Okay, so I was really good this week. Not about blogging, but about getting to my training! For the most part. And yes, a Disneyland Half Marathon recap is coming, I’m working on it, I’m just BUSY, OKAY.
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Saturday: 16 miles
How it went:
Monday: Rest indeed. I flew back from California after the Dumbo Double Dare weekend, slept the whole 5-hour flight, unpacked quickly and got all my dirty sweaty race clothes in the wash, and it was like I was never even on west coast time. I was exhausted and stressed from a few things having gone wrong on the trip (not the race itself, no worries about that) and eager for life to go back to normal.
Tuesday: 4 miles outside. I was phone-less, and it had been storming off and on all day. Instead of heading to the treadmill, I decided to test my inner strength and just run around my neighborhood, just me and my watch.
It was surprisingly fun! I had thought I was so totally dependent on music and I wanted to challenge myself. I love thunderstorms, LOVE them, so running with the soundtrack of an oncoming thunderstorm was a really cool refresher from the same 140bpm pop remixes I try to thump constantly.
Wednesday: 4 miles on treadmill. I knew this was going to throw my weekend long run off a bit because I knew I would need two days to recover from 8 miles before going for 16, so I planned to move my 16-miler to Sunday. I had to do the shorter run on Wednesday due to a long and frustrating experience with UPS delivering my replacement phone. So very frustrating, but I got the run in. I actually didn’t take any walk breaks and ran at a solid 10 min/mi pace the entire 40 minutes for 4 miles.
Thursday: 8 miles on treadmill. Late Wednesday night I got news a friend of mine from high school had passed away. We weren’t terribly close, but she was younger than me and looked up to my class, and often my class wasn’t very nice in return. I was crushed to hear the news. I had always immensely admired this girl because as cruel as kids can be in high school, she pushed through, smiling, head held high, and carved out a very happy, adult, shit-together life for herself with a loving fiance, a stable home and job, and a new rescue cat. I found myself on Thursday going over and over again whether I had stood up for her loudly enough to the people in my year and above and even below who weren’t nice to her. I comforted myself (like I’m the one who needs comforting here, right? Self-centered much, Nevie?) knowing I distinctly remember speaking up, “Guys, come on, lay off,” when less than nice things were said. I remember voicing “Don’t be assholes guys, she’s a nice girl.” But was it enough? Was it often enough? Was it loud enough? Did it help her at all? Did she even need my help? Sometimes the only thing you can do when you’re racked with questions you may now never be able to answer is just to run it out. So I headed to the gym and put myself through another test of strength, and dedicated them to Becca and all her loved ones left behind.
Friday: Good news guys, I did go to yoga. It was just as difficult to convince myself to go after a long and emotional week at work as I thought it would be, and just as cleansing and necessary for my heart as it always is. My favorite thing I took away from this class, as we melted down into savasana, was when our instructor said, “And remember we are very tired, so the walls around our hearts are broken down.” I am most comfortable around people who don’t put up walls, who are fresh and honest and raw about their feelings, who don’t play games and don’t play roles. I’ve been told that’s how I come off to people and it’s often off-putting, like people would prefer I just kept a neutral smile on my face all the time. But I like people who are real, who I can have honest conversations with. I think it’s why many people I gravitate to and who gravitate to me see therapists. The ones avoiding the therapists they need to see or denying that they have feelings they need to work out are the ones I don’t have much time for anymore. You can’t fix people who don’t want to be fixed. I simply want to surround myself with people who spend more of their energy trying to heal the world than making themselves look good.
Saturday: Rest. I should have done cross-training but I was tired and needed to listen to my body, especially for the day ahead.
Sunday: 16 miles. I did it. Every step hurt. Whether it was my legs or feet hurting or my face hurting. Because my first mistake was assuming the W&OD trail was shady. Well, really my first mistake was not locking my cat out of my room when she decided 2am was wake-up-and-feed-me-time and proceeded to wake me up every hour so I didn’t get out until 3 hours later than I wanted to and the sun was high. Then I didn’t bring a visor or sunglasses. I even had a visor in the car! But I was already a half a mile down the trail when I realized this might have been a bad idea. It was sunny as hell. The mild weather was unassuming and a much-needed breeze came every once in a while, but with every quarter mile I wondered if I should stop and call it a day, maybe finish out the rest of my miles back home on the treadmill. I had planned ahead to know there was a 7-11 at the 8 mile turnaround, and the only thing willing me past each small bit of shade every time the path went under a bridge was knowing if I stopped I’d never get back going and I’d have to call someone to come find me and pick me up. Getting to the 8 mile 7-11 was everything I needed. I paused for about 5 minutes to drink a Gulp of Diet Coke (hey, whatever, sodium, it’s like electrolytes and caffeine, don’t judge me), refill my water to the brim with fresh, cold water, and bought a pair of sunglasses.
All of this was absolutely necessary to me finishing it out. I had the weirdest, most inconsistent intervals. Sometimes I’d run for 30 minutes and walk for 3, sometimes I could only run for 5 minutes then walk for 30 seconds. By the end I saw orange tents in the distance like a mirage and just went into almost like a trance telling myself I could stop when I got to the tents. Turns out the tents were the parking lot I’d left my car, and my 16 miles were done.
I filtered this picture down but you can still mildly kind of see my Bondi band tan. It covered the top of my forehead and the rest of my face is sunburned to all hell. I think my sunburn has a sunburn. I look like another species. Even putting my very pale liquid foundation on this morning only evened it out to make me look kind of orange-y. Not a good look.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?! I GOT DEM MILES IN!
Don’t ask me how the HELL I would have done 10 more other than for sheer stubborn will. Thank god the full marathon isn’t until late October and starts early. Hopefully the late summer sun was a huge factor in making this run so hellish and getting at least to mile 16 on race day will be easier than yesterday was.
How was your week of training?
When tragedy strikes, does running help or does it keep you from running?
If you’ve run a marathon before, did you ever hit a long run where you were like, “this is it. I can’t do this full marathon thing.”