I hate getting up in the mornings to go run. Hate it. The redeeming factor is the run itself. If you run, you may have heard someone say at one point in time that "you'll never regret a run you did, only the run you didn't do." The run itself is a great chance for me to clear my head and have some time for myself. And of course, I feel fantastic when it's over.
But that doesn't mean that every run is some sort of zen-producing, joyful experience. Everyone has a bad run now and again. Last Sunday I had a doozy.
With the rain and storm, our typical beach day was off. But I still wanted to get in 8 miles. I'm not training for anything right now, but I don't want to lose that nice base I've built up. So when one of the women in my running group posted that she was going out for 10 miles on Sunday, early, I told her I'd join.
My first warning should have been when some other members of the group said they wouldn't join because there's no way they'd keep up with such a speedy runner. I sent her a message saying that I'm not terribly fast, so I would start out with her, but probably wouldn't keep up, but I only wanted to do 8 miles anyway, so I'd run out 4 and back and she'd probably hit me on her way back from her longer run. She told me that this was a training run, not a race, so she wouldn't be running that fast, and besides, this route was a loop, so there would be no turning back. It was 10 miles or nothing. That should have been my second warning.
Bright and early Sunday morning I headed out to meet Speedy. We were running a new route for me. A new, very very hilly route. We met at Starbucks and Speedy introduced me to her running buddies. There were 5 of us headed out that morning. We checked the skies, which were clear, and we hoped they'd stay that way.
And then we started out. During the first two miles, I kept with the group. I didn't bother putting on my GPS or any of my run tracking apps, because - it was a loop. It wasn't like I was going for mileage, I was just going to run till it was over. We talked about recent races, and running in general, and I knew I was in trouble. Speedy had just run a half marathon the weekend before, a half marathon where she had calf issues and had to stop and lie down, and stop and stretch. And she still finished in 1:49. Which is how long it took me to run my 10 mile race!
As I said, this route was really hilly. After the second mile - I started falling behind. I could still see them, because, well, ginormous hill, but I was on my own. On my own on an unfamiliar route, and at the time I had no idea how far I'd run, and how much I had ahead of me. Eventually, I couldn't even see them anymore . I ran the rest of that 10 miles by myself. Every now and then, Speedy would stop to stretch her calves, and I'd catch up to them, but I'd lose them as soon as we'd start up again.
I was very much not feeling this run. I was tired, and because I didn't know where I was, there were no familiar landmarks to look forward to. No way of knowing whether I should slow it down because I had a ways to go, or whether the end was just around the corner. And then it started to rain. Not just rain, pour. And I still had no idea how much farther I had ahead of me. I honestly hoped that by the time I finished, the other women would have headed home, so I could sit in my car and just cry. That's the way I felt. Like I said - it was a bad run. I ran for a little over 2 miles in that rain. Finally, the Starbucks was in sight. I ran in to one of the women as she was heading in, and the rest were still in line. I joked that if we had run 8 like I wanted, we probably would have missed the rain.
The coffee warmed me more than just from the outside chill. Sitting and chatting with the women almost made me forget the painful run. Until the next morning of course, when my quads burned. And yet I still got up for my Monday morning run. Where I fell 1/2 a mile from home and completely tore all the skin off one knee, cut open my thumb in multiple places, and got some beautiful road rash on my knees and hands. It was a rough running week for me.