Sunday, January 5, 2014

15 Miles Never Felt So Sh*tty

I do not like to deviate from my training plan. I  am just that anal.

Yesterday it got bitterly cold and snowed a lot. I had a 15 mile run planned for today, early. I knew it was supposed to be cold and snowy. I hate the treadmill enough (especially thoughts of spending several hours on it), that the cold and snow somehow seemed like a better alternative.

I knew I had to take my own advice and shut up and run. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? Frost bite? Freeze to death? End up in a ditch?

Usually when I dread runs they are never as bad as I expect. Very rarely are they worse than I expect. Today’s run, however, was much, much worse than expected. To be honest (and I never say this), there was nothing about it that was fun except for being done (that was a little rhyme).

Joie, Ken and I started out at zero degrees a.m. (7:30).

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7:35 a.m we saw two bald eagles in a tree.

7:40 a.m. we discovered how tough it was to run in several inches of snow.

7:42 a.. we saw a coyote

7:45 a.m. 1st mile took us 10 freaking minutes.

7:50 a.m. my stomach hurt. Foreshadow.

7:55 a.m. it started snowing. Again.

8:00 a.m. we stopped for a drink. Ken’s Camelback hose was frozen (does “that’s what she said” work here?). Joie’s little bottles were frozen (no that is not a euphemism). My big bottle was icy, but still mostly liquid.

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8:05 a.m. stomach hurt worse. Found a ditch. Ugh. It did not look like a snow angel.

8:35 a.m. we finally hit 6 miles. Joie mentions only 9 more to go (nice pep talk) and Ken asks if we can maybe cut it short? No is the answer. He asks for a divorce.

8:40 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ran 9 more miles. Miserable and freezing. Legs stiff. Snot frozen on nose.  6 degrees now. Balmy.

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My conclusion about this run? Much harder mentally than physically. I never had any highs. Just lows. I spent every single minute dreaming of three things: a warm bath, a huge cup of coffee and a seat in front of the fire.

What do you tell yourself when the going gets tough and ever morsel of your body wants to quit? Here’s what I do:

  • Visualize being finished, sitting on a heated car seat and feeling accomplished. If that doesn’t work, I…
  • Stay present. One foot in front of the other. One mile, step, block at a time. Then I..
  • Tell myself I am strong and that runs like this make me stronger. If all else fails, I…
  • Cry and complain, but keep going

You know I looked like death warmed over (no picture, my phone died we were out there so long) because I went into Starbucks and a man approached me and asked if I wanted his coat because I looked so cold and beat up. I decided to go home and take an ice bath. Kidding.

The rest of the day was spent mostly here.

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The moral of the story is: just because it’s challenging and hard and you don’t want to do it does not mean you should not do it. It just means that you are going to have to muster up some strength and motivation from deep down. You have it, I have it, we all have it if we are willing to find it.

What’s the worst run you’ve had lately? I just told you! Stop asking.

Have you ever had to cut a long run short? Why? I have only once because of pain. Turns out I had a hamstring tear, so good idea on my part.

SUAR

PS: Had to share this with you. We went to a new restaurant last night called CyclHops. It’s a combination restaurant/bar and bike shop. Perfection. My favorite thing was this bike with a flask on the back. Very Colorado. Next thing you know there will be a bong on the back.

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51 comments:

  1. well, the bong would be more legal then drinking and driving right?

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  2. I am so impressed that you ran outside - I was a wuss and took a rest day today

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  3. New Years Eve was the worst recent run - about -9F, the race I was in started late, and by the time we started moving, I couldn't feel my feet, at all. They were completely frozen. This after they bumped up the time so that people "didn't have to be outside longer than necessary." Didn't regain feeling for about 2 miles.

    Definitely have cut long runs short because I am a wuss and just wanted to be done. Never more than a mile or so.

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  4. Have you ever been to the HandleBar in Denver? I passed by it once while in CO and have always been intrigued by how the bikes and booze coincide there!

