Sunday, April 12, 2015

I'm Never Going to Run Again

Last year was a big year for my running.  I greatly improved my speed and endurance which helped me make great strides (no pun) when it came to placing in my age group.  I secretly vowed to repeat or better my 3rd Place AG finish in the 2015 Emmaus 4 Miler, but nailing 4th in my AG (and no PR) in the St. Pats 5K a few weeks ago didn't sit well with me.  Sure I ran hard and actually sat in the same place of my AG as the previous year; I didn't feel ready.
Staying true to everything that encapsulates 'Muffin Madness', I raised the bar on my 2015 goals.  Of course, shaving time from 'signature' races is ideal I have my sights set on something much bigger than that.  After a great 2014 NYC Marathon finish, considering the weather and the course, I wanted to try my hand (or should it be feet?) at qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon for Via in September 2015.  Great, there it is in print.  
The Emmaus 4 Mile Classic is the last race before marathon training.  A good run here would emotionally give me a little boost.  I've been spending time investigating a lot of training plans and even looking at options of hiring a coach.  I know that my time with the Crazies is going to diminish, temporarily, while I shift my training from logging miles to kicking the shit out of myself.  I'm looking forward to taking this to the next level.  
But I digress.  Today, I ran the Emmaus 4 Mile Classic.  
The hubbs left early this morning for a business trip.  I solicited my Mom to hang with the girls while I ran.  To my surprise, my Dad also came to the race.  I orchestrated the morning routine with some rolling/stretching, caffeine and a great, light breakfast before getting myself and the girls dressed.  I got to the local high school in less than 10 minutes with about 45 minutes to spare.  Everything seemed to fall apart from there.  I forgot the cowbell, which translated to the girls' disappointment; my watch wasn't working, which translated to my own disappointment.  I feared a fast start which would make me crash and burn half way through; my watch, at least for this morning, would be my pacer, but clearly that wasn't happening.  Crap.  I had to pee again, I felt disoriented and to top it all off, I felt the need to put on a good show for my Dad.  He's always proud — not sure what I needed to prove here.  
When the time was right, another Crazy and I toed the line.  Well, maybe not the line, but we were maybe 4 people deep?  We lined up behind 'buns' (this blondie with the longest legs in the world), ready to rock.  About 1 minute before take off the crowd was injected by shaved chest man.  The humor in this situation helped ease the tension in my shoulders, and the same within my head.  With virtually no warning, we were off.  
In the 2014 Classic, I lined up behind Jane and followed her groovy shirt until I, surprisingly, passed her on a hill.  Jane wasn't there and I had no such person in my prevue.  I thought I could follow buns for a while, but that lasted all of about 2 1/2 minutes; she was fast (wound up finishing 2nd female overall).  I panicked: I wanted to repeat, I wanted to find that high again; I wanted, I wanted, I wanted.  What I NEEDED was to chill the fuck out; this mental tornado was screwing with a good run.  Race or not, I was out in the sunshine; I should have just let it be Sunday, but sometimes I suck like that.  About 1 1/2 miles into this race, I hated running, again.
I chuckled at myself since this is a feeling that's all too familiar:
I hate running.
Everything sucks.
I should stop running.
I'm not going to BQ Via.  That's just a dumb thought.  
I taste blood.
I can stop to puke, that's pretty hardcore.
Is this over?
Without my watch, I couldn't determine my pace, but I knew, at least for the first half, I was working hard.  I doubted my ability to continue.  At each intersection, manned by someone of authority in a reflective vest, I wanted to stop and request an ambulance.  At the second water stop (stationed mid hill), I wanted to grab a cup and walk.  By the time I crested that hill, I felt a wave of nausea and visualized myself puking down the front of my shirt.  With a hard swallow, I pressed on, doing none of the above.  There is NO WAY that I can train my ass off to BQ.  No.Way.  I should just surrender and leisurely train for Via (by no means am I insinuating that marathon training purely to finish is a leisure activity).  I can't do this.  I hate running.  I looked back to see a decent gap between me and the next runner; I just needed to maintain my pace, whatever that really was.
I hit Berger Street for one last climb to the downhill back to the high school.  As my right foot crossed the virtual crest, I unleashed my legs and let them rip.  I rounded the corner left and caught a few men while wiggling myself curbside; we rounded the next corner right to see another Crazy cheering me on (she ran a solid 10 miles yesterday — good girl).  Knowing that the final turn towards finish was in sight, I kicked hard outrunning three runners to finish just over 29 minutes.  The race isn't chip timed, so we needed to stay in finishing order.  I held on to the gentleman in front of me as I ripped my tag off my bib.  I gently pushed him forward through the chute praying he would not come to a dead halt.  I needed to keep moving or the world would have stopped turning.  I grabbed a bottle of water before walking back to my fan club.  I wanted nothing more than to have my girls hold onto my legs.
If I set a PR it was only by a few seconds (official results not yet available).
I did repeat my 3rd Place AG Finish.
I guess I'll reframe and go into marathon training with a positive outlook.
Coffee always tastes better out of a winner's mug.

The cream and sugar