Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunday's Run

Sunrise at the end of the trail (which was actually my halfway point):

Sunday's run sucked shit. It's as simple as that. And before you start patting me on the back and telling me it'll be okay, stop. Just stop. This run sucked because I let it suck. It's all my fault. And no, I'm not just saying that to look for more sympathy. I don't want your sympathy. Seriously. Everything that went wrong during this run was something I caused. Don't believe me? Then keep reading.

First, I didn't get much sleep. Now, in our house, that's pretty much the norm. I'm used to getting up at least once during the night for some reason. My son needs the bathroom. My daughter had a bad dream. My dog needs to go outside. I need to pee. My wife is snoring (sorry sweety, but you do snore sometimes). So while many of those factors are out of my control, it's really up to me to go to bed on time. And I didn't. So I shorted myself on sleep. But I don't think this was really that big of a deal when it came to Sunday's run. In fact, it probably didn't contribute too much of anything to the overall suckiness.

Next, was my shoes. And this was a serious issue. Thankfully, it wasn't the shoe itself. At least I'm pretty sure it wasn't since I've had no issues with my Altra Lone Peaks in the past. No, the issue was after my last run in them, I didn't clean them. So all that mud I ran through the last time came with me this time. Which turned out to be a bad idea. The mud was inside my shoe. And it started rubbing me after 4 or 5 miles. Craptastic. Thankfully I was able to manage the pain and avoid blisters. What a story that would have been; blisters from dry mud.

Then there was my fuel. Another serious issue. I underfueled. Again. Like a dumbass. I had plenty with me and instead of doing what I normally do, I had to get the last little bit. Gah. You see, I bought large bottles of Hammer gel figuring it would save me time and money to just fill my little flasks as needed instead of taking packs of it with me. Turns out the packs are so much easier to use. Squeezing the gel out of the bottles is like squeezing crystallized honey out of that damn bear bottle. So what did I do when I got the last dregs out of the bottle? Added some water to get even more out. Damn penny pincher that I am ended up screwing myself. How so? all my fuel for a good 10 of those miles was seriously diluted. Diluted well beyond what I'm used to and I didn't realize it until it was too late.

There were other minor factors as well. The cold being one. I think I was slightly under-dressed but managed to do okay. It didn't really hit me until I stopped to take some of mud and rocks out of my shoes. That's when I got really cold. Speaking of rocks in my shoes, I didn't take my gaiters. What was I thinking. And I forgot to grab my iPod when I left. And, well, enough of that laundry list.

All of these issues, both big and small, added up. But they didn't stop me from running13+ miles. No, what stopped me was myself. My own negative thinking is really what did it. Could I have kept going another 8 miles? Absolutely. I even had a dropbag in place to help with fueling and fluids. But no, I quit. I literally quit. And that, that is what really pisses me off. Yes, I knew I was going for a long run. I had planned for nearly everything. Everything except the bad thoughts. Those just kept hitting me like a sledgehammer. So I quite. I gave up. I gave in. I caved. I wimped out. I got back to my car, threw my water bottle in disgust and anger, and left.

What have I learned from all of this? The continuing theme that not every run can be a great one. Or even a good one. I learned that not only do we have bad runs but we need bad runs. Yes, that's right, we need them. We need them to help us remember that it isn't always going to be sunny and happy and fun. Sometimes running is work. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes we need that smack in the face to remember to respect the distance. To remember that planning can only do so much. To remember to just suck it up and deal with it.

So there you have it. My crappy run form Sunday. I hate them. But it's done. There's a lot of positives I can take away from this run and I'm doing my best to grab at them when I think about them. And I'm slowly getting over myself. I'm just another cog in the wheel of life and I need to remember that I'm doing pretty damn good compared to a lot of others. So excuse me while I go rub some dirt on my ego and find Stella so I can get my groove back.

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