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    1. No never been there, but it sounds similar. Bikes and booze together in one place is genius of you ask me.

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    2. I'm living in Germany where biking under the influence is as serious a crime as drinking and driving. Makes you think twice before stopping for a beer on a long hot ride. As a side note, in summer they drink something called a radler (beer with lemon), radler also being a word for biker ;)

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  5. Double pat on the back for making it through an icy, snowy, cold, 15-mile run. I always believe that these are the moments that make us mentally stronger and prepare us for future difficulties and challenges. My worst run as of late involved a downpour and strong winds – it was pretty crazy. The only time I have ever stopped during a run was during a hailstorm that forced my husband and I to seek shelter and call a cab. Marble size hail – no thank you!

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  6. Last winter we were having freezing rain and I cut my run short. I was wearing older shoes and had no grip. Today I did my 20K on the treadmill due to the snow, I am running the Goofy next weekend and was not taking any chances. If my health and safety are at stake, it's the treadmill for this runner.

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  7. Ran 12 miles today at a balmy 9 above. Better than the 5 miles last week at -19 windchill while in North Dakota last week. Below a certain my fingers and butt will always freeze. Now in hot bath with popcorn, last of the wine and my nook.

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  8. I know someone who got in trouble from the cops for trying to bike home from a party drunk. Don't drink and bike! ;-)

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  9. Ugh...did a half marathon race(14 miles actually) on New years Day in Minneapolis. When I started it was -9 actual temp, when I finished it was -1. Mentally a tough run, but I did it and survived. And Yak Trax are the only way to go on snow pack and ice. I don't know what I would do without them

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  10. I DNFed a race for the second time ever today - had intended to run 14 with 10K at tempo as part of a Boston Buildup race here in CT. It was a lot colder than forecasted and raining lightly and as the race got started we all realized there was black ice developing all over the road. I got about a mile in and decided it was just too stupid to continue so I ran back to my car and drove home, totally bummed out. I later learned that there were a lot of bad falls during the race including a broken arm so I know I made the right choice but it still sucked...

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  11. Dang - you rock!!
    I would have gotten in the 15 miles but not outside - I'm a wimp!!! I love my treadmill!

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  12. I cannot even imagine running outside when it was that cold. Then again ... I live in Miami. But I didn't always live here and when I lived where it was cold I don't remember doing much outside when it was that cold. You are one tough cookie.

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  13. Ditto on all of it, both yesterday and today. I really hate these single digits. It's what I'll visualize during my next race. We Coloradoans earn our warmer days.

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    1. Oooo, and our mutal friend, Michelle, popped into Runner's Roost last week when I was working (I work there part-time, the Lsvl location) and while she was shopping her kid called and said the youngest sib had just barfed in Target. I thought you'd appreciate a good public barf story.

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  14. Worst run: the opposite of yours. 96F at the start at 3 pm; only got warmer. I brought one bottle of gatorade. I was literally hallucinating by mile 16 of a 20 miler, and I chose a loop course so there were no shortcuts. I honestly think I almost died.

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  15. I think at zero degrees, I would have jumped on the treadmill and kissed it at every mile. My worst run was several weeks ago during a half marathon that I ran with a migraine. It was pure hell and I would not recommend it. I do cut runs short sometimes because I have a tendancy to over train. Oh, and I think you're on to something, you should seriously build and patent the 'bike bong'.

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  16. My run sat sucked as well..it was a balmy 25 so we were sweating our guts out until mile 7 when we rurned around and hit a huge, freezing cold headwind.maybe 20mph and about 6 degrees w windchill. ..out and backs can suck for that reason..go out to fast and die on the way back. Proud of u girl!

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  17. I have been taking it easy since my half on Dec 1 but my most recent horrible run was actually on New Years Day (welcoming in the New Year with some self pity - yeah!). It was only 6 miles but each mile felt like 10. So, in theory it felt like I ran 60 miles. Even though, a) totally doesn't make sense and b) have never run 60 miles so clearly I don't know what I'm talking about....?

