A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trail of Tears


The Chicago River North Branch bike trail is beautiful. Mostly shady, a little hilly, and full of lushness. I'd love to run it again on a cooler day.

Source for above photos

I don't really want to write about this run. It was horrible. I didn't mean to keep up my streak of running the same pace as the number of miles I was doing, but I did. My last long run was 11 miles at an 11 minute pace. This run was 12 miles at a 12 minute pace. I figure at this rate by the time I get to 18 I can leisurely walk and be just fine :-)

I was a mess of hormones and quads that felt like ground beef. I was running by myself and I kept stopping to walk. Every time I walked I cried. I couldn't help it. I thought about turning around so many times but for some crazy reason I kept going. A lot of walking, though.

Also, I bought myself a new fuel belt at Fleet Feet with a gift card I had. I opted for the Amphipod with three bottles. It felt a little too big in the store but the employees swore I was wearing it up too high and that if I wore it down lower it wouldn't ride up. Well, within 10 steps of running on Sunday it had ridden up to where it was too big around my waist. I ended up forgoing the velro fastener and actually tying it around my waist instead but it still bounced all over the place. Turns out it can be adjusted to be smaller, which I discovered when I got home. Thanks for informing me of that, Fleet Feet employees.

Around mile 10 or 11 one of the guys from the running group caught up to me as I was debating whether or not to walk the last few miles. At first he was going to run on ahead but then he doubled back and held my hand while we walked and I cried. The he convinced me to run the last two miles. I can't really say anything else because just thinking about his kindness is making me cry. See, told you, I'm a mess of hormones.

I wasn't the only one having a rough day. I just wish I knew why it was so hard for me yesterday. I'm having a tougher time this summer than I did last summer which doesn't make any sense. I thought I was in BETTER shape, running-wise. I'm starting to wonder if all the tempo runs and the speed work are leading me into over-training territory. Or maybe it's just hormones. Stupid hormones. Or maybe it was the yoga/bike ride combo on Saturday. Stupid cross-training. Or maybe I've just gotten too spoiled always running with people and now I can't keep myself motivated when running alone. All I know is that I really, REALLY need to get this figured out. I thought I was back. Obviously I'm not.

So, do you remember when you were younger and you were totally hung up on a guy (or gal) who had just dumped you? You were miserable and every song on the radio reminded you of your situation? Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, Sunday afternoon, while engaging in some retail therapy, I heard Ke$ha's latest song, Your Love Is My Drug (link takes you to a youtube video of the lyrics) and immediately felt as though she was describing how I currently felt about running. So, here's my version of it:

Maybe I need some rehab,
Or maybe just need some sleep
I've got a sick obsession,
I'm seeing it in my dreams

I'm looking down every alley,
I'm making those desperate calls
I'm staying up all night hoping,
Hit my head against the walls

What I've lost, boy it's hard to find
Think about it all the time
I'm all strung up my heart is fried
I just can't get it off my mind

Because a good run, good run, good run, is my drug
A good run good run good run
I said a good run, good run, good run, is my drug
Good run good run good run

Won't listen to any advice, runners' telling me to think twice
But left to my own devices I'm addicted its a crisis!

My friends think I've gone crazy, my judgment is getting kinda hazy
My status is gonna be affected if I keep on running feeling dejected

What I've lost, boy it's hard to find
Think about it all the time
I'm all strung up my heart is fried
I just can't get it off my mind

Because a good run, good run, good run, is my drug
A good run good run good run
I said a good run, good run, good run, is my drug
Good run good run good run

I don't care what people say
The rush is worth the price I pay
I get so high when you're with me
But crash and crave you when you are away

Yeah, I might need some help. Thankfully on Sunday I had this crew to pull me through to the end even if it wasn't pretty.

Also, maybe I'll get lucky and win one of these giveaways. Nothing like new swag (that actually works!) to get you excited about running:

Shut Up and Run's Sunscreen Giveaway

I Run Because I Can's SpiBelt Giveaway

Asthma and the Gift of Running's CSN Store Giftcard Giveaway


Route:--Elev. Avg:616 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+4 ft
Date:07/11/10Up/Downhill: [+633/-629]
Time:08:06 AMDifficulty:3.4 / 5.0

Distance: 12.05 miles
Speed:5.0 mph
Pace:12' 00 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 09-1' 515.9+0.90 ft
210' 33-1' 275.7+0.7-13 ft
311' 14-0' 465.3+0.3+10 ft
412' 42+0' 424.7-0.3-10 ft
513' 36+1' 364.4-0.6+3 ft
610' 56-1' 045.5+0.5+13 ft
715' 44+3' 443.8-1.2-4 ft
811' 27-0' 335.2+0.20 ft
911' 24-0' 365.3+0.30 ft
1014' 44+2' 444.1-0.9-10 ft
1110' 05-1' 556.0+1.0+10 ft
1210' 29-1' 315.7+0.70 ft
end9' 38-2' 226.2+1.2+3 ft
Versus average of 12' 00 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Evolving Through Running said...

Wow - sounds like a rough outing - but you still crossed the line. I think there's more to learn from the rough experiences than the vanilla runs when we don't have to duel with our minds and bodies.
Next time out you'll be that much better for having fought through this.

Maribeth said...

Erin you are wonderful, albeit a bit hard on yourself! We all ran 10+ miles on a hot humid day. Many of us did walk for part of it, but we all did it.

Jacklyn said...

I have been there and it sucks. I hate runs like that. BUT, the thing to remember is that we all have runs like that no matter how great of shape we're in. Hang in there! It will get better! Also, LOVED the Ke$ha rendition :)

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Wow what a gorgeous trail. So, random question, do you stop to take the pictures or take while running? If the latter is true, I give you a TON of credit! Shake off the bad run, we all have those days.

Anonymous said...

I know it came from a really sad place, but I really love your version of the song.

Jamie said...

Even though you weren't feeling it you finished! Good job fighting through a very tough run. Just remember this summer is a heck of a lot hotter than last summer. Temps were so mild I was loving training for the marathon last year. This year... not so much!

That trail looks beautiful. I may need to check it out!

Sara said...

Some days, its just a bad day...I've had a string of bad runs, too, but the last 2 were great. Don't be hard on yourself.

kilax said...

I really like that hydration belt. I can't believe they didn't show you how to adjust it though!

You don't need running rehab. Just a new approach, like you blogged about today :)

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