My last long run was really pretty crappy from start to finish. I woke up in a bad mood but hoped my run would change that. Spoiler alert... it didn't, I actually came home in a worse mood than when I left. Anyway... On tap, I had 16 miles, with 10 of them at race pace. I decided to divide it up with 2 miles warmup, then the 10 faster miles, followed by 4 miles as a cool down. I did this division mostly so that I wouldn't have to run race pace across my big bridge twice... I think that my division was the only good part of the run.
The warm up 2 miles went alright. I felt sluggish but hadn't had much sleep, so I supposed that was to be expected. Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the speed. 1 mile done and I got to the bridge, which had a sign saying, sidewalk closed, use other side. That sign has been on the bridge ever since we moved to Coos Bay, however, it was on a different side that morning. I stopped, wondering if they had actually started working on the other side of the bridge or if someone (as a practical joke?) had changed the sign. After giving it a fair amount of thought, I decided to trust in humanity's goodness and believe the sign was correct all the while running tentatively and hoping that I wouldn't have to make a mad dash across the bridge in the dark. Luckily I didn't. I crossed the bridge and headed along the highway until I got to my turnoff. I finally started getting into a groove when my watch buzzed. Another mile already?! Nope, low battery warning. Sh*t! Hmm, why is my watch dying?!!! Oh, that's right, I haven't charged it in about 3 weeks and I ran 20 miles last week as well as 3 outside runs this week... but I need it to keep track of my pace and to let me know when I get to my turn around point... maybe it will hold out... (and it turns completely off) ... double sh*t!!!!! I stopped then and just stood there wondering what I should do. I had no desire to complete my run, yet I was less than 5 miles into it... I still had 11 to go but I didn't even know where the turnaround point was. After throwing my self a pity party, I pulled out my phone and used my gps to figure out where 8 miles from my house would be so that I could turn around in a timely fashion. Even though I wanted to just head home, I was already out there and my family wouldn't be up for hours, so I decided I may as well use the time to my advantage.
By the time I got started again, it had begun misting and I was freezing because I had been standing still for too long and trying to get right back into race pace seemed near impossible... not too mention that I've never been good about pacing by feel so I had no idea how near race pace I was going. I hoped that if felt so hard because I was in fact working harder than I needed to too, but I fear that it felt so hard because I just wasn't in the mood to run. As I "raced" along, the logging trucks began coming along too, seriously, at least a dozen of them. I always run into traffic and there is a very wide shoulder and they were coming behind me so it shouldn't have been an issue, but I guess because it was dark and there was no one around, they felt the need to straddle the yellow lines scaring me to death. Truck, after truck after truck... which left me way off in the gravel dodging holes and puddles in the dark in order to feel somewhat safer.
Finally, my turn around point, halfway done with the run all together and over half way with the race pace. However, I just couldn't make myself go. I stopped and stretched for a bit and had some fuel and some water and checked my gps to make sure I was indeed 8 miles from my home then told myself to just get it over with. Off I went for a bit and then I stopped again... then I ran, then I stopped... it was really pathetic. Just when I finally got to going again, the log trucks began tearing past me again, this time filled with logs. I felt like I was running on the highway, there was nothing enjoyable about it. Sure that I was barely running an easy pace, let alone race pace, I picked it up a bit more and really pushed myself over the hills. Looking back, I was probably exceeding the pace I needed to be at, but I felt like I was hardly moving. I finally decided I could take off my headlamp and at that time decided to fix my messy bun. Of course as I was doing that, my ponytail holder broke and I didn't have an extra one. Seriously?! With freezing fingers, I stood on the side of the road trying to tie it back together so that I could get my hair out of my face and get the horrible run over with. Luckily, it worked well enough to get me through.
I finished the race pace portion, crossed back across the bridge and ran up the hills to my house, all the while thinking about how nothing good came of me going for that run. I didn't necessarily regret taking it, but it surely didn't change my outlook for the day, I was still in a bad mood. :(
Now, several days removed from the run, I think probably it was a pretty decent run physically, but mentally it was just terrible. I'd love to be able to see if my pace was better than I thought, but fear that it wasn't. It was funny because every time I stopped (which was waaaaay too many times), even though I had taken off my dead watch, I went to pause the timer on it then restart it as I started up again. It was like I had the phantom limb syndrome... for my watch. I could still feel it there and it needed me to start it.
Monday, however, with Dan home from work, I was able to go for a run right in the middle of the day. It was overcast and windy and there was nothing special about the run, but if you were to ask me, I'd tell you that it was spectacular. It's amazing what a little change of attitude can do.
For no reason other than this long, boring post needs a picture, here's one of Jonny today, while we were grocery shopping... wish I could fall asleep wherever I was...