run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Runs

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. -Charles Dickens-- Opening of a Tale of Two Cities
(and I thought I was bad about run-on sentences...)

So, it's not quite that dramatic...

It never ceases to amaze me the unpredictability of a run's success. Saturday morning, I laced up my shoes, dressed in a short sleeve tech tee (short sleeves! yes!) and shorts and met Steve at Shelby Bottoms at 7am. I had told him I was looking to run for an hour.

I really felt like this was going to be a great run for me. It was going to be in the daylight (which I was really excited about) and I had so much going on the rest of the day (prepping for my St. Patrick's Day party that was Saturday night) that I figured I'd just fly through the miles bursting with stress turned into adrenaline.

Something I don't think I've brought up on the that my morning pre-run routine has drastically changed (I'll post on that later, now that I realize I haven't spoken of this), but it's been awesome. I'm able to sleep in more before my runs and I RARELY have any issues on my runs with my stomach! But, something was brewing this morning... something... not so good. On the short drive over, I began to realize that it was a good thing that I was few minutes early, because I was going to have to hit up a porta potty... and FAST.

I got to the park and pulled off at the first porta potty closest to the entrance. It was even clean and had toilet paper! Bonus! I took care of business and felt like I was fine.

We started the run and initially... I was still bursting with energy and optimism. About a half mile in... that optimism and energy turned into a general feeling of awfulness. My stomach ached dull-ly. It had that completely empty and borderline queasy feel to it and my legs just felt like bricks. I complained during the run, I tried to slow down, but none of it was helping. It was just one of those shit days.

When we got done (I bailed at the 2.5 marker... so we only got 5 miles, instead of 6) I actually felt worse. My stomach just felt weird. Not a... I gotta go to the bathroom weird. And not a... I feel like I'm going to puke weird. But just weird.

And then this morning, I got up after only getting 5 hours of sleep last night. I tossed and turned for about 2 hours in bed before falling asleep. That NEVER happens to me anymore. I expected this morning's run to hurt. I expected to be tired, to feel fat from all the guinness and car bombs that were drank on Saturday night, and to just be generally lethargic. But, the run was amazing! It was effortless. I felt like we pushed the pace a little at the end, and while I could tell we were running faster... it didn't feel hard. It just felt good. And natural.

Having these two runs in a row is really the essence of running for me. Lately I feel like 85% of my runs feel shitty. Especially, it seems, when I think it's going to be a good day. And I can usually handle the shitty runs and accept them... but just when I get a particularly shitty one... That 15% kicks in and I have one of those glorious this is why I run, runs.

I know better than to assume anything by this great morning run or expect more of them anytime soon. So, I'm just going to enjoy it and continue putting up with those pesky 85% runs... the 15% will be there when I need it.


LAPT said...

I'm with you on that! I had to hit the bathroom TWICE before my half marathon, and I definitely got slightly queasy for a bit there halfway through... I never know what's going to affect me!! Do tell about this change in routine...

Geek 3000 said...

Yeah what the hell is with the crappy runs? No pun intended. I go out for what should be the perfect run and it seems my muscles forget how to work, put it all on the joints and they crap out too. Then the next day I go to redeem myself, where it should be worse, and rock it! Running is a fickle friend!

Spike said...

Wait, you had a party and I wasn't invited? I'm hurt!

Vandy-Montana said...

Don't worry, Spike, neither was I.