Highs And Lows

I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off in a dream induced haze feeling off but unable to retain the tendrils of my subconscious. I hate that. I struggled to remember something in order to dissipate that off feeling you sometimes wake up with – to no avail. It was supposed to snow during the night for several hours and I wasn’t certain if I’d risk driving if the roads were bad. I was actually feeling so blah that I hoped they were bad. I know, I know. Even I get a case of the blahs now and then.  I felt nauseous and just wanted to stick out my tongue and go back to bed.  Alas, our trusty weather reporters were wrong – there had been no snow.

The view from my house this morning

The view from my house in the morning.  No new snow but an overcast, ominous looking morning.

It was 20* but thankfully no wind.  Team plan was a 2 hour time trial.  Run up and down a 3 mile stretch of very hilly road back and forth as many times as possible until the 2 hours is up.  I’ve run a 1:45 half marathon but this is super hilly and cold, so I wanted to do a half marathon in the two hours.  I hoped that by getting my butt out the door, my nausea and dream induced feeling of blah would go away.  Sometimes once you get moving it can be a fantastic run.

Self portrait pre-run.  YAY!!!

Really awful self portrait pre-run. YAY!!!

I expected it to be a brutally physically hard run.  The first hill I call “repeat hill” because it’s nearly a mile long and we do hill repeats on it.  After that there are ups but more down which means that the way back has a higher level of difficulty.  The 3 hills on the way back I’ve named “Thing 1”, “Thing 2”, and “Thing 3” and #2 is the most difficult.  I knew I had to get 2 times out and back with another little jaunt up the hill to round out a half marathon.  Unfortunately, the nausea didn’t dissipate.  It got worse and by mile 9 I was hoping to throw up.  I passed a man walking his dog and he asked why we weren’t running cross country.  I felt so gross I wanted to tell him it was because we weren’t wearing snowshoes or skis, but I smiled and said we just decided to run hills today.  He said, “You’re so itty bitty you should be able to run a lot further than everyone else.”  I had no idea that’s how it worked.  Now I feel like a super slacker.

Coach took this picture of me just after mile 9.  He was running a crew station out of his car with Lupe.  I looked so happy

Coach took this picture of me just after mile 9. He was running a crew station out of his car with Lupe. I looked so happy which was a complete and total lie.  I wanted to crawl into the  back of his car and curl up.

At this point I knew I would finish fine – I was done with all the hills and it was literally all downhill from here.  I decided to get to the bottom, claim my 12 miles and be done which is precisely what I did.  I finished the 12 with about 6 minutes to go which means I could have turned around and gotten at least half a mile more but I was toast.  Nauseous, cold and just happy that I had come and done the 2 hours.  With the warm up and cool down included I logged almost 13.5 miles for the morning.  The assistant coach Lupe asked if I was OK and told me to keep my chin up but here’s the thing.  I’m never remotely discouraged.  Every run isn’t epically fantastic.  Every hard run has wonderful moments just like every great run has difficult moments.  You don’t know joy without sorrow so these really tough runs give me the opportunity to really, really cherish the good ones.  Sometimes it’s actually about doing the time and logging the mileage.  It was a good morning, I have fantastic teammates, I did what I could this time around and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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