This is not your average Thoughtful Thursday post . I'm not feeling fragmented, so there will be no numbered list of random thoughts. I'm definitely thoughtful today, but I'm also thoughtfully focused. For a change. Amazing.
It's been 4 days since I ran my first 1/2 marathon. I promise that I won't announce the number of days since my first 1/2 marathon on every post from now until my first full marathon, but I am feeling very introspective today about running in general.
I need a morale boost, people.
On Tuesday, I began my 10 week Boilermaker training plan. My sister actually came up with the plan, and I trust her, since she's run the race several times. I wasn't scared by the schedule, it actually seems very realistic, and just has a lot of hill workouts since TBM is a very hilly race. Tuesday was my first run after the Frederick 1/2, and I did 4 treadmill miles.
The problem? I had this interesting "I just ran a 1/2 marathon" mentality the entire time. It progressed like this:
Mile 1: I just ran a 1/2 marathon....sheeeet....I can crank this baby up a couple notches. Pffft....easy run! Who needs an easy run! I just ran a 1/2 marathon, bitches!
Mile 2: Well...nothing hurts, but geez. This feels a lot faster than it really is. WHY am I only running at an 11:00 min/mile pace? I just ran a friggen 1/2 marathon 2 days ago. I should be able to go faster than this! How totally pathetic! I am such a slow ass wussy!
Mile 2.5: Gawd. This feels so hard. Maybe I'll just walk for a minute. I was reading about the guy who walked the SD marathon a few weeks ago doing 2:1 (running:walking), and finished in a little over 5 hours. Maybe there's something to that concept. I mean really...if I had run a marathon last weekend, it would take me way more than 5 hours anyway. I can totally ratio this out and still finish at the same pace, while having more recovery time. Reserved energy, yeah...that's it!
Mile 2.5-Mile 4: Agony. This running shit is complete and total agony, and I can't believe what a running loser I am. Why in the F&CK do I run again? Please explain this, because I totally f*c%ing suck at this! And if that guy next to me peeps my slow ass TM speed one more time, I'm going to kick him in the shin. Forcefully.
So, my 4 mile run consisted of a lot of self-doubt, self-defeat, and self-loathing. That's exactly what running is all about, right?!
No, it's not.
I love running. So, what the hell?
The really funny part about Tuesday's run is that I ended up resorting to a complete 5:1 run/walk plan for about the last 1.5 miles, and ironically, my overall pace was 11:30/mile. My average race pace on Sunday was 11:20/mile. The walking didn't slow me down that much. But, a walk is not a run.
Obviously, a part of me is expecting that I am going to get "better" at some point. By "better", I mean faster. By faster, I mean not competing with walk/runners and farting walkers. No doubt that I'm chronically slow, but I thought I had come to terms with that fact, and I was satisfied with being in the middle to back of the pack.
I guess I was wrong.
Last night, I was intending on doing a 30 minute tempo run. That would've been my second run after the 1/2 marathon. All day yesterday, my calf was painfully tight. I was caught lying on the floor several times yesterday by my boss. Luckily, he understands my plight.
"Sorry man, my calf is as hard as a rock."
I rubbed, I stretched, I squatted. No stretch or rub or squat was good enough. I just could not loosen the thing up. After 10-12 hours of this, I reach a point where I am too frustrated to even deal with myself. It makes me feel like I am broken, and I abhor feeling broken (vulnerable, hurt, frail, damaged, defective, injured).
So, last night's 30 minute tempo run was nixxed in favor of obsessively cleaning and organizing my kitchen, and setting up my Vita-Mix. Like 458 times. I moved that thing all over the same counter, within 3 inches of the previous place, 458 times. At least. Every single time, I found a reason why that spot wasn't good enough.
I'm noticing a pattern here.
I'm starting to come to terms with something that Liz mentioned to me about 6 months ago. She didn't exactly tell me that this whole knee/calf/leg tightness issue is all in my head. But she did suggest that it could be "neurological". That's the polite, clinical way of telling me that it's all in my head. Not that I was not feeling the knee/calf/leg tightness that I speak of. Just that it was partially synthesized by my head.
I worry about sheeet that doesn't need to be worried about. In turn, I become tense and mentally frail. While most people might feel this tension in their head, neck, shoulders, or even their back, I carry my "stress" in my legs. This was determined while I was in treatment for my ED. Jane would ask me where I felt "stressed" when we were talking about a particularly tramatic subject, and I would always reply, "my hamstrings".
I never said that I was normal.
Whereas most normal people can "run out" their stress, I cannot relax enough to run when I'm stressed. Tight, stressed out muscles that cannot relax are not easy to run on. They cause pain and injury.
So, in conclusion...there really is no conclusion. I'm still a work in progress.
So...did you enter my Ulimana Giveaway yet? Because that's way more interesting than this crap!
Do you worry about things that you don't need to worry about? How does it affect your life?
Update Thursday, 5:45 PM: I just got the email with my race photos. Then I instantly remembered how much fun I had on Sunday at the 1/2. Now I am going running. If you want a good laugh, check out my race photos. They really had me cracking up so bad! The two where I have my hands up in surrender. The one where I'm smiling from ear to ear. I might buy that one. It's friggen hilarious.
And I'm definitely walking in a few of those. Damn. Evidence!
Love for running redeemed with just a few sweaty race photos.