Saturday, February 27, 2010

Do the Hills Have Eyes?

I hit it yesterday and at the time, I was F’n pissed (Sorry Syd). However, it was bound to happen at some point during my marathon training, and frankly, I am surprised it had not yet reared its head and I’m sure it will happen again. There it was. The Wall. At the Mile 5 mark of a 6 mile run, I just could not do it anymore. For about 50 yards and less than 1 minute, I had to walk (gasp!).

I know, I know. Every training book and running pundit will tell you that it is entirely OK to walk. There is no shame. In fact, it is encouraged. Injuries are avoided. Heart rates are controlled and stabilized. But damn it, I could not will myself to continue striding at the clip I wanted.

I live at the base of a fairly sizeable hill, which actually provides me a lot of options. Yesterday, feeling pretty energetic when I started, I optioned for mile 1 to be up the hill. Miles 2, 3, and 4 would be down and across the base on the other side, then mile 5 would be back up, leaving me a nice downhill for my final mile. Well, mile 5 flat out kicked-my-ass.

To get myself up this particular hill from the opposite side of where I start, I have three goal points….you know, “If I can get to point X, than I can get to point Y. If I get past point Y, than I can get to point Z (the top)” I started up the mountain hill, knowing I had about 10 minutes of misery discomfort. At point X, which is about halfway, the FML* thoughts were creeping upon me. I crank up the music. “Get MAD and run” Up ahead, speeding DOWN the hill was another Clydesdale. Now all I could think was, “Head up! Don’t lose form! Better to look good! He is an asshole going downhill” We passed each other at point Y. OK, at least now he won’t see me blow out my Powerbar & Emergen-C breakfast. 50 more yards. FML! 40 yards. Double FML. 38 yards. That’s it. Triple FML and I gotta slow down, but not stop. No way was I going to let the auto pause function on my Garmin activate. I walked the 50 yards to the traffic signal, crossed the street, and then proceeded to bust it down the hill and home. But damn it, I had to walk!

I still did my run in a reasonable time and I KNOW I should be more willing to accept these slower moments. This was just the first of many walking moments while I train, I’m sure (think water/first aid stations). They will save my ass come race day.

*FML (F*%K My Life)

Pictures of my nemesis hill to follow!

Yesterday's Run: 5.88 miles - 9:41 pace
Now Playing: A House MD rerun

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