After a super fun night of catch-up with my dear friend, Jeness, I went to bed last night not feeling very well. I had swollen glands, a headache, an achy throat, and my ears hurt! YIKES! I was worried I was getting sick, and decided I'd do my best to sleep it off. It's just been a long week for a lot of reasons, and I think it's all taking its toll on my body. I wanted to get my long run planned for today done early because of the hot/humid forecast, but didn't want to push it if I were still feeling under the weather when I woke up.
When the alarm went off this morning, I was feeling groggy and sluggish. I decided to give myself another hour, then got up and moving. I was feeling okay- not awful, but not great either. I did my usual pre-run routine- ate (2 slices of whole wheat toast with butter and jelly, glass of O.J., banana, water, and coffee), got my running gear together, and headed out the door. Once I got to the Tow Path, I used the facilities and then started stretching. I just was not feeling 110% and knew this run was going to be a challenge. I contemplated for a minute throwing the workout out the door and giving it another try tomorrow. But, I had already driven out there, I had the 5 mile race on Sunday in the back of my mind, and again, I wasn't feeling awful, just not great. So I stuck it out.
As soon as I started the first mile, I could feel and LITERALLY see the humidity! It was already past noon, so I said to myself "dah dah dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is going to be TOUGH!" The air was thick, and breathing was difficult. I tried hard to focus on my pace, not the humidity, and actually did a good job doing so. I just told myself, "keep running." But, then I got to mile 3. I was feeling dizzy, sticky, and my legs were feeling heavy. The thought of 8 more miles had me thinking I should just stop where I was at, turn around, and give it another shot tomorrow. I was on pace still somehow, but was just not feeling it at all. At that point, my running spirit somehow convinced my body to stop being a wussy and to keep going, and I did. :-) I just kept focusing on my pace, not the conditions or even the song on my Ipod. I simply just kept running. :-D The last two miles were the most challenging. The sun was beating on me, the humidity seemed to be so thick, and there was a light breeze that wasn't helping. But, I kept running. :-D It was tough, but I finished all 11 miles in 1:22:35, 7:30 min/mi. As soon as my Garmin beeped "You win! Workout finished," I felt the most gratifying feeling of triumph. As corny as it sounds, a few tears streamed down my face. That was one of the toughest runs I've completed in a while, not so much because of the weather conditions or because I'm sick, but because my mind was not in line with my body at all. What I learned from this long run is the importance of digging into your inner spirit; the fire inside that keeps us going even when the whole world tells us to stop. Always remember, no matter how big the obstacle that lies ahead you may seem, the worst thing you can do is give up on yourself. Always keep running. :-D
I've earned my rest day tomorrow, and am looking forward to it!! Sunday is the Johnnycake 5 miler, so we'll see how it goes!! It's supposed to be a hot one, but I'm certain it'll be a good one. :-)
Good luck to everyone running long runs tomorrow. Hydrate well, get out early if you can, and remember, Keep Running!!! :-D