I have no idea what happened last week, but training-wise the wheels fell off. My weekday runs were awful, so I cut them short.

My long run on Saturday, though? Took the title Worst Run Ever.

I didn’t do anything different than I usually do. I slept plenty, ate something I’ve usually had Friday night, had a PB&J sandwich in the morning and water like I usually do.

And when I started jogging to warm up, it felt like I was trying to run through quicksand.

Still, though, I thought maybe I just needed to warm up a bit. Because sometimes the first 4-5 miles hurt but then my body figures it out.

I wanted to do 16, but by mile 6 it was clear to me that 16 miles would be near impossible. So I told myself that I’d turn around at mile 7 – my halfway point – and compromise with 14.

My legs were completely shot at the turnaround. Literally SHOT. It was like I was in a nightmare and someone was chasing me but I couldn’t will them to move faster.

Somehow I gritted my way to mile 10. And I stopped. And looking at my garmin, seeing my pace and time and distance on my watch made me want to cry. I had to do 4 more miles, and I didn’t know if I could. I didn’t have my cell phone with me, otherwise I’d have called Charlie Brown to come get me.

My only option was to walk. So that’s what I did.

I walked most of the 4 miles left home. I did jog a couple of times, and at the end told myself I’d run the last 1/4 mile downhill to my house, but I walked.

It was awful.

Because here I am, less than two weeks out from my first marathon. I often wonder if I actually have what it takes to run 26.2 miles. It just seems so DAUNTING, even knowing that I’ve done two 20 mile runs before.

It’s totally mental – a huge block for me. I’ve been thinking about running a marathon for more than ten years now. It’s on my Things I Have To Do Before I Die list.

And this whole training cycle, I’ve been focused on nailing the mileage on the piece of paper I have hung up at my desk. That’s my training program, and if I don’t do everything it says I’m going to blow it.

I know that’s not the way it works, and that my BODY is ready to run a marathon.

It’s the mind crap I need to get a hold on.

Because now the worries and anxiety are sky high. I had a great 20 mile run followed by an absolute crap 14 mile run. Race day could be the same. Then what am I going to do? Walk the entire marathon with my family there, watching me?

Gah. The pressure!

What I’m trying to do is look at Saturday’s run as a warning. I need rest.

And, you know. I got the bad run out of the way.

MUCH easier said than done.

This entry was posted in Running.

5 comments on “Nerves.

  1. Heather says:

    Still, miles in the bank. Both physically and mentally. You may hit that wall on marathon day, you may run great like you know you can, you may…
    There are so many variables. In the end the best course of action is to take what you get when it comes. The mental push you might need on marathon day? Will come from those friends and family rooting for you. Those same friends and family who will be proud of you no matter what you finish time.

  2. Kate says:

    You have good running days and bad running days. AND, you know what…if you end up walking some of the miles in the marathon…you still did a freaking marathon. I walked the last 6 miles of Boston (my 2nd marathon). Sometimes, that’s all you can do.

  3. Nora says:

    Okay, I’m officially putting in my application for the Horseman position of “War”, because that’s what this is gonna be- full on mental war for 26.2. For you, me, and 10K of our closest friends. I’ve had my crap runs- I think it was even a 14, if I remember correctly. The ones where I began to doubt myself. But girl, you’re READY, You’ve logged the miles. You’ve done the time. I know you have some secret unspoken goal for this thing, just like me. Adjust your expectations. It’s your FIRST. It’s about crossing the line and earning the title “marathoner”, no matter how long it takes and how hard it was. 1% of the the US pop tries. .1% make it. You ARE that .1%.

  4. Deborah says:

    How do you normally do under pressure, like taking tests or performing anything? I usually do better when it’s “the real thing”, although I know some people bomb. Anyway, I’m betting that the fact of it being real on marathon day will get you to keep going. And if you have to walk a bit, I think Kate is totally right. I rode my bike 50 miles once. And the last 15 or so, I had to get off and walk whenever there was the slightest incline. But I still rode 50 miles. And you will still run the marathon!

  5. Turia says:

    Have you set yourself a specific time goal for the marathon, or are you focused on finishing it? If it’s the latter, who cares if you end up having to walk for part of it- you will still have finished a FREAKIN’ MARATHON! If it’s the former, be gentle with yourself on the day if you’re not on track to meet it- we all have bad days, and sometimes those days come at the wrong time.

    That said, good for you for listening to your body right now. You have done the mileage- you have the stamina and the will to complete the marathon. So if you need to back off right now- go ahead. It’ll be ok.


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