Just so you don't think I spend my entire time running in a cheerful daze of happy energy and positive thinking
Last Sunday morning I ran 23km. It went ok, if by "ok" you mean "for the last 12km it was brutal and I wanted to die or at least curl up into a ball and cry". Maaaaaate.
Please note: I know these are my issues and completely divorced from reality. Every single CR I have met is a treasure and a fountain of encouragement. And as soon as I stop running I know this.
It hurt, too. It hurt a lot more than running even a pretty long way usually does. Don't start on me, you marathoners and ultrarunners - I know it's not far at all in the grand scheme of things, but Get A Grip! Running for nearly three hours Is Not Normal. Ask anyone.
But I digress. Back to my hard day cause this is all about me. My legs hurt, my hips hurt, my glutes hurt...and then there were the 'rises' (I know they weren't hills, but by crikey they felt like it by the fourth lap). I stuck grimly to 9:1. If the number on my watch had 0 at the end, I walked. If not, I ran. It was impossible to stay positive. It would have been irrational to stay positive! When I tried to tell myself don't worry, this is fine, the rational part of my brain replied what a lot of cr@p! It is NOT fine! What could I say to myself? How could I get my head around the unpleasantness of it all and keep going? I was hating everyone and everything - all the fast people, the charming volunteers at the water station with no water, and myself for my slow weak legs and every stupid decision that had let to every extra kilogram that I was lugging around this boring stupid course.
What could I do? How could I keep going?
I kept going by deciding it was okay. Okay is not fine. Okay is not comfortable. However, okay is bearable. Okay is calm.
My head became a wilderness, a desert of despair-avoidance. If I thought about how hard it was, I was lost. Songs saved me, signs saved me, beautiful winter trees saved me. The world was about pretending the f#$% f#$% f#$% I f#$%ing hate this just wasn't there. My existence was about staying calm and keeping on going. When I could, I thought this is okay. I can keep this up. Hold your form. Think about your breathing. This is okay. I can keep this up. While I was running I kept thinking, you'll remember this on marathon day. There will be times like this on marathon day and now you know you can deal with them. This is okay. I can keep this up.
And it was okay and I did keep it up.The hardest part was trudging through the finishing chute and seeing all my CR friends chatting and laughing and knowing that I had 23km on The Schedule all hail The mighty Schedule! and I'd only done 21. Oh, how I wanted to stop running and go over to them. But I didn't. I ran to the 1km mark and back again. Most people I knew had gone home but I'd done what I said I would, and that's what mattered.
Then I had a pancake and a cup of tea and walked back to escort the mighty Mrs W to the line. She was finishing that run No Matter What, goddammit, and huge huge credit to her.Then I went home and had a sleep on the couch. Bliss.
When I woke up I had a filthy head cold. Mystery solved. Meh.
More anon, often lapped but never beaten!