Today THE PLAN called for a 15 mile run. I got off to a little bit of a late start (that phrase is too, too familiar!) but did manage to head out at 7AM to run the same trail Jeanne and I ran when she was here visiting. That part was fine. As I got to the parking lot I saw a couple of running groups assembling – chatting and stretching. Not too far along the path they passed me and then it happened – the doubt crept in to my head.
“What am I doing out here?”
“Why am I doing this?”
“Who am I trying to kid?”
“What makes me think I can pull this off?”
“Why do I even want to do this”?
I was only at mile 2 or so and so I decided to chalk it up to the whiner within who always accompanies me on those first few miles. Only today it wouldn’t stop. I kept going and kept hoping I would feel better. I had prepared better and was carrying Cliff Shot Bloks (the new gel block on the fly nutrition – deserves its own review) as well as a pack of Gu. I left the electrolyte drink behind because those always make me sick. I hoped that my nutritional preparation would help me keep my energy up.
The good part of the run is that I had loaded Richard Wright’s Clara Callan on my shuffle and it is a great book. That man was a great writer and such a remarkable progressive. But I digress.
I got to the end of the trail where there is a water fountain and a restroom but I didn’t need the restroom and that was a bit of a worry. By then (8 miles in) I should have but oh well. I ate a couple of Cliff Shots, filled up the water, took a salt tablet and headed back, happy that I would running mostly downhill.
It was okay but at about 12 miles I started to lose it. I stopped, ate a couple more shots, gave myself a pep talk and motored on but those last 3 miles were hell and the doubt lingered and my feet hurt and when I got to the end and asked myself, “could you go another 9 miles?” the answer was a very loud “NO!” so that sucked. Then I reminded myself that that’s what training is for – to get you to the point where you can run 26.2 and it doesn’t just happen over night and please quit being such a drama queen.
But the doubt was powerful and it really sapped me. I just have to remember that there are bad runs and there are good runs and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. On the plus side my ear is feeling much better. If only there were antibadruns that worked as well as antibiotics.