    Anyways, it was really mentally tough to stay focused. Every stride felt heavy and also, boring! I actually stopped my Garmin a couple times to give myself a damn pep talk. I finally eeked out the 6.01 miles, and then walked the last 1/2 mile home.

    Thanks for always keepin' it real. It is strangely comforting to know other (kickass) people have really shitty rundays.

    Also, I bet it looked a little like a snow angel?

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  18. I cut a run short when I was so hot I was sure I would get heat stroke. Another time it was just a bad run and I decided I wanted to love running so I just stopped. I can run in 20 degree weather but anything less is just too freaking cold!

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  19. Burrr that is cold! Props to you for sucking it up and getting it done!

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  20. Some cold water advice... For the camel back...blow back into the tube to help clear the water so it won't freeze in the line. For bottles, I use Tailwind drink mix anyways so the salt in that keeps it from freezing. If you can only drink plain water try a dash of salt..might help.

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  21. Good for you for starting and for finishing. Running with friends makes that possible-tougher to bail. I was out there,too, 1 degree and hating miles 11-13. Mantra: suck it up, Buttercup. I hate the treadmill, so layer it up and hit the hills.

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  22. This sounds like my run on Saturday. I did 16 miles we had snow the night before and when I started and it was 5 degrees which isn't so bad where I am. BUT the wind was 35-40mph it was crazy took me just under 3 hours which i normally do 20 miles in 3 hours. Horrible! I decided it was best not to look at my pace and just get it done and try and feel like a badass after!

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  23. I did my big run Sat knowing Sun was going to suck. Still ran super slow due to snow - 10 minute pace. Trained on the elliptical Sun - which is fine during football playoffs.

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  24. Kudos, Beth. Any run is tough when you are miserable and can't find a rhythm. 15 miles? Damn. Ken is totally justified in divorcing you. :)

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  25. I don't even want to drive 15 miles in this ridiculous weather, let alone run outside. Stupid cold here in VT. way to go toughie! Listening to Moth Radio Hour is the only way i survive on the treadmill.
    ReneeW

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  26. Yes, same kind of conditions here in Nova Scotia - ran 25km Sunday in melting slop, have ice and snow roads while passing people still shoveling /plowing out from 30cm plus / 1 foot of snow or more. What a loser they must think I am??
    -Rick Boudreau

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  27. I once cut a 12-miler in half because it was oppressively hot and humid and I started feeling extremely nauseous and light-headed. At the time, I felt extreme guilt, but it was fine. I got back on track the next day.

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  28. After five straight days of snow running before our blizzard and cold (-40 wind chill) hit, I was out on a 5 mile run Friday. The first 2.5 miles were great. Then the wind switched and spent the rest of the run pelting snow/ice balls in my face. I couldn't even pick up my speed because the streets weren't clear. I couldn't feel my face. It was pure misery.

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  29. You are way more motivated than I am. I guess that is why I will always hover around a 10mm. I spent the day inside scarfing down chili and reading in bed. Next week is another week! :)

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    1. chili and reading in bed sounds pretty damn good

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  30. I've had to cut runs short before due to dehydration (hooray Florida weather) and blisters from unexpected rain (hooray Florida weather again). Sometimes I just have to cut a training run if I think the long-term damage is going to affect the race!

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  31. You may never come home from LA in March! It was 75+ in Los Angeles over the weekend and gorgeous running. Something to look forward to this year!

    Have you tried some alcohol (vodka, whiskey, wine??) in that water bottle? It will prevent freezing!

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  32. I have a lot of respect for you; I'd never be caught dead running in those conditions! It was only 32 degrees and clear for my 5K on Saturday and I thought that was freezing. I will say, I don't find hours on the treadmill to be *that* bad, so I guess we all have our own preferred punishments :)

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  33. You rock. I look forward to one day having a story like that, because that's just awesome.

