Well, folks, after weeks of awesome runs where I felt like I was riding a fucking unicorn on my tempo runs, the shit finally hit the fan.
It was inevitable.
Here's some boring background information that you can just skip if you're not into the whole THESE ARE MY EXCUSES, FEEL SORRY FOR ME type of thing. So, last week was a perfect example of life affecting my running. I recently fell into a new project at work that is equal parts AWESOME and HARD. It's pretty much become solely my responsibility and I'm not really getting the support/help that I thought I would have. It's challenging and I really, really enjoy it... but last week things kinda came to a head. I was waking up in the middle of the night anxious and frantic and jotting down journal entries that needed to be made (aka accounting bullshit). I'm never the type that just FEELS stressed out. It always comes out in other ways... like insomnia, irrational fits of crying, drinking too much, no appetite, etc. And I found out the hard way that you can't hide from stress. It will hunt you down (in your sleep,even) and fuck you up.
The Tempo: 6 miles
The Long: 17 miles
The Total: 60 miles
My interval workout is when I realized that the stress was getting to me. I ran my first and last interval about 15 seconds slower than I was supposed to. This is something new for me. I'm used to blowing it out on interval workouts, so the fact that I couldn't hit my intervals was quite disappointing. So disappointing that I actually fucking cried when they were over. WTF? Crying during your cool down = Stressed. I tried to keep it from Steve, but I'm pretty sure my ragged, crying breath is quite different than my OMG I'm going to die from running fast breath. Lame.
The next day I had an easy run with the KoB that felt absofuckinglutely terrible. Misery loves company as we were both struggling during the run. My upper body felt fatigued, my insides were stabbing me with side stitches, and my legs felt like I was running through concrete. Awesome!
By Thursday, I was sure that I was turning a corner in my Shitsgiving Week. Thankfully, The KoB met me for my tempo run and while it was an absolutely beautiful morning, the run felt pretty fucking awful. I managed to crank them out and felt better towards the end than I did in the beginning. But, they did not come easy and I ran them too goddamn fast. If The KoB hadn't been there, I would have definitely quit after the first one and then would have wound up in a heap on the ground crying and begging someone for a ride home.
After that run, I took a rest day. And proceeded to go out with my friend Liz for a happy hour that was only supposed to be a couple of beers. Four beers, three cocktails, no lunch or dinner, and about 4 hours later and I was lying on my bathroom floor puking my guts out. That lasted for about 10 hours. For about 3 of those hours in the morning, I laid in bed yelling expletives and groaning as loud as I could. (In between getting up and running to the bathroom, of course). Needless to say, I skipped running that day, too.
So, after two rest days I went out for my long run on Sunday. I didn't know what to expect (particularly after I was pretty sure that I actually puked my entire liver out on Saturday morning), but against all odds, I had a pretty damn good long run. Thanks in large part to Steve meeting me and kicking my ass on the 11.2.
With two rest days I ended up with way less than 60 miles for the week. But, I got my workouts and long run in, so, the week was not lost. Last week sucked, but it's those kind of weeks that give me confidence. Even though I wasn't hitting my intervals in Tuesdays workout, I stuck with them. And even though I felt like giving up during the tempo run, I kept at it and actually did really well (TOO WELL, I know!). When running feels good, it's easy. Too easy. But knowing that I stuck it out when it got tough... that's where the real stuff is.
Although, for fuckssake, let this week be better.