I have three upcoming races I’m training for, although I’m really only concerned about the ten-miler on April 14 and the half-marathon in May. Today is the first day of my spring break, and my plan was to run 10 miles, although I was hoping to try for 12. But I woke up with a sore throat–the kind that feels like I swallowed razor blades–so I packed cough drops along with my water bottle, crossing my fingers this strategy would stave off the worst of it. [Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.]
Today’s route went through Brushy Creek Park, over the dam (or “damn” as the map says), and down the trail. Five miles out, five miles back. I like this park and wanted to take advantage of that–a good route makes a long run easier, mentally, I think. The first two miles or so, I ran right into a pretty fierce wind, but at least it wasn’t cold. I felt okay but not great. By mile three my cough drop consumption reached alarming levels, and although I’d gotten enough sleep last night, I was already feeling fatigued. This was not good.
Decision time: do I suck it up for two more miles, or do I cut my losses and head back?
I’m not good at this. My stubborn side wanted to keep going. My tired, lazy side remembered reading something about how it’s better to have a shorter, successful run rather than forcing one that’s not going well. But here’s my problem. I’m already slow. I don’t want to compound that by being a wimp as well. I always feel like I have to do more to offset the speed at which I do it.
So of course I pushed on.
Across the damn dam, down the trail, over the river and through the woods. At least I had the good sense to turn around at the five-mile point instead of stubbornly trudging on for another mile. But it didn’t matter. I had already hit the wall. Toast. Fried. Miserable. My throat hurt, my leg muscles ached, and my ego was bruised. I jogged some, but let’s be honest: I walked a good chunk of the return trip.
It took forever, and it was the worst ten (10.31 if we’re being exact) miles in the history of ever. Clearly, I need to work on knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to run. But hey, at least I didn’t die on a train bound for nowhere. There’s always tomorrow.