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  34. I would think that one saving grace was that you were not alone. Misery loves company, right? The worst run I had lately was also in the cold and I thought my fingers were going to fall off if I didn't get home soon. I contemplated knocking on a strangers door and asking for a ride home about 4 miles from home. I made it and it did make me stronger…and wiser. I think.

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  35. I'm local so I had the same weather as you, and I really had to force myself out the door. My glasses kept fogging up so I took them off, then my eyelashes started getting little iceballs and they'd stick together when I blinked. But once I got on the trails, I discovered that the cross country ski folks had packed down the snow so it was actually fun to run on the trails. The trails were lovely! The roads sucked. Moral of story- head for the trails, skip the roads.

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  36. That's awesome, way to go! It's a blessing to have friends willing to do these crazy runs or was it their idea? Last summer, on a hot, humid day, I stopped at mile 12 on my 16miler, just to walk to the corner and start again but decided walking wasn't so bad ...just wasn't my day. We all have 'em.

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    1. You are so right - it is a blessing to have friends who will join you on these adventures. My friend Joie will do just about anything with me - love that about her.

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  37. When the weather conditions suck ass, I try to find the positive and thank Mother Nature for the opportunity to test or strengthen myself. She provides the anvil on which I forge my stronger self. Corny, yes, but it gets me through the frostbitten toes and icicle snots.

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  38. This made me laugh out loud, but your moral of the story is so true. It is when we do the things that we don't feel like doing or want to do because they have a larger purpose that we begin to get stronger mentally and physically. Nice job getting it done :) LOL!

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  39. Hi

    Our winter in the Netherland is less cold than yours. Last year I went several times with -10 C = 14 F for 20 km run not on windy days. I have a few suggestions.... make shorter rounds near home and take a hot drink there and continue, put hot tea in your drinking bottle and put alufolie on it to prevent it from freezing, eat more, take a large plastic bag with you for isolation whent it becomes more windy or in case you fall. Put spikes on... see picture in my blog http://djaktief.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/snow-running-dream-running/ When it is only -5 C or 23 F I can do larger trips >25 km.

    I hate the treadmill just as much as you ;-)

    Bye from Holland,

    Dorothe

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  40. Makes me feel really good about 7 miles at 15° (finish not sure what it was when I started)....my run was actually awesome and the shower afterwards ever more so

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  41. The first line made me laugh so hard, only because I can relate. However there's no way in hell I would run in the snow... give me the treadmill, give me a rest day.... This morning's run was in 10C / 50F and I was cold.. that's about my limit.

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  42. In November I had to cut a 16 mile run short (at 8.6 miles) because my hands were so cold they were hurting and I started dry heaving on the side of the road, got dizzy, and could hardly walk...... It was my 32nd birthday so my brb (best running buddy) and I were splitting up my years and running together! It was awful.... we ran 4 miles into the wind and I think that is what did me in. . . . sub zero temps with the wind chill...... I haven't cut a run short since I trained for my first marathon 5 years ago...... it was totally depressing, but I realize things happen. . . . now I look back and realize it was okay..... I was suffering from some ankle pain and a 16 mile run only for my birthday wasn't necessary....... we are planning a 30 for 30 for my running buddy's Birthday in April........ YAY!

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  43. Worst run ever was this past Monday. I LOVE cold-weather running (I'm weird... and Canadian). But I HATE running in the rain. Especially in freezing rain.... Last Monday, after running in -36C (-32F) for a week, the mercury shot up to a balmy -3C (25F). With freezing rain. But because I, like you, hate to miss a run, I laced up and went out with the dog anyway, "for a quick 5k since the weather is so bad," I told my husband....My "quick 5k" took 42 minutes instead of 27. And my "run" was more of a skate on sidewalks covered in ice and a "swim" through intersections that looked more like lakes. It was, in a word, AWFUL. So awful that at one point, my dog, who loves all whether as long as he can be outside, looked up at me and barked as I was trying to run through a puddle. As though to say, "Hey, girl human! WTF are we doing out here..."

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