Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On not being invincible

Is anyone else guilty of getting in the running groove and being convinced they are unstoppable? It's a good thing to a certain extent, but yesterday I had a slightly scary wake up call. 
It is so easy to share the good moments in running, but I think every rubber knows that there are plenty of not so good moments too. As much as it can be a blow to the ego to admit that a run was totally awful, I think it is just as important to share those moments as it is to share the good ones. So here goes. 
By now I should know better, but yesterday I decided that I would be lazy all morning then try to do 14 miles starting a little after 11. My theory was that I would be running on a trail tat usually has a good amount of shade and the high was only around 84. I also didn't take my water with me because I simply didn't want to deal with it. Not a great start right? I failed to consider that the shade provided around noon would be much less than earlier or later in the day. And one of the key water fountains on the path was broken. Despite all this, I was feeling really good through mile 7 when I turned around. I posted a picture on Instagram of the trail and was really feeling like my run was "clicking" if you will. 

By mile ten my watch was giving me low battery warnings so I stopped briefly. It was then that I realized I was no longer feeling so great. 
It was hot, I was running into the sun, there was no shade and I was getting dehydrated quickly. I was proud of myself for attempting to go further, but when I couldn't get my heart rate and breathing under control I decided waddling the 3+ miles back to my car was my only option. 

I was miserable after and so mad that my run didn't go the way I wanted it to. I wanted to finish with that same feeling of peace and confidence I had felt during the first part. But after a short pity party I realized that I had no reason to be upset. I realized I wasn't actually that angry. As I am ramping up my mileage in preparation for my fall and winter races I need this lesson in humility. I need to remember to respect my body and all I am asking it to do. And most importantly I needed to be reminded that not every run will be good, but every run will teach you something. As much as I could wish that my long run had ended differently, I am grateful for the reminder that I still have a lot to learn.
All that said I was about to just lay down with these headstones at one point! If you zoom in they are labeled as cyclists, joggers, roller bladers, etc. which absolutely made my day!

Do you have a bad run story? Did it make you a better runner?

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