Home > Uncategorized > It’s best to be scared

It’s best to be scared

My title sounds so negative, but I really don’t intend for it to be.  I’m finding that when I’m scared, or at least apprehensive/nervous to some degree, I do better on my run.  When I’m not nervous, I don’t do as well.  I thought today was going to be a beautiful run in cool, dry weather and I’d crank out my needed 6 and maybe add 1 more mile for the heck of it, but my body had other ideas.

I ran 5.88 miles in 1:10:47 for a pace of 12:02.

10:47, 11:50, 12:30, 13:04, 13:21, 10:13

Can’t believe it was that good, really. Thought I would’ve done closer to a high 12 pace. I ran more than 3 hours later than normal and I don’t think I ate close enough to when I ran. I felt hungry before I left so I ate a Gu right before I left and took one with me, but it wasn’t enough.  Less than one mile from home I knew I should’ve worn a short-sleeved shirt.  When I was deciding what to wear, I looked outside and saw ice/snow still in the shade so I thought I HAD to wear a long-sleeved shirt.  Wrong.  That really sucks when you’re less than a mile away from home and you realize you chose the wrong gear.  It’s probably a mental drain more than a physical one though so I just had to stop thinking about it.

Just after 1 mile, I started getting the worst cramps in my mid-section.  These weren’t the gastrointestinal cramps we joyfully get on occasion, but just below my chest to my belly button, on both sides but worse on my left. It got progressively worse with every step and I was in so much pain.  At one point, I swear, I was manually massaging my spleen.  No sh*t.  I had my hand shoved underneath my rib cage, trying to do whatever I could to get some relief.  I’m sure people riding by thought I was NUTS.  Hey, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last!  I kept massaging both sides of my mid-section but concentrating more on the left for the next couple of miles. I turned around at the 2.14 mile mark (it’s etched in my head) because I didn’t think I could keep going for almost another mile before turning around.  I never walked though.  Because, um, well, I never walked.  Like, that means something about me.  Um, okay.  But I didn’t.  Got it? 

As I ran back along Beckett Rd w/ my hand on my spleen, I had to dig super deep both mentally and physically.  I kept having to take deeper breaths than normal because I instinctively was trying not to breathe which is the opposite thing you need to do when you’re running! So I’d take a super deep breath every minute or so.  Surprised I didn’t hyperventilate. But I thought about Nancy, my Wonder Woman, and I thought about how I’ve had to dig deep before and I knew I could pull this off.  Minimally, I could get to my house w/out stopping and run about 4.5 miles and call it a day. But that didn’t sit very well with me so I decided if I ever stopped feeling this pain, I’d consider adding my long neighborhood loop at the end which would push me closer to 6.  My Rogue coach says the mileage is more important than the time so I just pushed it out of my head then, slowed my pace, and literally prayed that this would subside enough for me to keep going.

Around mile 4, it started getting better. I could breathe normally again and I was getting close to the point where I’d have to turn to add my long neighborhood loop to the end of my run.  I decided to go for it. I wanted to have this gutsy run under my belt so I could remember it the next time I was struggling out there on the road.  Once I took that left, I started feeling so much better.  I knew I had slowed down quite a bit so I started trying to gradually increase my pace so I could finish strong and have a time I could be proud of.  And like I said at the beginning, I ended w/ a 12:02 min/mile pace and I’ll take it!

Lots of lessons/reinforcements today for me:

  • It’s okay to be scared before you run.  Maybe not always scared, but at least, a little nervous.  I wasn’t scared OR nervous today. It was a gorgeous day and last Sunday I ran THIRTEEN POINT TWO so SIX today would be no big deal. Right.
  • Wear the right clothes! If it’s 45 or over, wear a short-sleeved shirt, especially if it’s sunny. Ignore snow/ice melting in the shade.
  • Slow the heck down at the beginning! This is especially important when it’s chilly outside.  You will warm up, it’s just the beginning, so SLOW DOWN.  You can always pick it up those last 2 miles but if  you aren’t careful, you won’t have it to give.
  • You can manually massage your spleen if you have to.  And your ribs. You  might look like a weirdo doing it, but it can help!
  • Keep running, even if you’re hurt. Of course this isn’t always true, but I think you know when you feel a STOP IMMEDIATELY pain vs. a THE-NEXT-MILE-OR-TWO-OR-THREE-ARE-GOING-TO-SUCK pain.  If it’s the latter, keep plugging along.  Just slow down a little and you’ll be okay.
  • Keep your mind open when you run.  It’s hard to add more at the end, but you can do it if you need to.
  • You are strong, you are capable, you are determined, you are a runner.  And it’s pretty freakin’ cool.
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Yay!! Applause and whistles! whoooo! Good for you. I only did 22 minutes today instead of the 40 I was supposed to have done, but I learned some lessons too, so I guess that’s what I take away from it. I’m thinking I need to start a mini-blog as another page on my blog so I can write just about running… My regular readers aren’t so into it, and I think my fb friends have had enough.

    Oh, and Shelley, my coach said that cramps like that get better if you try to regulate your breathing.. like make it more rhythmic. I’m sure you already know that, but in case you didn’t try it, maybe you could next time. Hooray for you!

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