The Long Run, doubt creeps in

I experienced a good amount of discouragement during my long run on Saturday morning. It was 12 miles, and yes, I definitely did not plan well, but I did manage to get it all done, which I suppose is what is important overall. However, it was a little tough because while I was out running, I definitely was really regretting my decision to sign up for a full marathon. So let’s go through what happened with this run, so I can get it out in the open what I did and what mistakes I made. Hopefully, by clearing my head and getting beyond what I did, I can get back on the motivation bandwagon.

I originally was planning to run on Sunday. J had plans to play golf on Saturday, and the running group was running a race. I truly was not in the mood for a race, so I decided that Sunday was the way to go. Well, he ended up not having anyone to play golf with, so I had Saturday to get a run done. I waited until we got Addie to bed for her morning nap. So I started running around 11 am. Sigh. First mistake. On a good day, I would like to be DONE with a long run, even a 20 miler, by that time. And by started at my usual time, you know 7-8 am, I would be.

As soon as I got Addie to bed, the skies opened up. She was crying a bit still, and J attended to her, but with the sky opening, I was feeling a little off right off the bat. That changed plans for me. So I headed right down to the basement. I had thought that binge watching the earlier seasons of mad men (back when mad men was awesome) would help pass the time. So I loaded season one in the dvd player and started the treadmill. I had 12-13 miles on the schedule, and I hoped to negative split them. I tentatively planned on being on the treadmill for 2 hours. I figured that would give me maybe three episodes of mad men?

I started the treadmill at 6.4 mph (approximately 9:22 pace) with plans to increase the speed every two miles, ending with my final (13th) mile at 7.0. For me, that felt doable in my head. It would give me those splits I wanted, keep me just slightly faster than my long run pace prescribed, but would not make my last miles so fast that I couldn’t do them.

I felt good for a while, but it was just getting HOT in my basement. In addition, I made a water bottle to bring downstairs with me, but forgot it on the kitchen counter. Lame. At around 4.5 miles, I put the treadmill and the tv on pause to go upstairs and get my water. I needed it. But that was a mistake. At that point, my mind kind of started playing games. I started questioning myself and my ability to finish the run successfully. My focus was just gone, and that was definitely my fault. I am a little bit upset with myself that I allowed myself to mentally get away from the success that I was having. So I decided I needed a change of scenery.

When I hit 8 miles, I shut off the TV and the treadmill and headed upstairs. In my head I was thinking, oh yeah, I definitely can get 5.1 more miles and make it a nice, straight half. I told J I wasn’t finished yet, I had only gotten to 8 miles, and I was heading outside. I could tell he was annoyed, but Addie was asleep and he was playing a video game. He would be fine (and Addie would likely sleep!) for less than an hour that it was going to take me to complete this run.

I walked out my front door and was immediately confronted with regret. My legs were feeling funny from running on a treadmill for the last hour + (73 minutes). Plus it was now noon. The absolute worst time to plan an outdoor run. The sun had come back out and after the rain of an hour previously, and now the humidity was turned on high. But I started going. About 2 miles in I just made the decision that 12 was all I was going to get this morning, and it was going to have to be ok with me. I admittedly had to stop and catch my breath a little twice during these last 4 miles. It was just stifling outside. I was seriously upset at my inability to power through. But it was AWFUL out there. When I finished those last 4 miles and got into my house, I just collapsed. I was DONE.

And that made me question all of my ability to get through this training cycle. It made me question everything about marathoning and running.


Why is that? Why, when we have a bad day do we question everything that we want and think we can do? I mean, and let’s be honest, it was noon, sunny and humid. That has NOTHING to do with my running ability!

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