You know, some days, you just have an off day.
Mine was yesterday. I had taken Tuesday off from Cardi02, and woke up yesterday ready to hit it pretty hard. The day off had refreshed and rejuvenated me out of my tired slump. When I got to the gym at noon, Scary Trainer Liz informed us that we'd be running outoors.
SCORE -- it was absolutely gorgeous out... 70s, sunny... the first PERFECT Minneapolis spring day of the year, and I was thrilled to go outside.
So we all hustled outside and started into a jog. I very quickly fell behind the group of 10 or so... there were a few things at play here.
1) I am just a really slow runner, and I'm okay with that -- it's never been about speed or pace for me, just about "finishing without dying" and enjoying the experience -- an outdoor workout is a much more meaningful experience for me, more therapeutic and almost spiritual. If I want to "work it," I'll stick to the treadmill, elliptical, and blaring music, thankyouverymuch.
2) The New Balance shoes I bought a few weeks ago, I've decided, do not have enough arch support for me, so I wore my old pair of Asics... with the custom orthodics in them. And while that helped in terms of arch support, it definitely will take some getting used to in terms of comfort, weight, and positioning -- that was the most I"ve ever run in those shoes, probably not a great idea on my part, but I didn't realize we'd be outdoors.
3) It was beautiful out, but hot compared to the past few weeks weather, and I wasn't really dressed in the best clothes for that, nor was I really ready for it... takes some adjustment after months of dressing in 5 layers!
4) I apologize in advice to my male readers, but I was right on the cusp of getting my period, which makes for the following: tired, achey, cranky, emotional, and SLOW. I felt like I was running through molasses. I've never been one to complain about female issues, but the one thing that NEVER fails it that I am absolutely EXHAUSTED, and I lack a lot of coordination.
It was one of those runs that reminded me why I've always "hated running with other people." I put that in quotes, because as I've been training for this half marathon with Kat, I've really enjoyed our runs together -- she speeds me up, I slow her down, and it's a great way to take time out of my busy schedule, both to catch up with a good girlfriend while doing something good for me. The Cardi02 class has been fun, because while we're "running together," it's on treadmills, which means that nobody is speeding up or slowing down to keep in pace with anybody else.
But YESTERDAY... I did NOT have fun. I was frustrated, and emotional, and I just felt like "Well screw this, if I had known we were going to go outdoors, I would have just gone alone."
I ACTUALLY felt like crying at one point (my eyes MIGHT have welled up).
I hate feeling like that. I'm a positive, optimistic person with a great attitude, and it's an attribute that makes me proud. Yesterday, I just wanted to quit and walk back to the gym. It was one of those days where every time the wind blew in the wrong direction, I was pissed off about it.
But I persavered -- and came in last, and CHOSE not to care. Sometimes, the competitive edge that I've "always been so sure I don't have" shines through and gets the better of me -- yesterday, it was going into overdrive when a very nice guy in my class, Wade, jogged to the back of the pack and ran the finish with me... so that I didn't have to go it alone. Wade is training for his first marathon -- the GREECE marathon! -- and we joked about Pheidippides, and how I felt like dying after just these few miles, and suddenly I was speeding up to keep his pace, and the world didn't seem so awful anymore.
I've had the week off of work before starting a new job on Monday -- one that will put me behind a desk from 8-5 each day, and will definitely make me have to plan my workout times better. It's cool out, and slightly overcast with sun peeking through -- my favorite running weather -- I'm opting to do Week 4's long run a day early, so that I can enjoy my Friday night, sleep in Saturday morning, and spend the weekend gearing up -- mentally and physically -- to return to the world of 9-5.
I'm going by myself today -- not only to operate on my own schedule, pace, and geography -- but also in hopes of having one of those "head-clearing-runs" that I can only have when I'm alone with my little red iPod and the sounds of the world.
So away I go. 7 miles.
Off and running,
PS: Thanks Wade.