I had a really bad 20-mile run today. It was supposed to be a 23+ mile run and it went from starting out pretty okay, then quickly turned bad and bonky at around mile 15. I’d psyched and prepped myself all week to go on a good long run on Saturday. I woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday morning and just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just knew I wasn’t supposed to go on a 23+ mile run. So I took Maly with me, she on her bike, on a ~10 miler instead.
Today I knew I had to put in my long run. I was going to stick to my 23+ miler. And for whatever reasons, at 10:30 a.m. when I’d finally set out, there was some hesitation. Some trepidation. I usually start my runs (regardless of distance) anywhere between 5 and 6 a.m. Today’s long run was starting at 10:30 a.m. Started that late in the morning means traffic. Traffic’s distracting and means you have to wait at intersections. At 5:30 a.m., there’s not that much traffic, so more often than not, I can blow through an intersection.
The first 13 miles or so were okay. I don’t look at my Garmin watch anymore when I run. I’ve adopted a running mantra to just run how I feel that day. If my body and heart are fast, I’ll go fast. If it’s a slow day, I’ll go at it slower. Today started somewhere in between. But there was this little monkey on my back the whole time. The monkey was trying to whisper in my ear, above the drone of traffic, “you’re not really liking this, are you?” I love running. Running is seriously the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. I usually wake up before my alarm and the first things that pop into my head are, “how far? What route? What music are we listening to?”
Today’s run was one of the very, very, very few and far betweens that just wasn’t fun. I had fuel and water with me, but those just didn’t keep my spirit elevated. It was a bad run. And it wasn’t fun. I wasn’t feeling it, at all, the whole way. I stopped more times that I care to recall. I had to stop at mile 15 at a gas station and exchange my only $5 bill for a bottle of water and a convenience store turkey sandwich. That gave me a little pep, but had to stop at the next gas station to exchange my remaining 22Â¢ for two pieces of gum. I was out of straight-up, high octane glycogen. I’d ran 20+ miles before on less fuel. And I, again, just chalked it up to a bad day and a bad run.
I cut my run short by 3 miles after stopping, walking, or sitting more times. I logged a 20-miles-on-the-dot run, but I wasn’t happy or proud.
I walked into the house on wobbly legs and heavy heart and scarfed down whatever was available on the kitchen counter. And then I hit the shower. While in the shower I thought I was either going to pass out or vomit.
Elise came into the bathroom and I told her that my new plan is to not concern myself with qualifying for the Boston Marathon. And she agreed. She’s held her tongue for months. Her thought has been that I shouldn’t try to qualify for Boston (“BQ”) at my very first marathon.
I’ve flapped my gums, and Elise has told people that my plan has been to BQ when I run the Houston Marathon on January 17th. It’s a lofty and aggressive goal. I’m aggressive and competitive, but I feel like I’m getting to the point where the fire in my belly to BQ is outshining and blinding my overall love of running.
So, I’m redacting my cockiness. And maybe it’s overzealousness, too. So I’m going to forgo the plan to BQ, and, instead, run the Houston Marathon. I don’t want ruin that first experience for myself. And qualifying for the Boston Marathon was just kind of an on-a-whim notion that I considered when looking at qualifying times as the family and I were driving through Oklahoma last year. It’s a coveted race, and I think I’d like to run it one year, but it’s not like it’s been on my bucket list my entire year. I’m just going to run how I feel that morning, because that’s how I like to run. That’s how I love to run. If I BQ, I BQ. If I don’t, that’s okay. I’m fine with that.