Not Running the TC Marathon… And Really Happy About it

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The Annual Idiot Run!

I complete this run once a year.  I’m calling it the Annual Idiot Run.  It’s that run where I think I’m a superhuman bad-ass, immune to the heat, humidity and sun that is summertime.  This year’s run went a little something like this…

I woke up, realized I had over slept and woke up the husband.  We picked up the boys from different sleepover locations from the night before, met back at our house and were off to the kids’ golf lesson.  On the way we stopped at the gas station for some breakfast and I grabbed a protein bar and an iced coffee.

While the kids had their lesson, the hubs and I hit the driving range where we spent the hour mopping our foreheads and complaining about the heat.

After golf we went home and I realized I still needed to run.  We had some other things going on later in the afternoon so I just figured I would quick change and head out while I had a chance.

Should I bring my phone?  Nah, it’s just 5 miles. I’ll quick crank that out in about an hour and be back no problem.

Should I bring water?  Nope, it’s just 5 miles. I’ll use the water fountains around the park. But I probably won’t even need that because… well, duh it’s only 5 miles.

Should I eat first?  Totally not necessary.  IT’S ONLY 5 MILES!  I’ll be back in time for lunch.

So I sprayed on some sunscreen, grabbed my watch and my sunglasses and was off.

Mile 1 was warm but I powered through it just fine.  The first mile is really just the sidewalk and bike path that leads into the park.  Once I got there though, the park was just empty.  This is a huge park is usually teaming with families and fitness enthusiasts, especially on a Saturday afternoon.  But there was nobody there.  It was at least 90 degrees and about 11:30 am, extremely humid.  Seemed a little odd but I kept running.

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Mile 2 was really just terrible.  I was starting to feel every bit of the heat, wished I brought water.  I kept running because I still had that tiny voice telling me, “It’s a little warm but who cares!  You’re a superhuman bad-ass, remember!?” Grabbed a drink from a drinking fountain at about 2.5.

Mile 3 I realized I had made a terrible mistake and really wished I brought my phone.  If I had, I would have called my husband to come get me.  It was really just awful.  I started to feel light headed and slowed down to run/walk intervals.  If you can call them that… it was more like run when I could, walk when I had to.

Mile 4 I found another fountain and just made sure to get as much of it in me and on me as possible.  It really wasn’t pretty.  I just wanted to get out of the park as fast as I could.  I tried to run whenever possible but down to mostly walking at this point.  It was really scary to realize the park was seriously empty so if (at that point I really thought it was more like when) I passed out, there wouldn’t even be anyone around.

Mile 5 I just walked out of the park and back to my house.  Went straight for the ice and water and just sat there feeling sorry for myself.  I re-hydrated.  I showered.  I ate a giant plate of pasta for lunch.  I took a 2 hour nap.  I promised myself I would never ever ever take the heat lightly again.  I’d follow all the rules from now on.  Just like I did after last year’s idiot run.

Two good things came of the 2016 Annual Idiot Run.

1.) I realized I’m actually not a superhuman bad-ass who is immune to the heat and humidity.  I learned my lesson.  No more runs at noon when it’s 90+ degrees.  Runs will now be very early or very late until sometime mid September.  I will remember to take my phone and some water.  I’ll hydrate before I go.  I’ll carb up.

2.) I also realized I was not having fun out there.  On that run I had a long time to think about running and the summer.  I realized I was completely dreading training for another marathon.  I just wasn’t looking forward to hours and hours away from my family.  I wasn’t looking forward to feeling broken for three days after an 18 or 20 mile run.  I was excited about the adventure of training for such an epic event when I was training for my first marathon.  It seemed like an awesome thing to do.  But I realized now that I know what it takes, and I’m just not in a hurry to do it again.  I’ve been marathon training for almost 2 years now and I’m just tired of it.

No more idiot runs.  No more 2016 marathon training.

There are other goals on the horizon for me though.  I’m really excited about this new goal of mine, which is actually an old goal.  I’ll be talking about it tomorrow on my YouTube channel.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Are there Benefits to Lazy Running?

Getting over this most recent (and honestly very minor) injury, I went out for a 4 mile run this morning.  I started off with what I thought was really good effort.  When I run I mostly think about running.  I watch my pace, I think about my posture, my foot strike, my balance, my cadence, my breathing etc.  The entire workout is a constant physical and mental effort to produce the most quality run I possibly can.

But not today.

After 2 miles of constantly monitoring every breath and foot fall, I was honestly just so tired of it all.

I just wanted to run.  So I did.  I just ran.

I was appalled by my heavy feet and swinging arms but I just didn’t care.  I just didn’t have the energy today.  I bargained with myself that I would just let myself run however I wanted to just this one time, to relax and just make it home.  I promised myself I would put in a better effort next time.

I paid attention to what happened next, but had given up on trying to control it.  My light and skippy, forefoot strike transformed into a very solid mid-foot strike and I gained an exaggerated (for me) oblique twist.  The last little bit of residual pain in my left leg completely dissolved.  And I watched my Garmin in awe as my pace naturally and seemingly effortlessly went from a 13 minute mile to a 10:30 minute mile.

With only 2 miles of this, I’m not sure if I’m onto something or if it’s a total fluke.  But I do know that it felt good.  Really good.

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