Quite the cheerful post title, isn’t it? I had debated on whether or not to share this information, but in the spirit of an open and honest blogtopia, here it is…
Saturday’s run did not go so well. My wonderful husband drove us to another greenway for yet another change in scenery. Technically, we went to a “Greeneway” because North Augusta’s multiuse trail is named after a man who’s last name is Greene. I think that’s kind of cute…a greenway for Greene. A Greeneway. We had planned to hit the Greeneway (reputedly 7.5 miles long) on the South Carolina side of the river and then the Augusta Canal Trail on the Georgia for the remaining 5 miles. On the way there, we saw an inordinate amount of vultures. Scott joked, “so our goal today is to move fast enough to convince the vultures that we’re still alive.” Yup. A good goal. When we arrived, we learned first that the Canal Trail was closed for maintenance and then that the Greeneway was 4.7 miles long. Drat and a half. So much for a non-meandering run. Ah, well.
Then the run begins, and it’s immediately apparent that I’m having one of those days. Blech. My normally consistent gait has abandoned me and I’m completely unable to feel my pace…9:13, 8:44, 9:17, 9:20, 9:34…I’m all over the flippin’ map. I tell myself not to care, that the whole point of the stupid long run is to be running for a (duh) long time, so suck it up and get on with it. So I do, and try to focus on the different and beautiful scenery…but it’s awfully hard to distract myself out of the discomfort I’m feeling. There are momentarily lulls, such as running by brilliant azaelas and sweet lilac…or laughing together at the “please do not feed the alligators” sign. All I can think is…what if it takes a bite out of me? Am I responsible for that? “I didn’t mean to feed it, honest!” More frequently, however, my focus is situated on myself: my quads are inexplicably screaming at me, my stomach is cramping in a decidedly unpleasant way, my head feels fuzzy, and my left foot has apparently taken the day off. Yeesh. That’s quite a list.
12 miles in, Scott suggests that we call it a day. I hate that. I hate that I’m wimping out on the last test prior to the race, causing all sorts of terrific doubts to start creeping back in. I hate that I’m ruining a very lovely trip to a town we’ve never been to. I hate that I’m also wrecking his workout, as he nicely volunteered to run with me and keep me company. I hate it! He does, however, make a valid argument…and because he’s definitely the more reasonable of us at this point (or always, but certainly right now, with me at least 3 miles past miserable) I concede.
On the bright side…I don’t rationally think that this mishap has completely wrecked my marathon chances. My confidence is a different story, but not a terribly important one. There are just days when running is no fun at all, and this happened to be one of them. I’ve had some spectacular long runs in the last month, so I suppose I was due. Let’s just hope the marathon feels more like my first 20-miler, and a lot less like my second attempt at the same distance.