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8 Mile

Oh. Em. Gee.  Today, an eight mile run (oh, the humanity) appeared on the Monster Schedule. Eight miles!?!?  After just barely surmounting the seven mile run of last Wednesday?  My coach is certifiable.

I learned my lesson this weekend about going out and training with no fuel.  After bonk-a-palooza on Sunday, I made sure I had fuel for this session. Good breakfast, then a pre-run Hammer Gel. Well, Hammer Gel apparently doesn’t agree with me in the morning. Or maybe it was the Cytomax that I downed around mile 2.

On mile 4.5-ish, I thought I was going to have to dodge into the bushes. The stomach cramping.  The rumblings.  Oh no oh no oh no.  I walk/stumble the final half mile back around to the bathroom at the park. I am cramping and limping. It was all I could do to hold it all in. But I made it.

Then, I’m thinking:  Well, I guess I’m done with this run. No pun intended.

Then I think: Well, if I was in a race, I’d have to keep going or get picked up by the quit-mobile.  Oh, bollocks.

So I switcheroo my frame of mind, and start some serious self-talk babble (which if you haven’t noticed always starts with the word “well”):   “Well, I can surely run 2.5 miles and finish this up! Yes, I can!

All the while, I’m hovering over the toilet and playing peek-a-boo with a toddler who is sticking his head under the stall door. I’m thinking: “You can do it! Yes, you can!” Sigh.  “Ooooh, peek-a-boo!

Then I think, “Well, what if I pass out? What if I fall down? What if I poop my pants this time?” 

Then I realize there is just no time for negative talk.  I need to get home. I need to make my 9:00 appointment.  I need to get a move on.  One way or the other.  So finally after three or so more minutes, I feel semi-normal.

I curse the gels and empty out my Cytomax, filling up my little fuel belt bottle with nothing but water. I grind out the final 2.5 miles, gritting my teeth and singing the explicit “8 Mile” Eminem lyrics out loud, where the children on the playground and their mothers start to stare at me distastefully.  Okay, that is a lie.  But I am struggling so hard, I am getting the weird stares.

The last quarter mile, my knee and hip said, “nope, we’re done.” I was having back spasms and my stomach said, “hello, here’s your breakfast, looking at you,” so I kind of limped the last bit.

But alas. Eight miles + horrific bathroom break + run/walk a little + random cursings = finished the damn workout. Now, hours and hours later, I am so glad I didn’t quit.  Even though, I really, really really wanted to hang this one up.

Time to complete the eight miles:  1:45:00.  Yes, that’s a 13 minute mile.  But keep in mind, I had a lengthy “rest” stop somewhere in the middle of all that.  And yes, many people run half marathons in that time. But that’s what I’ve got.  The whole truth and nothing but the truth (and yes, please help me, dear God.)

After this run, I have a serious burning question to accompany the serious burning in my legs:
How in the world do you crazy people handle iron distances???? You are made of special crazy magic. Wow. I am in complete awe of you all.

Yesterday, I had a great swim (2300 yards, with a couple of 3x100s for time).  Two weeks from now will be my first open water swim practice.  Hurrah for the wetsuit! Hurrah!

“Sometimes I just feel like, quittin I still might
Why do I put up this fight, why do I still write
I am no longer scared now, I’m free as a bird….”
                                                             – “8 Mile”  Eminem
Oh, come on.  Like I could really avoid the 8 Mile lyrical parallel.   

Happy Tuesday, crazy friends!