I was scheduled for an 18 mile training run this morning. My mileage has increased over the last couple of months to prepare me for the marathon in December. I knew 18 miles would push me to my current limit, but I didnt expect it to be excruciating. It was terrible. Horrific. Painful. Not enjoyable in ANY way. It was one of those runs. We runners have them sometimes. Luckily, the bad runs are few and far between.
This morning, I was set up for failure from the beginning. I had a whole list of strikes against me having a good run. The circumstances were all aligned for a bummer run.
1. I ate a crappy dinner last night (2 slices of supreme pizza)
2. I did not drink water yesterday.
3. I stayed up late.
4. I did not sleep well....hardly at all.
5. I did pilates for strength training yesterday and my thighs were very sore.
6. I completed only one of the three training runs during the week that I was scheduled to do.
All of these things added up to the worst run I have ever had. It hurt from the first step. My legs were sore and achy. I had absolutely no pizazz or energy. I felt like I was dragging my legs. They felt like they were made of lead. I was humbled to walking portions of the run and had trouble convincing my body to start running again. At about mile 12 of 18, I was literally talking out loud to myself. This is embarrasing to admit, but I honestly did it. I told myself that I could do it...that I could make it. I told myself to keep going. (Myself wasn't listening very well, but I kept talking anyway.)
I knew that at about mile 13, I would be passing by my house where a gatorade and the other half of my protein bar awaited me. I was in desperate need of refueling. I thought that if I could just make it back to the food and drink, that the fuel would perk me up enough to finish stronger. Once I got the end of my driveway in my sights, where the protein bar awaited me.... I focused straight ahead. I kept my eyes locked on the spot that held the food. I was even able to pick up the pace just from the anticipation of it.
Now, here comes the most dreadful part of the running story.
I dragged myself to the end of the driveway, only to discover the empty package from the protein bar lying on the ground. It seems that one of the dadgum neighborhood dogs found my fuel before I got to it. I was bummed beyond words.
I thought that maybe the wind had just blown the bar onto the ground, so I combed the earth for the blown away bar. It wasn't there. But, if it had been lying on the dirty ground, I wouldn't have hestitated to eat it. I would've gobbled that yummy little bite up. Except, it wasnt there. It was certainly in the belly of a nearby dog.
So..... I had to finish the last 5 miles, grieving the loss of my food.
Wincing at the pain in my thighs.
Groaning at the blisters forming on my toes.
Dragging my lead legs along with me.
Completely depleted of all energy.
I have never....ever.....been so happy for a run to be over.
Next week on Sunday morning, as I tackle 19 miles, I guarantee that I will be better prepared for success.
I will eat a better dinner, drink more water on Saturday, get my training runs done during the week, get more sleep, and MOST importantly.....I will hide my food from the dogs.