Long Run Sundays: Quit Playing Games

Is it really Sunday already? The only thing getting me through this next week is going to be the 3-day weekend that lies ahead. Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr. From the responses to my last post, it looks like most people agree that dinner is best served large and hearty. Glad to know I’m not a lone weirdo ;)

Last night, I went out to dinner at The Yard House in downtown Denver to celebrate a friend’s birthday. While I’m a huge fan of their beer selection (they have more than 100 different beers on TAP), their food is usually a huge let-down.

Every single thing that I’ve ordered from there in the past has been so salty that I could barely eat it, and I have a pretty high salt tolerance. Last night, however, I was pleasantly surprised. I started with their basic field greens salad with balsamic on the side (nearly impossible to mess up). Also, once I got there, I realized I forgot to put my memory card in my camera, so phone photos it is!

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For my main course, I went with their turkey burger. It came topped with roasted tomatoes (since I’m in love with them right now), melty mozzarella cheese, and a side of fries.

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This was surprisingly very tasty and not salty at all! I’m so glad I finally found something worth eating there. It might be that I’m biased with the roasted tomatoes, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.


Quit Playing Games With Me

Normally this would probably be said to a member of the male race, but this is actually to myself. Since there was snow on the forecast yesterday and chilling temperatures for today, I opted to do my 11 mile long run yesterday. In hindsight, I’m glad I got it over with since it’s icy and cold today, but it’s runs like yesterday’s that make me question if I can finish the full 13.1 miles in my upcoming half marathon.

It started off with a fuzziness in my head that I couldn’t shake. I’ve been suffering from a head cold and slept a full 10 hours the night before my run because I was worn down. I woke up feeling okay, so I took off, and I just felt groggy and worn down from the moment I started running. I made it through the first 5 miles or so at or below my 11:50 long run pacing target, but then I started unraveling at lightning speed.

The tipping point was my feet. I don’t know if my feet are swelling more than usual due to the increased mileage or if I just never noticed before, but my feet were killing me. The toe boxes on my shoes are now too small and squeezing my feet in from the sides, and it’s fu*kin painful. I even resorted to running with full heel strikes to keep the pressure off of the balls of my feet, but that was even more uncomfortable.

Because I kept getting distracted by my feet, I was mentally not in the game (probably a huge part due to my cold). I felt clammy the whole time because my body was warm, but it was only about 30* outside. I foolishly decided to leave my SPIbelt at home and stuffed everything into my pockets instead. That was dumb. When I got hot and wanted to fully unzip my outer layer, everything bounced around so much that I had to zip it up again anyway.

For the last 6 miles of my run, I literally had to will myself forward a quarter mile at a time. 6 miles is a REALLY LONG distance when you’re trying to do it in quarters. It’s like trying to trick myself into thinking I’m almost done 24 times in a row. My body caught on, and my internal dialogue went something like this:

Brain: Come on legs, those feet don’t know what they’re talking about. You can go for another quarter mile.

Legs: Bi*ch! That’s what you said like 5 quarter miles ago!

Brain: I know, but you can do it. If you do, I’ll give you a cupcake.

Legs: Then how about I NOT get a cupcake, and we just stop running instead.

So I did…for a little while. I had to alternate walking and running for those last 6 miles because my feet felt like they were going to fall off, I started getting more stuffy, and I was just in a really bad mood by that time (oh, and it started snowing pretty hard for the last 3 miles). I finished 10 miles about 6 minutes slower than my average long run time, and I was so happy to finish my 11th mile that I almost cried (and nearly threw my shoes into the street).

I’ve been really good about breaking through the mental walls on my long runs, but none of my tricks worked this time. Because of that, I’m going to blame the crap run on my head cold and shoes. It was just so utterly frustrating to have to struggle so hard through so many miles. It didn’t even feel satisfying when I finished because I was so miserable.

I’m reminding myself that there will be bad runs, so I shouldn’t get hung up on this one. Maybe next week will be an amazing run that helps me realize that I can finish my half marathon strong. I still have 4 weeks after all. That’s still plenty of time to get thing figured out and transition to a new pair of shoes before race day. Until then, here are some pictures to keep myself motivated.


Last Thoughts

It’s been one hell of an exciting weekend in the blog world! Meghann @Meals and Miles got engaged and Gina the Fitnessista gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!

Also, mucho thanks to Lynne @LGSMASH for hosting a Chobani giveaway! I received my winnings yesterday, and it’s delicious :)

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Question of the Day: Runner or not, how do you get through extremely tough runs/workouts? Tell me about it.

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32 thoughts on “Long Run Sundays: Quit Playing Games

  1. First of all, I so admire you for all of the running you do in a city that a MILE high!! Seriously. I went to Colorado a couple summers ago and tried running a few times and felt like a total wuss. Most runs ended up being a verrrrry slow 1-2 miles. I can’t imagine going 11 miles at that altitude!

    I love this post – there are always bad runs (I’m sorry you had a bad one that was so long! It sounds like you’ve gotta do something to fix that foot problem. It’s so annoying when you can’t just get lost in a run because of something that keeps catching your attention) but then again, there are also AWESOME runs. Here’s to hoping your half-marathon is an awesome one!

  2. That turkey burger sounds amazing! I love how there’s roasted tomato on it!

    Sorry to hear that your run was tough but at least you got through it! :)

  3. Yikes! Cold weather, head cold, and shoes that felt off — just think of how mentally prepared you’ll be for those 13.1 miles under ideally better circumstances. You’re tough! :)

  4. The bad runs make the good runs that much better! On race day, with all the excitement and crowd cheering, you’ll find that you’re better able to push through the bad parts when you’re tired and hurting. During my first half, I was dying the last 2 miles but because there were so many spectators cheering, I couldn’t let myself walk in front of them and kept pushing through.

    Glad you got your cho! Happy baking!

  5. :( sorry to hear about your hurdles, but they are very normal and part of the process. These are the experiences that prepare you for race day. Loving the motivation I’m in need of some of that myself.

  6. I’ve had runs like that plenty o’ times training for different half’s and the only encouragement I have for you is that they will pass and you will have better runs, I promise! :)

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  8. it IS all in your head…running and feeling slow and that it’s never ending…that’s the hardest part of marathon I think…even though I haven’t done one…hahaha. I thought we were going to run together! Or was I suppose to text you? Either way I can’t run on ice! How do you do it?

  9. Hi Lena! thought I would drop a quick note and congratulate you on your awesome goal! I trained for my first marathon here in Denver this summer and my god it was hard! Some days you just have stinky runs…as in you just DO NOT FEEL LIKE RUNNING! So many dejected walks on the cherry creek bike path lol. However on that note, dont let those runs get you down I always kept in mind the awesome epic runs I had and how great I felt after I completed them! I had a crappy 13 mile and then an amazing 18 mile run….such random toss ups. The fact is that the day of the race is going to be so amazing and you will be so amped up on the goal you are achieving that you will be not only fine, but fantastic and the memories of those total crap runs will be out the door. GOOD LUCK!!

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