So this weekend marked the 1 month countdown to my first half-marathon, an event which I was excited about doing this early in the season for several reasons. One, if I want to do a half-Ironman triathlon this summer, I am going to have to run a half-marathon at the end of it, so I figured it would be good to get really cozy with this distance as soon as possible. Second, we got this beast of a dog around Thanksgiving (her name is Daisy, but everyone calls her Supermodel) and she needs a good amount of exercise, and she loves to run. So why not train to do a half-marathon?
Today’s schedule called for a simple 12-mile run, just for “time on the legs”. (Coach Evil Genius and I started back up this week and apparently she ain’t playing around). We were at my sister’s house, and I was procrastinating, not really wanting to wind my way around a town with which I am not intimately familiar in the heavy snow for 12 miles. My husband and sister suggested I head out on the road out toward Buffalo Pass but keep going straight until I reached the private school, about 5 miles in. So finally I started out, running from Spring Creek trailhead on the road, feeling OK. At the turn to Buff Pass, I turned right with all the traffic and started out along a flattish road, which eventually turned into a steeper road. And a snowier road. Until I got about 4 miles into the run, looked at the top of Buff Pass and realized I had gone the completely wrong way. Which would explain all the damn hills that I thought my husband and sister had just been underestimating for my benefit to get me out of the house.
Which led me to Lesson #1 for the day: When someone is giving you directions, you should pay attention to what they’re saying.
To make matters worse, I realized that my stomach was kind of cramping. Pretty badly. On a low traffic road, but with snow drifts about 4 feet high on each side.
Which led me to Lesson #2 for the day: ALWAYS go to the bathroom BEFORE you start running. ALWAYS.
So by the time I got back to the car, I was doing a serious “dance” and I jumped into the car and booked it out of the trailhead. I roared home in time, and after, I unleashed a barrage of blame on Mr. Prepared– about not reminding me to go to the bathroom, about wearing the wrong socks, and about how stupid ultramarathons, marathons, half-marathons, and generally any running over a 10k is. I told him I was quitting the race (he’s running the marathon) and that I never wanted to talk about doing a half-Ironman again. Which pretty much precipitated our hasty exit out of Steamboat.
As we rolled home to Eagle in the Land Yacht, I started to relax and fiddled with my iPhone, reading my emails and whatnot. I came across this post from my favorite blogger, Swim Bike Mom.
Which led to Lesson #3 for the day: I cannot let fear make decisions for me.
Part of my agitation all day was the fear that I couldn’t even run for 2 hours, or even 1:30. Everyone says to me, “Oh, did you run like 10 miles today?” but the truth is I had never even run 10 miles before. But I couldn’t (and can’t) let the fear of something I had never done before rule my decision-making process. There will be a lot of things in my life that I have never done before, if I am lucky.
I turned to Taylor and asked if I could finish my workout when I got home. I figured I had about 30 minutes more if I just needed “time on legs”, as the Buff Pass debacle hadn’t really afforded me good mileage coverage. He agreed, I apologized, and I told him that I wasn’t going to quit on him and that I didn’t really think he was an idiot (maybe a running fool, but not an idiot). So we got home, I went back out and finished about 35 more minutes of running on the familiar path, and went home feeling about 100 times better than when I arrived at my sister’s house in Steamboat.
So while it isn’t usually ideal to break a 2 hour run into 2 parts, today it was essential, because today 2 runs were way better than 1.