Thursday, May 21, 2009

Redemption Run

After my last post, I took off for my 14 mile run. I met up with Kevin after a mile or so, and was already huffin' and puffin', and my heart rate was at about 90% of its maximum-- something I usually only achieve if running up a super steep hill or doing sprints or in the last half mile of a fast 5k... not a heart rate zone that's ideal for the first few miles of a 14 mile training run!

Kev ran a mile & a half with me, then headed for home so he could go kayaking (much nicer activity on a hot day!). This was my response to his email asking "how was the rest of your run?":

terribly. i didn't go much farther than where you peeled off before deciding to turn around. too hot. and not just from a whiney perspective but from a there's-a-real-chance-i-could-get-seriously-ill-if-i-continue perspective. so i jogged as slowly as possible the way back, but still was quite queasy, totally drained of energy, and with a way-too-high heart rate.
lesson learned= when cooking with high heat, the object is merely to sear the meat, not to cook all the way thru. slow-cooking requires low heat so as not to burn.

Ugh, so overall, my long run this past week didn't happen. I'm realizing that I can't keep doing the things I usually do and still train for a marathon-- I have to really pay attention to rest and recovery, more so than ever before. And I can't go from running in (max.) 60 degree weather to running in 87 degree late-afternoon heat without some consequences!

It was just a series of bad choices that were making me really wonder again WHY am I doing this? Do I REALLY want to run a marathon? Is this worth having at least one body part hurting at all times? Is this goal more important to me than being able to work on the ranch all weekend? Is it worth not being able to hang out and drink beer on my back porch on a Saturday night because I have to run the next morning?

I had a few days of uncertainty, but then in a parallel train of thought with a project I'm doing at work (in which I'm realizing I need to narrow the scope and really clearly define my goals, and not try to accomplish too many things with one project), I decided that YES, I am going to keep trying. I'm going to dedicate myself to the goal of crossing the finish line of the marathon, and not try to simultaneously lose weight, get in overall-body shape, improve my riding, etc. etc. I'm going to focus on the goal, and do what it takes to reach that goal. And then 7 weeks from now, I'll be done, and I can set some new goals that may include being more well-rounded. But for now, I'm going to go out and have a good run.

So that's what I did.

It was a beautiful afternoon-- sunny, blue skies with white ploofy clouds, a perfect temperature (maybe 60?)-- and I ran with my training group for the first time in a few weeks and was able to grab some good energy from being around a lot of other runners. And I had a few gals to chat with as we jogged along, including my new best running buddy P.

And it was a perfect run. Everything felt good the whole time. I had fun.

Now I look forward to 16 miles this weekend. I look forward to making plans to do some mellow activities on Saturday-- rather than "give up" the opportunity to work with Jim on the ranch, I'm "taking" the opportunity to go to the Farmer's Market for the first time this year, to hang out with my friend (and former running buddy) Amy for a while, and to spend a nice relaxing day tootling around.

I'm sure the pendulum will shift again... but for now, I'm going to enjoy the upswing!


Robyn said...

Yay! Glad you're on an upswing.

You might give some thought to how you will handle things if the weather is unseasonably hot on marathon day. How will your nutrition need to change? How will your pacing plan change? Will you walk every aid station? Will you run 5 min / walk 1?

WalkerRuns said...

I think I'll just swim it ;)

Actually, that's a great point. Last year it was perfect weather for Marathon Day, but the year before was ultra-hot. Luckily, the race organizers are smart enough to start it at 6am when it's nice and cool. Even still, by 10 or 11am it could be upwards of 80 degrees. So yes, walking is definitely an option (maybe walk 1 min, run 10). And I'll up my intake of Endurolytes with my upping of water.

But let's pray for a nice overcast day with temps around 65!