Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bad Runs Happen

It's summer here in the south and that means HEAT and HUMIDITY, not exactly a runner's best friend. And this weekend, boy did I feel it. I had 2 runs to get in, a 5 mile and an 11 mile. I met my run group Sat. morning who was planning to do 4, so I figured I would do an extra 1 after. Feeling pretty good despite the humidity, I decided to try to keep up with faster pace group (who, full disclosure were taking it a bit slower due a race that evening) so I knocked out my 5 in around a 9:30 pace. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked with that. Seriously, it is 92% humidity. 9:30 pace!

This is me at the end. The smile is FAKE. I was dying!
Now Sunday, Sunday was a totally different story. Sunday SUCKED! It was what I consider the WORST run I've ever had. It was super humid again, 93%, and I started out at 6 am to meet a friend who would do the first 4 with me, leaving me 7 to finish on my own. The plan was to take it nice and slow, esp since the person I was meeting run typically a slower pace than me. So we set out on my regular Sunday trail (love Riverwalk). It was very apparent in the first half mile, that this run would be awful. I was dragging for some reason, and every single excuse I could think of kept echoing in my head. We ran out 2 miles, then turned around to head back to the trail head, with what I considered too many walk intervals. But I did keep going, so there's that.

I considered quitting at 4 and just trying again the next day, but I figured I was already out there and miserable, that at least if it got uglier there wouldn't be a witness any longer. I said goodbye to my friend, dug down deep and set back out onto the trail.

I kept telling myself, just do one more mile. And when I hit that, I did one more and one more and so on. The trail is just over 3 miles long one way and I kept pushing, at a horribly slow pace and walking on occasion, but I kept moving. My pace was well over a min per mile slower than I typically do for that distance, averaging in at 12:08, yesterday's 9:30 a distant memory.

Seriously considered just running right in
I made it to the end of the trail, took a quick break to take a photo, take a Huma gel, and texted my friend that I somehow pushed myself to the end of the trail. The trail ends into a river (literally! The path turns into a boat ramp) and I did contemplate just running right into the river as there is no way I could have gotten any wetter - I was sweat-soaked completely through.

Deciding against that, now I still had to head back. I was at just over 7 miles now with a bit over 3 to head back. The beauty of an out and back route is that you can't really quit, because you have to make it back to your car. More pushing and walking and pushing and walking, I somehow made it back to the front of the trail. I was at 10.3 miles, and that was all I could do. In order to get that last mile in, I would have had to turn back onto the trail and the thought of restarting, even for such a short distance, was more than I could bear. Plus, I had run out of water by now.

It was a bad run. A real bad run. But, I did it. I lived. I took yesterday completely off and tonight, I know I'm going to rock my run. At least, it will be better than Sunday's - right?

How about you? What was your worst run? Do you push through a bad run, or do you call it and try again another time?