Monday, October 26, 2015

1 more to insantiy

I am exhausted. I am both physically and mentally spent.  I suspect this might be right on schedule for this time of year. After enduring a very run heavy summer culminating in pushing thru October I am just drained. I do believe this happened to me last year.  This is arriving right on schedule.  This weekend a year ago I ran a Halloween half marathon.  Then for the next couple weeks I barely ran and then went to Las Vegas in November and ran my final half of the year.  After that, I was just pooped and basically quit running all together for months.  This resulted in the idea that I didn’t think I wanted to run anymore.  And it also resulted in January not being able to run 3 miles without major effort.  I don’t want that to happen again.  I can’t allow that to happen again.   But right now I’m TIRED.

Last week I knew I was slipping. I knew things were falling apart.  Physically I felt horrible. By Wednesday I was sick.  I felt exhausted and drained and got hot and cold chills. I went home sick.  In the 7 years I’ve worked at my current job I have only called in sick 1 time.  Wednesday I went home sick so you must know that it was real.  For the life of me I could not make myself do anything basically Tuesday thru Friday. I had mentally just checked the fuck out.  I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. My physical tired/sore made my mental state horrific.  I was all over the place.  I had signed up for one last full marathon yesterday. It was in Tri-Citites Washington.  It is about a 4-5 hour drive from our house. I honestly debated not even going.  Chris didn’t really want to go honestly. But we decided that we should just power thru and do it.

I worked out last Monday night and went to the gym Tuesday but didn’t do much of anything.  I did not work out Wednesday thru yesterday. I have never taken that long of a break. I was uncertain how that would affect my full marathon yesterday.  Oh let’s not forget that I have been eating like shit too.  This goes hand in hand with exhaustion and fatigue.  Tired, beyond tired.  I knew it was going to be rough. I knew running a full marathon with little training was a stupid idea.  It pretty much was.

I have always said pretty instantly in a run I can tell how it’s going to go.  I just have a feeling.  I knew less than 2 miles into the run that it was going to be hard. That is was going to require everything I had just to finish.  At mile 2 I had to use the bathroom. I knew this was a 26 mile run so if I already had to use the bathroom that I needed to just stop and take care of it.  I ran off course to a bathroom in a park. It was locked.  I was pissed.  Not only did I run off course and screw my time and my distance but I didn’t get to pee.  I kept running.  It was getting worse.  Finally at mile 4.5 exactly another bathroom presented itself, this time it was open. I went for it.  This added minutes to my time as I dead stopped to take care of business.  At this moment I didn’t even care about going fast. I knew it would be all about just surviving and the time was not going to be great.  My legs didn’t have that extra spring in them.  So I did my business and got back on course.

In case anyone is wondering, 26.2 miles is a LONG way.  At around mile 8 I kind of wanted to be done.  I wasn’t running particularly fast. I wasn’t trying but that’s also because I knew it was a long race and I had to preserve my energies.  I am not joking for mile after mile I kept repeating in my head, this is brutal, this is all about finishing.  Just finish today.  I never found any sort of groove.  Almost every step was a struggle but I did push on. When I finally cleared the half way mark I was in a park and kind of ending up taking a wrong turn, adding a little more distance yet again to my Garmin.  Because 26.2 miles just isn’t far enough let’s keep adding on distance.

This was a small race.  So there were points in time where I was pretty much alone on course and somehow I end up taking wrong turns.  Lucky me. It wasn’t too bad.  It was beautiful scenery mostly so it wasn’t a bad course.  I just didn’t have my heart in it.  Once I got to about mile 16 my body was TIRED.  I knew I had 10 miles to go and then I knew that was another hour and 45 minutes of running and I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to go another step.  This race was most difficult for me in the 16-19 mile range.  Somewhere around mile 17 or 18, I honestly don’t even remember I came across Chris who was suffering the same fate as me.  Ill-prepared, lack of good sleep, lack of training and being spent.  I stopped and walked with him for a bit.  My body was aching. Physically my legs and hips and feet were aching.  And I had a long way to go.  We walked about ¾ of a mile or so and then I decided that I needed to try and jog on. Because at mile 18, I still had 8 miles to go and as much as I might want to, I could not walk 8 miles.  So I started running again.  Slowly.  About 11 minute mile pace.

