Saturday, October 2, 2010

Seven Ways To Have A Bad Run

I couldn't make it.

I rarely say that about my running, but when enough factors come together to make for an awful run, at some point you just have to throw up your hands and say, "I quit!"  That point came at 11 miles this morning.  Granted I was only supposed to do 12, but I just couldn't eke out that last mile.  So here are the seven things that I did wrong:

1. Improper fueling the day before.  Last night's small bowl of pasta for dinner was a good choice, followed by a soft pretzel at the baseball game (another good choice).  One beer at the game wasn't all that bad either, but afterwards the double cheeseburger and the cheese puffs and the pototo chips and the french onion dip weren't such good choices.  Nor was the fact that I started off yesterday with a giant hunk of leftover birthday cake for breakfast.

2.  Improper fueling the morning of.  I ran out of peanut butter a few days ago and nothing else looked good (aside from the birthday cake).  While I knew better than to cram a bunch of chocolate cake and rich icing down my throat before running, the only other thing I had that seemed "breakfast-y" was a high-fiber granola bar.  These particular bars have 35% RDA of fiber in them, so I just decided to have half of it, otherwise I would have had to plan my run around port-o-potties.  At only about 60 calories, this was not enough to tide me over and I was having hunger pangs by mile nine.

3. Lack of a plan.  I knew I needed to do 12 miles today, but I wasn't sure how or where, or even when.  I was thinking about joining the Roncker's group today, but nixed that idea since they run so early (7 a.m.).  I figured since I was going out last night, that I would just get up when I got up, since with this nice weather I don't necessarily have to run early like I do in the summer to avoid the hot sun.  I only ended up staying out until 10:30 last night (party animal, I know!) so I ended up getting up at about 7:30 a.m. anyway.  I went on the computer and mapped a 12 mile loop from my condo.  When I actually got out to do it, I think the hills were a little too much for me, and I had to cut the loop short. 

4. Not enough rest.  I came home from work yesterday and ran a half hour of interval sprints.  Not exactly the best thing to do before a long run.  Usually I try to exercise early the day before long runs because it gives me a full 22-24 hours to rest up.

5. Wearing new, untested shoes.  The new shoes I got on Wednesday started rubbing on the inside of my arches at about four miles in.  I actually think it's the inserts, not the shoes themselves, so we'll do some more testing and find out.

6. Overdressing.  Local meteorologist Randi Rico said it was about 50 degrees and overcast this morning.  She said clouds and rain would be moving in within an hour or two. She was wrong.  Hey Randi, there isn't a cloud in the whole freaking sky!  While it was chilly to start, once I got going, I regretted the long sleeves and long pants.

7.. Giving myself an easy out.  After cutting my loop short to 10 miles, I almost ran past my condo the other way to get the last two miles in.  Instead I decided I would do the last two on the treadmill.  I figured it would be a good opportunity to take the inserts out to see if my feet felt better without them.  They did, but after one mile on the treadmill, I just couldn't do it anymore.  With only one more mile to go!  Off.  Done.  I quit.

I got 11 miles in, so I don't feel uncomfortable with where I am at in terms of being prepared for my upcoming race (3 weeks away).  But today I failed to finish what I set out to do.  Normally pushing myself through the pain is something that I do quite well, but today was just not my day.  The beauty of it all is that God gives us lots of days. Some we'll do right, some we'll completely screw up, and some we'll wish we did better.  The next day--the next long run--will be better.  Next time I won't give up on myself.  Next time I'll push harder...and next time maybe I'll lay off the cheese puffs the night before.


Nancy said...

I've totally been in numbers 1 and 2 and hoped to have learned my lessons. The fiber bar was the worst!

Gabrielle @ Weightless said...

Lol, Nancy! Oh, the things we have to learn the hard way...

Anonymous said...

I commend you on achieving 11 out of 12! I had a similar run a few weeks ago, and I hit a point where I was done.

And now we know birthday cake is not good for a pre-long run breakfast. Lol- I probably would have done the same thing!