I don’t really have that many runs that I would describe as being shitty runs. Then again, I haven’t been running much lately so that may have something to do with it.
Today I set out to run 20 miles. That was my goal anyway, and I knew it was a lofty one. I have a slight problem with overestimating my running abilities sometimes. It’s been exactly one year to the day since I ran more than 20 miles. Running has been largely sidelined with the move to Texas – at least longer distance running has been (I go for short runs during lunch on most days that I’m in the office).
The first few miles of today’s run were exceptionally painful. My heart rate was high, my legs felt heavy, and I could tell that my salt levels were low (I get this weird pressure feeling in my ears when my salt is out of balance). After six miles, I stopped at a playground and laid down on a picnic table. I didn’t think I could go any farther, certainly not another 14 miles. Once my heart rate dropped down to a normal level (a couple of minutes), I started running back to head home. I slowed my pace a little, and tried to relax some, knowing that I would have to just let my 20 mile plan fall to the side.
I started to feel substantially better around mile 7, and ended up getting in a total of 17 miles. I know from past experience that it frequently takes me 6+ miles to warm-up, but it’s been so long since I’ve done a “longer” run that I’ve forgotten how hard it is to get going physically. Mentally, I just wasn’t into the run at the start, which obviously doesn’t help anything.
I’m pleased with the 17 miles, even though it was less than I wanted and at a slower pace. I used to be able to head out the door and run 20 miles any day of the week, with no advanced planning or prep. That’s obviously not the case right now. I want to get back there. There’s something satisfying about being in that kind of running condition.