Sunday, March 14, 2010

'Til I Collapse

Let me just discuss the lead up to my race yesterday, so that when and if I choose to look back  on this in the years to come I can have my "that's right, I remember that" moment.

Some people run the short distances to project their longer distances times.  I on the other hand run my middle distance (15k+) to longer distance runs (marathon) to project my short distance times (5k, 5M, 10k).  I have been struggling with it for a long time, but I think I am ready to take the first step.  I think I am ready to admit my problem...


I feel like Michigan J. Frog often these days.  You know the frog that sings "hello my baby, hello my honey"  yada, yada on the Looney Tunes for one guy and then when he would attempt to show the producers of a show, Michigan J. would clam up and be silent. 

I have had by far some of the best runs of my life in the last few months.  Unfortunately, it is only on my Garmin and not at the races.  I can't afford to race because I am so strapped for time and for cash.  I mean, I suppose I could fork over the dough, but the idea of taking hours of time away from studying is so distracting. 

One of my classmates who has a psych degree, undoubtedly thinks I am suffering from a temporary case of OCD related to time with a little bit of general anxiety to top it all off.  Time, Time, Time!!!  It is never on my side.  I count the hours until I have to be somewhere, at what time I need to be up to get in "X" amount of study hours, run, shower and be on my way to class or clinicals.  I often lay down at night thinking "if I fall asleep right this minute I will allow myself 7 hours of sleep and then the hours tick by as I restlessly lay in bed thinking "I gotta sleep, I gotta sleep now!" and it doesn't happen for 4 more hours and then 3 hours later I am up and on the move until I can catch a nap for 2-4 more hours the next day and start all over again. 

Yes, I am THAT type A.  I blame my father.  He is very type A.  It wasn't one of the qualities I was hoping to get of his.  I really wanted his ability to swim (alas hosed again). 

It does have it's good side though.  It keeps me going no matter what, to the point it will make me collapse like in the Eminem song (which I love and listen to most times I run).  It makes me believe in determination, persistance, stubborness and most of all, perseverance.  I want to thank my dad and sometimes kick him in the ass for giving me this curse (errrrr, gift??). 

But anyway, the pep talk from my mom last week and a few more restless nights of sleep and hours of studying got me through my pediatrics final on Tuesday

with a "C." 

Although, it is quite shocking to me to see it on my grades, I am utterly relieved I passed.  That is how scared I was to fail. 

Between all that, my brain was short circuiting left and right (get it, left side and right side...yeah, dumb...nevermind) and I took these "relief" runs to try and absorb the information and relax or as TR likes to say stop "grippin'" 

I managed three weeks of build, which I have never done.  My body hates me after two and I usually take a recovery week, but this time I was determined.

Week 1, I hit 51.35 miles.  My long run was 20 miles at 8:18/mile and a speed work session of 8 x 400 meters at 6:35/mile.
Week 2, I eeked out another 51.33 miles with a long run of 16 miles at 7:52!  I wasn't being chased by a bear, so I thought the garmin must be fucked up, but I just got super lucky that day.
Week 3 (this week) I rolled through 26 miserably slow miles, which wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't felt like I was dying on those runs!  I was sucking air.  I was looking for a ride home half the time and I was thinking no one would know if I walked.  I had mentally and physically been beaten up pretty good by that point.  I was discussing not doing St. Malachi with my mom, until she said "You have the ability to run.  Your grandfather doesn't.  I will be proud of you no matter what you run."  Then she put this daily kick in the butt on my bed that said...

"I don't train to beat another runner.  We are out there together, competing with the marathon, and i train to run the marathon as fast as I can" - Juma Ikangaa

I was scared I would post a lame performance and I did.  I fell miserably flat on my face for what the running calculators said I could do.  I normally don't set my goals too high, because I don't believe I fit the calculators.  I believe they are for a normal athlete.  I am unique.  It takes twice as long for me to reach what others can do in half the time.  I take a lot of time to make the jump to the next level.  I am also streaky.  It's almost like black jack, hit or miss with me. But somehow, I thought maybe this time would be different.  I was wrong.

This all bothered me so much and I knew I still owed a long run for the week so I set out deep in thought today.  I covered the first 11 miles and kept going thinking "maybe I will run my fourth marathon today, unofficially that is."  Another 5 miles later I was still trucking, but definitely feeling the fatigue of the miles and the race yesterday in my legs.  I knew it would take me less than an hour and a half to run 10 more miles putting me at 3:45 for 26.2 today, but I wanted to be semi-smart and just go 30 minutes at a time and if I felt fatigued, I would just pull the plug.  No sense in hurting myself so I can't run!  What would I do then?  Kill baby chickens?  Push small children down that got off the bus?  Spit in people's food at work? 

Five miles later, I realized I was done berating myself for the race yesterday.  I was tired and I didn't want to run anymore and I pulled the plug at mile 21.  I had started out nice and easy hoping my already dead legs would carry me for a few miles today.  They had.  I ended my third week of build at 54 miles with 21 of those at 8:33/mile.  I looked back over my lifetime weekly mileage to discover, this was the most mileage I had ever run in a 3 week segment and 54 was the most mileage I had ever run in a week, not to mention the fastest. 

Oh how I despise the short stuff!!  5k, 5M, 10K BE GONE!!!!


KimZepp said...

I still can't figure out how to run even ONE mile under 8 minutes.
I know you aren't happy with your times on Saturday, but you're still an awesome runner.

DaisyDuc said...

Girl, I feel for you here! You just have sooo much going on. Clearly with putting in all those miles and the pace you are hitting, your fitness is clearly improving. You will have your day!

Anonymous said...

I guess you needed me to be chasing you to get you moving. Sorry I couldn't be there. You are awesome! One run doesn't define your abilities. Way to go on passing your class. Ten months will go by quickly. Hang in there. -AD

Bill said...

Don't beat yourself up! With your schedule, your school and your job, your lucky to even be running!
Accept this for what it is right now and think about how many people would love to at least be able to get out of the chair and walk, let alone run. It is what it is right now, try your hardest to not let it get you down. Every athlete has ups and downs, your downs will pass I guarantee you and don't let other people's training influence you into something your not capable of doing, we are all different in our abilities.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, we have opposite problems!! I can hit the shorter distances better than the long. I can't believe the paces you are running for longer distances-fantastic!!!! LIke DD said you will have your day!!!