Monday, August 10, 2015

An impromptu bad run

Last Friday afternoon, my boss came by and told us that we could leave early if we wanted to.

WOO HOO!!!


I was exuberant as I walked home. What should I do with my suddenly newfound time!?!?!? My mind was spinning with the possibilities.

With the Fort2Base race coming up in two weeks, I needed to log a double-digit run over the weekend. I usually do long runs on Sunday mornings. However, I often feel like the run hangs over my shoulders all day Saturday. I thought it'd be nice to get it over and done with early.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON LONG RUN IT WAS!


My plan was to do 10 miles. Due to the last-minute decision, I had obviously made exactly zero effort to properly fuel or hydrate in advance. I wasn't mentally prepared, either. But what the heck. I had the luxury of minimal time constraints, and the most important thing was just to cover the mileage, right?


I rode a Divvy bike to the lakefront path at Lake Shore Drive and Monroe, then headed southbound on foot.

The first few miles were uneventful. As I ran through the museum campus, I was rewarded by the beautiful views of the Chicago skyline.


I ran past 12th Street Beach and headed to Northerly Island. A band was undergoing a sound check at the First Merit Bank Pavilion. Throngs of folks were milling around dressed in Gothic attire. I later found out that Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson had a concert that night.

Source
I continued heading southbound past McCormick Place. My intention was to stop at the 31st Street Beach House to take a GU and get some water. Then, I'd turn around and run the entire way home (no Divvy bike on the way back).

Around Mile 4, I started feeling blah. I reasoned that a GU would help. I arrived at 31st Street around 4.7 and paused to fuel, hydrate, and splash a little water on my face. Then I gave myself a giddy-up. Unfortunately it was tough to get back up to speed. This is what it felt like:


The GU helped a little, but not nearly as much as I hoped. I was heel-striking but it took too much effort to correct it. I kept looking at my Garmin in disbelief that I was only around the halfway mark. Several runners passed me. They all seemed to amble by leisurely while I was schlepping along.

I hadn't taken any walk breaks to this point. I was reluctant to start for fear that it would be difficult to resume running afterwards. My legs were so dead that I finally gave in.

I arrived back at Lake Shore Drive and Monroe what felt like days later. I was dying but still had about two more miles to go through downtown streets. I told myself, "Come on, you can do this." Then I found myself dodging pedestrians, bikes, and road construction. I also got red lights at Every. Single. Intersection.


The constant stopping-and-starting threw my rhythm off even more. If there is such a thing as runner's red light rage, I could have had it. But I was too worn out.

I arrived at my building at around 9.5 miles. I considered ending it there, or finishing the last half-mile on the treadmill. I went upstairs and chugged some Gatorade and water while debating what to do.

Ultimately, I didn't want to write 9.5 miles in my training log. I didn't want to create a separate entry for a half-mile of treadmill time, either. I wanted to see the 10-mile total on my Garmin, [doggone it]. (My actual thoughts were much harsher than depicted here.) In the end, my stubbornness won out.

I went back outside and forced myself to keep going. Again.

Surprisingly, that last half-mile felt better than anything after Mile 4. Thank god. And so finally concluded one of the worst long training runs I have ever had.

The crappy run wasn't surprising considering my complete lack of preparation. Admittedly, I thought I had enough running experience to pull things off without much issue. But clearly that is not the case.

Lesson learned!!!


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Linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap.

31 comments:

  1. Oh Emily I can so relate to this post. Not the running in the city an dealing with lights an all but the spontaneous run, (which great job for going ahead an getting it done) and not wanting to put down something other than what you planned. I do this. It sounds like a great idea at first. I'm so glad you were able to talk yourself into finishing! I learned some lessons too on my latest run. Things I knew better but thought I could get away with. Not. Thank you so much for linking up with us this week!

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    1. Thank you so much for co-hosting the link-up, Tricia! Thanks for relating, too. One of the biggest things that I've learned about running is that you never stop learning, so to speak. It's truly a lifelong process!!!

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  2. Ugh! We've all been there, but it's still a great accomplishment, even more so when your mind keeps telling you to stop.

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    1. Thanks Lesley. I always think, "if it were easy, everyone would do it." But admittedly there are plenty of times when the couch is calling and it would be so much easier to just stop!!! It's always a mental battle, isn't it?

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  3. Kudos for getting it out there and done! If I get a early Friday afternoon- I would either sneak off for a pedicure or call the hubby to see if he can meet for an early happy hour :) Happy Monday- good runs are coming!

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    1. Thanks Mary Beth!!! Ahhh, a pedicure would have been heavenly and so much more pleasant than a long run, sigh. Note to self for what to do the next time I get another early Friday. =) Cheers to good runs coming for all of us!!!

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  4. We are so alike...I could never save 9.5 miles when I wanted a 10. That would be on Garmin connect forever and ever! Kudos for getting back outside for the last half mile! Mind over matter. I assume it must have been a little on the warm side too? Don't beat yourself up over it. It'll make the next double digit run feel like you are Super Woman! I had a pretty rough long run myself this week. Thanks for linking up with us today. I really appreciate it.

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting this link-up, HoHo! I love the topic. And thank you for the understanding. YES for the records being there forever. I've always said that I'll never run any distance between 8.5 miles and 10. Once I get to 8.5, I HAVE to get to 10 miles. The weather has been very humid over the last few weeks, but thankfully the temps haven't been awful (and I know you've been dealing with killer doses of both at the same time). Good job to you too on getting through your long run! Cheers to our next ones being so much better!!!

