Monday, May 14, 2012

Ever have a run that makes you want to quit???

It's funny how freeing up my schedule by working mostly from home has left me feeling I have no time for blogging. While I admit I have been busy with the logistics of functioning out of an RV "office" and amping up my training for this years racing events, I also found myself falling into the procrastination trap yet again. I want to write but allow my fears to stop me...I also want to catch up with fellow bloggers which begins to compound my problem with "where to start"? I am overwhelmed into inaction.

My 'office' aboard the Mutiny (our 32 foot Winnebago RV).
So, here I am, attempting to break the cycle. And what better way then to tell you about my last race, the Rock n' River Reno Half-Marathon that I {kinda} ran with fellow blogger and Tweet-buddy, Kirsten of Living In a Girl's World and new friend, Beci from Wild Child Gone Good.

There's something to be said for away where you can drive up a day early, spend quality time with girlfriends, actually make it to a packet pickup that isn't the same day as the race, and enjoy the evening unwinding and carb-loading with like minded individuals.

Packing the 'essentials'.
 I made it to Kirsten's house outside of Reno at about noon. Let me tell you, a 3 hour road trip through the best part of Highway 50 seems to go by pretty fast even when you're driving alone. It's such a beautiful area and a great time of year to head up to the Sierras. I stopped for gas once and then at the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail(and yes, I actually walked on them so it counts).

Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail...oh how I would love to really hike these!
After arriving at Kirsten's we headed to Scheel's in Sparks/Reno for the race expo, which really kinda turned into a scavenger hunt to find our bibs and t-shirts. The expo was pretty much non-existent but I was pretty happy that Whole Foods was there giving away trail mix {yum}.
Goonie Gugu's do exist, at least at Scheel's!

Rock n River Reno Half-Marathon
Fast forward to race morning...32 degrees and all I packed to run in were my shorts and new tank top. Uh, how could I forget that it gets cold at 4500 feet in the mountains?!?! I ended up wearing an old cotton Old Navy long sleeved t-shirt that I could toss if need be but I was still freezing!

Yep, this is really from race morning.
I planned to run the Half even though my longest run (since last year's marathon training) was 7 miles...and even that was 'hard'. I had considered dropping down to the 10K because of the lack of training and also since I wasn't sure if the altitude would have any effect on me. But, being my stubborn self, I opted to stay in the half, justifying the decision because I had run a full after all...never mind that it was 11 months ago!!

The race gun went off at 7am and Kirsten and I ran together for the first 3 or so miles setting a pretty quick pace (for me) of 9:30 (if I remember correctly). Now, I knew I probably couldn't keep that pace up without a few walk breaks so I told Kirsten to go ahead without me. That was probably the smartest thing I did the entire race.

By mile 5 I seriously thought I needed to quit. I had made a BIG mistake and was sure I was going to die. There was no way I could finish...not even by walking. I was holding back tears of anger and humiliation. I am not a quitter, I am very competitive with myself and all I could think was "I am not a runner", "This isn't the hobby for me", "I am never going to run again...I'm just going to give up and get fat".

I was looking for an aid station and wondering if the volunteer blocking traffic would call an ambulance for me. Since there was no where to catch a ride back I suddenly found myself at mile 6 and running got a little bit easier. I was able to catch my breath and even caught myself smiling and waving at the volunteers and police officers I passed along the course.

I paced myself with a few other runners to force myself to slow down a bit. Part of my problem is that I am so programmed to run a 9:40-10:00 minute mile that I have trouble forcing myself to run's either run at 6mph or walk. Thank goodness for those other runners who didn't mind me 'dafting' off of them!!

Mile 10...still going strong when a calf cramp hit me. Now, I haven't had a calf cramp in over a year and that was during a 20 mile run so it was devastating to get hit with this at mile 10. The water station I came across was out of Gatorade...eeek! But I still had a few sips of coconut water in my hydration pack (but I hadn't added I was able to stretch a little and started running again. Mile 11-12 I had a few more cramps but was able to find some Gatorade and I downed a few Sports Beans.

With that in my system I was able to run the last 1.1 miles...and even add a little kick down the strip to the finish. To my surprise and delight I was able to cross the finish line at just under 2:30 (2:29:38 to be exact)! For the lack of training, altitude and cramping I think I did alright. Best of all...Beki and Kirsten were at the finish line cheering me on!

Kirsten, me and Beki with our medals!!

After we got our finisher's medals we headed off for some Starbucks and a ginormous breakfast at one of Kirsten's favorite spots, The Cracker Box. Yummy deliciousness! All this followed by a 3 hour drive home made for a tired girl.

I stopped in Pollock Pines to get a second Starbucks (did I mention I was tired) and this is what was outside the grocery store.
That was some good food, good times, great company but a HARD race. It really made me think about what I was doing with my training and what goals I had for myself. I love the thrill of the race (especially when it's over) and I love registering for races so I can use them as motivation...but I hate when I have such a bad run that I want to hang up my running shoes forever.

So, what did I do? I registered for the Davis Moo-nlight Half Marathon in June and hired a running coach...Much more of that to come later.


  1. I'm sooo glad you drove out! It was great to get to hang out for more than a couple hours. And sometimes those hard runs where you want to quit? Are the ones that make you the proudest. You overcame all that stood in your way. :)

  2. Thanks Kirsten, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It's so theraputic to spend time with friends! And as much as I felt that run sucked, you're right...I should look at is as overcoming the 'demons'...those lies my mind sometimes tells me to get me to quit. So glad I stuck it out. Hope we can get together again soon!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...