Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back On The Horse! (Half Marathon Training 10/20/10)

Okay ... Confession time.  I have been avoiding telling this story for four days because it's kind of embarrassing and why would I embarrass myself on my own blog?  I thought about just leaving this piece out of the half marathon training story ...

But then I remembered that I would be lying if I left out the bad runs.  I don't want anyone to read my blog and think that I soared through this training without a problem.  Because, let's face it, sometimes you have bad runs.

And on Sunday, I had a HORRIBLE run.

I'm not going to dwell on it, but the long and the short is that I headed out for what I hoped would be a 9 mile run.  It was warmer than I thought, the sun was shining directly on my face, I had only gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before, drank more coffee than water that day and had suppressed my extreme emotions about leaving all morning in order to get through my sermon and the rest of worship without crying.

Huh ... when I see it all typed out like that, I realize just how much of an idiot I was for even trying to run.  But that's not the point.  Well, maybe it is.  It's a good lesson learned, that's for sure.

Anyway, about a mile in, I started seeing spots.  At first I thought I had just looked at the sun and was seeing leftover light spots (you know what I'm talking about?).  But they didn't go away - they got worse.  I was about 1.9 miles in when I started to feel sick.  I stopped immediately and realized I felt like I was going to pass out.  I immediately turned around and started walking towards home, frantically calling and texting Bruce.  He practically flew to my side, reassured me on the drive home and then held me up as we walked up to our apartment.  I really came close to passing out just trying to walk from his truck to our front door.  I don't know what I would have done if Bruce hadn't come get me.

I went straight to bed, trying to breathe and sip ice water.  Bruce tried to get me to drink my gatorade, but water was all I could stomach at that point.  At one point I started to feel so faint that I had to sit up and put my head between my knees.  My anxiety levels skyrocketed - they had been bubbling before I left because of the emotions of the day, but I didn't feel well and was absolutely terrified and that was making things worse.  I started to sob (something I hadn't let myself do all day) and that made me more dizzy and I started to shake.  At that point, Bruce brought a cold compress in and put it on the back of my head, turned a fan on me and I put my face in my pillow and fell asleep.  I woke up about a half hour later feeling a lot better, but still not 100%.  I knew I needed to get myself rehydrated, so I focused on that and as soon as I got some more water in me, I started to feel like myself again.

Needless to say ... I gave myself a few days off from running.  In the middle of my dizzied panic, I cried out, "I NEVER WANT TO RUN AGAIN!" (actually, I think it was more like a wail).  Bruce just held me and told me I WOULD feel better.  Then he started to tell me stories about when it happened to him.  I'm not sure why, but his war stories actually did make me feel better.  But I was still terrified to run again.

So I just took a few days off.  I stretched, I meditated and I took care of myself.  And I came to a couple of very important conclusions.

1. Three months ago, I wasn't running on a regular basis.  I haven't run on a regular basis since college.  I need to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself.  I need to cut back my running days on my training schedule now that my mileage is increasing.
2. I said this in another post, but I'll say it again.  I had no business going out for a run on Sunday.  Yes, running is a great way to release pent up emotions.  I was beyond that point on Sunday.  I was grieving.  I needed to crawl into bed, take a deep breath and cry.
3. I love running.  I love the runner's high.  I don't want to be so hard on myself (physically and mentally) that I finish the race and never run again.  I need to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself.  Oh, wait.  I already said that.
4. This is my first half.  I'm not looking to set any records.  I'm looking to finish.  If I have to split the have into 4-mile sections and run a 5K (3.1 miles) and then walk until 4 (and repeat until the race is over), then that's what I'll do.  Thinking about it as a couple of 5Ks makes it a little less scary.
5. I crashed my scooter last December and said I would never get on the dumb thing again.  Eventually I got back on.  Today I was having so much fun scooting around the back roads of Decatur in the beautiful fall weather.  I needed to give myself a couple of days to be scared and then go out for a short run to get my confidence back.

And that is just what I did today!  

I headed out for a 5K today and it felt great!  I was winded up some of the hills, but my breath evened out as soon as the elevation did. :) I was a little timid at first, but eventually just settled in and enjoyed the run.  I didn't look at my watch as much as I normally do to check my pace and I allowed myself to completely zone out.

All smiles.  It felt awesome.  I ran 3.1 miles in 33:35 (I wish I had finished 2 seconds sooner!), averaging a 10:50 pace.  When I finished, I felt like I could have kept going - that is the sign of a good run.

This run was the perfect first run back for me - it was a confidence boost as well as a good workout!  I really feel like the training I have been doing is paying off and I will be ready to tackle 13.1 miles at the end of next month.

But I do need to remember to take care of myself in the meantime.  Bruce told me on Monday that he doesn't thinking I've been eating enough carbs so I've been trying to focus on them in my meals right now.

Dinner.  Yum.  Nothing but carbs and lots of leftovers for lunch!  If training for my first half marathon teaches me how to better take care of my body, then clicking "submit" on the registration form was the best decision I've ever made.

And on that note - I'm off to pour myself a glass of water and crawl into bed!



Question - Have you ever had a completely horrendous workout?  How did you bounce back?  I'm pretty sure if I wasn't trying to hold myself accountable on here, I might have just quit.


  1. First of all, I really need to tell you that I read about your moving news on FB the other day but was not able to leave a comment right then. I'm so sorry! This was huge news for you and I just want you to know that I'm so happy for you guys. Part of me wasn't really shocked to hear about it considering that you have family and church up there. It all seems to make a ton of sense to me and I really hope the Lord opens the doors for you to find exactly the right place for you to serve! I also saw that your meeting will be on Dec 12...that's my birthday so I KNOW it's gonna be a good day!

    Second of all...I am so proud of you and your training. You rock and you deserve to get a break when needed. You inspire truly do. I couldn't even make it running for five minutes much less what you're doing. You are doing so great!

  2. I DEFINITELY have bad runs! Often, I try to go too fast, and get awful stomach cramps, but don't slow down until I have to stop running! I need to learn to just slowwwww down and then I don't get them! Also, i saw the cookie baking post as a "you should also read this", and I think we should do that again this year.... in your new/old home!


Hello and thanks for commenting! Unless I have your email address, I respond to all questions directly in the comment form. Check back if you've asked one! xo, Sarah

Related Posts with Thumbnails