But it wasn't easy.
All week long, I'd been looking forward to today's long run then yesterday evening, I started psyching myself out. Am I coming down with a bug? I feel warm. My stomach isn't right. My legs are spent - I shouldn't have walked so much at the zoo today. Last night, my sleep was light, fitful. This morning, I woke up at 5:50 a.m., made my Perpetuem energy, filled my water bottles, ate my toast with almond butter, then drove to the start of my loop (Essential Baking Company).
I started running the quiet Burke Gilman trail, heading east toward the University District, over the University Bridge, and south along the east side of Lake Union. I felt like SHIT. My stomach and bowels were not happy. My legs felt like they were made of lead. I literally wanted to cry and crawl back to my car. But how could I be feeling bad? There was no logical reason to feel the way I did.
Was I REALLY feeling bad or was this all in my head? I thought there was NO WAY I could run 17 miles. But I had to keep going because I was meeting S* at the South end of the Lake. I couldn't flake out on her after she made the effort to get up early on a Saturday. The whole 4 miles to my meeting with S, I debated about what I would tell her, why I couldn't run.
Once I saw her, I explained I was moving slow & feeling rough. We took it easy and as we started talking, my body started to feel better. We finished out the run strong and overall had a fantastic pace despite about 2 miles of long hills. THANK YOU, S!
But what gives? What was my mind doing? How did I manage to almost defeat myself like that? I would have defeated myself, I would have quit, if I hadn't met up with S. I've never had such a mental panic before. I've never made myself sick. It's so strange that it all faded away after taking my mind off of myself and felt the energy of someone else. Of course, it also helped that S has run several marathons and knew just what to say to talk me down.
This really makes me nervous because I realize that this can happen at any time, including on race day. I really felt sick and I can totally ruin my marathon experience simply by thinking myself into feeling bad. I expect that the coming long runs will help me prepare mentally for the marathon but today's experience shows me that my confidence is something I really need to focus on during training. Doing a couple long runs on the marathon course will help me have the confidence that I can run the route but also, I think I should visualize feeling good on race day.
What do you all do to prepare yourself mentally? Any quick & dirty tips to share?
While you think about that, some delectable recovery treats to make your taste buds smile:
|S & Average Woman Runner @ Essential Baking Co.|
|Lemon-raspberry scone - yet to be consumed|
|Cinnamon roll for the hubs|
|This strawberry croissant was MINE. ALL MINE!|
* This was my third run with S. The first run was the New Orleans RNR, where I met S through Elizabeth @ Running for Bling. S lives out of state but happens to be here in Seattle for a short-term internship. Isn't the blog network great?