten so well, particularly Thursday and Friday.
Boy did I feel it!
My run started out OK. I was running with two girls I don't usually run with, and they were taking things at a faster pace than usual...a much faster pace. I enjoyed that pace for a while, but I quickly realized that pace was unsustainable, so I slowed it down a bit. I shortly fell into a 10:30 pace, and I felt quite comfortable.
It wasn't until somewhere around mile 6 that things really changed. My calves started to tighten, my breath was erratic, and to top it all off I was met with a gigantic hill. I've gone up the hill before, but today was harder. I wanted to stop right then and there. Instead, I just slowed down some more and kept on going.
I made it past mile 8, and we hit another hill. Last week, I climbed this hill at mile 19, but this week I just couldn't do it. I was too exhausted. I walked up the hill. Once at the crest, I started running again. Towards the bottom of the hill, I actually ran into an old friend and the person who first encouraged me to join MTT. She said she and her friend were struggling too and were stopping at 9 miles. This sounded like a wonderful idea!
I just couldn't do it, though. I knew I'd be angry with myself if I didn't finish, so I continued on. By mile 10, I was regretting this decision, and I slowed to a walk again.
The last two miles were awful. I shuffled along slowly, and walked frequently. When I finally reached the end, I wanted to cry. There it was!! I was done!
In conclusion, this week did not go so well. I went into my run tired, stressed, and physically exhausted. On top of that, I pushed myself way to hard in the beginning, and I paid for it dearly in the end. Still, though, I finished. I learned that even though I felt miserable, I was capable of finishing. Of course, I wouldn't want to do this all the time, but today I feel proud...and tired. Here's to sleep!