Knowing I had 8 miles left was daunting.  I had serious moments of not wanting to go another step. It was miserable honestly.  That is what being ill prepared does to you.  Somehow though once I hit about mile 20, at my current 11 minute mile pace things felt better. It was like once I was in the 20’s it was less daunting.  Somehow being at mile 17 or 18 is hell, but once you are in the 20’s it feels much more bearable.  I was pretty much alone on course, which was a weird experience. Just me and my headphones trying to make it thru  the grueling final miles.  Each mile passing was a blessing.  I was still keeping a pretty consistent 11 minute mile pace and despite all the burning pain, I kept going.  I kept telling myself to push on. Each step was one step closer to the important finish line.

I also knew at this point that I was over on distance and my time was all about just finishing.  Gone were illusions of even touching my Portland Marathon time.  But honestly those illusions were gone after 2 miles.  I knew it was going to be a rough brutal kind of run.  Honestly even a half would have been hard yesterday yet alone a full marathon.  Somehow I dug deep and the last couple miles I managed thru.  I honestly think I handled the last 6 miles better than I handled miles 14-20.  Go figure.  I crossed the finish line at 4:50:44  I also crossed the finish line with my  Garmin reading 26.65 miles.  Could be better, could be worse.  Considering how out of sync I felt pretty much the entire run. The bathroom stops. The waking of mile 18, etc., 4:50 is acceptable. 

This was a humbling experience.  26 plus miles is a LONG way.  My legs ached. Badly. They still ache today.  I learned that I can’t take anything for granted.  You should never take running a marathon lightly. I was not prepared physically or mentally for it.  I was exhausted before I started. I had been sick the week before and mentally I had checked out some time ago.  Thus, just finishing is a victory. I pretty much ran everything other than that Mile 18.  I will take it.  I hurt pretty good towards the end and crossing the finish line was a huge relief.  Despite everything being stacked against me, I finished.

And now today I am pooped. So beyond drained that I just want to close my eyes and sleep. After we finished the marathon I had to drive 4 ½ hours home too.  We didn’t get home until fairly late last night and sleep is a precious commodity these days. I need more relaxation. I realize now my body definitely needs some time to recover.  I have put it thru an epic amount of shit and it’s time to be more kind.  In the last 5 weeks I ran 3 full marathons and the fastest half marathon I’ve ever ran.  In exactly 5 weeks’ time I asked my body to perform a lot. And now its exhausted as a result.  I do understand. I do get it.  It’s tired.  It needs a break. It’s not recovering well because I keep asking it to do crazy things. 

This is going to be an ease back into it week.  I say ease back into it because I need to also ease back into healthy eating.  I seriously have been horrible for 5 solid weeks pretty much. This week is getting the food back under control and being kind to my body physically.  This weekend I only have a fun 5k planned.  I am sure I am just walking it with my family so it’s not even as if I will run it.  In fact my next race isn’t until November 14 in Las Vegas so I do think I am going to allow my body some time to try and repair itself.  I have truly asked it to do so much in such a short timeframe.

I am pretty sure most things I read online told me that running a marathon is had on your body and you need all this recovery time, etc. And somehow I thought it would be okay to run 3 marathons in 5 weeks.  For the most part I did it.  But yesterday I knew was rough.  Yesterday I knew my body was at its limit.  I’m overall grumpy and irritable and lack any motivation.  It’s time to rest and recover and give myself a break.

A month and a half ago I hadn’t run a marathon now I have done 3.  That’s kind of a lot really.  I will try and not take for granted again how difficult 26 miles is on your body.  It’s hard. Plus honestly for the past couple weeks I truly have been so mentally off and I am thinking it’s a lot to do with pure exhaustion.  So I do think I am NOT going to the gym tonight. I am going to let my body rest one more day post running my 3rd marathon.  Instead today I am just going to try and not binge on food.  That’s really the plan for today.  One day at a time.

There’s a saying that’s something like, you’ll never know your limits unless you push yourself to them.  I discovered my limit this weekend.  I pushed and pushed and pushed until I hit the limit.  That’s it. I’m calling it. No more full marathons for a while. Next spring.  Oh, I will run another one, don’t get me wrong.  I will probably run a few more for sure next year.  But not for a while, and not without training for them.

My legs hurt.  Just a dull tired ache.  And mostly I just need to sleep.  For like a week straight right? Ah ha.  I honestly never claimed to be the most rational or sane person around. 3 marathons, 1 half, 5 weeks. Sure. 

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