Last Sunday, I had the worst long run I’ve had in recent memory. Instead of celebrating and feeling elated when I was done, I wanted to slump on the couch and cry. It was THAT bad.*
Here’s what I learned about running long distances during that horrid run (which I hope fills the quota of “one hellacious run-that-makes-you-want-to-give-up-this-running-foolishness per half marathon training cycle” this time around):
Putting off the start of the run will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Loading up your iPod with really great podcasts and music will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Taking two bathroom breaks (in which you dawdle and hope that you get some catastrophic-seeming stomach ailment that will make you call off the run… when all you needed to do was maybe pee and blow your nose) will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Maniacally looping around your husband and child as set upon the business of their calm, content walk in the hopes that seeing them will make you be done sooner (with no logical explanation of how that might work out) will NOT make the run be done sooner.
In a corollary of the above, obsessively checking your perfectly-content child in her stroller and looking for signs that she needs her mother imminently and solely, in ways that only YOU can understand (nay, even wishing that she regress to the point of needing constant nursing from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and trying your best to emanate hormones that will immediately remind her of the delights of cluster feeding thisverysecond) when she could truly care less (because she’s munching on her favorite crackers and you’re just her sweaty boring mother and she just looks at you like, “whatEVER”) will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Hoping that your iPod/Nike +/sneakers will conk out, knowing that you either have extras of these or you can very well run without them, will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Cursing profusely, loudly, publicly (and therefore, for Trinidad and Tobago, illegally) when you find out that your highly-optimistic and totally off-the-cuff calculations of how many times you have to go up and down your damn street to get done with the run were EXTREMELY wrong (and you have to go up and down your street two more damn times) will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Wondering whether laying down in the middle of the street and waiting (waiting for what, I have no idea–the run fairies to finish this shit for you? A car to put you out of your misery? A dog to carry you away, either to be mauled or to live in a land where half marathons don’t exist?) to make the run end sooner will NOT make the run be done sooner.
Hard truths to learn, my friends. Very, very hard truths.
*By “bad,” I mean my stomach hurt in a vague, unspecific, non-catastrophic way. It felt off, but not off enough to make me think I couldn’t run with it. And run I did, without catastrophic effects before or during or after–other than hating every second of every single mile and questioning why I was doing any of this.