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  5. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting out there. No matter what the distance. Great job on continuing your run even when it wasn't going the best. And you finished strong! A great training run for your upcoming race.

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    1. Thank you so much! You are absolutely right - the hardest part is just getting started, even if it's just an easy short distance. It's on those days that the best part is definitely finishing. =) Cheers to great runs for all of us coming soon to make up for the tough ones!!!

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  6. Sounds like your body just needed a bit more of a break since the last half mile felt better than the 4.5 before it!

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    1. You know, I was thinking about that, too. The Gatorade and the break helped a lot more than anticipated! It was a nice surprise that these little things can make such a difference!!!

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  7. UGH! Sounds miserable. I wonder if it's because you ran at an off time? I always feel different when I do a long run mid week (in the PM) versus on a Saturday/Sunday when I'm fresh out of bed.

    And also, the hydration thing can make a big difference. Being that you went in and drank water, plus Gatorade, I wonder if that's part of why the final portion felt better ... you rehydrated.

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    1. Agreed - I think there were a ton of factors that contributed to this run being bad. Definitely the off-time, plus not fueling and hydrating properly, plus the sun and humidity. It's funny because I wasn't feeling super thirsty throughout the run, but the Gatorade really did seem to help a lot. I guess it is true what they say about how you get dehydrated before you feel thirsty!

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  8. Oh man. That stinks! Sorry about your run but at least it was over right? And just figure, fort2base will be a million times better, right? Btw, I'll see you there!

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    1. Appreciate the sympathy, Amanda! YES - the one saving grace for that run was that it was over with and I had the entire rest of the weekend to relax. Here is hoping that Fort2Base will be much, MUCH better and that the weather will behave itself. YAY - I am so glad that you'll be there!!! Can't wait to see you!!!

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  9. All right, let's see if this Anonymous trick works...

    I'm impressed that you got out there for a 10 miler on a Friday afternoon! That would not have been the first thing on my to do list had I unexpectedly found myself free from work. It's one thing to bust out maybe 3-5 miles in those circumstances, but 10 is an entirely different story. I have a love/hate relationship with red lights. While I usually appreciate the break, they make it SO HARD to get into a decent rhythm, and it seems like my pace rarely lines up with the light's timing (though I've found running in the 9s and 11s usually makes it so I hit less red lights). Congrats on getting your run in, though, and enduring even the less-than-fun moments.

    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

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    1. Woohoo! Comment posting achieved!

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    2. YAY!!! So glad that the Anonymous trick worked!!! It's so great to get your thoughts. =)

      Thank you for the kind words! Red lights are the absolute worst. They almost make it feel like I'm doing forced intervals with recoveries, since I'll run a block and then have to stop. Blech. Very interesting observation about running in the 9s and the 11s to hit less red lights!!! I'll have to try that for myself next time!!!

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  10. Last year I trained in our city and it is a different animal. Right now I only have to stop maybe twice to cross a parkway and then it's fairly quiet in neighborhoods. It's funny when I ran downtown and was having a tough all the fuss and stopping seemed to irritate me even more, however when I felt good, the distraction was fun to watch. A rough run can make things feel tough, thank goodness we have good ones to balance them out.
    At least you got your miles done :)

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    1. It's crazy how different of an experience it can be to train in different locations. You're right - having to constantly stop and dodge distractions can be super irritating, but if you're feeling good it's a great way to observe the locals going about their days! And YES - if we didn't have rough runs, we wouldn't appreciate the good runs when we do have them, right? Thank goodness for the strong runs to balance things out!!!

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  11. We've all been there! I hate those runs where I decide to do it early/late for whatever reason & just haven't fueled properly.

    You finished, that's what matters.

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    1. We have all been there!!! It's all part of the training process and the ongoing learning process, right? We keep training year after year after year for no reason. And yes - someone once said that there's a reason that all finisher medals look the same, regardless of whether you came in first or last. =)

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  12. But you got it done, right? Do you think it was hard because it was an evening run? I have to do my long runs in the morning, before my body even knows what's going on...

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    1. YES - it was nice to just get it done and not have to worry about it for the rest of the weekend. I very much think that the timing threw things off. I'm very used to doing my long runs in the morning and had done nothing to prepare for the afternoon timing. I'm just like you in that I need to get the mileage out of the way before my body and brain figure things out. =) Funny how that works, eh?

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  13. Look at the bright side, its over and you had the whole weekend in front of you. We all have bad runs sometimes !

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    1. YES! That was the one really positive thing that came out of the run - I could completely relax the entire rest of the weekend!!! It's been a long time since I've had that luxury. And I'm trying to remember that it's good to have the bad runs because then we appreciate the strong runs that much more!

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  14. Oh my goodness, what a run for you. We've all had them. Hopefully the weather will cool down so that we don't suffer so much in our runs. :-)

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    1. I am so excited for cooler running weather once the fall hits!!! It makes such a difference!!!

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  15. Good for you for getting all the miles in! 10 miles is nothing to sneeze at. I'm impressed that you even attempted to run that distance after work. (I have two more mid-week 10 milers on my marathon training plan. I'm going to get up extra early and run them in the morning. I know I can't do that distance afterwards.)

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    1. Thanks Amy!!! Good luck on your midweek 10-milers. You are going to rock them! I'm definitely learning that it's ideal to get these runs out of the way first thing in the morning. The longer you wait, the more time you have to think about them, right? I don't plan on doing a 10-miler after work ever again unless I have no choice. =)

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