Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why do I do this to myself?

Shifter here,

Lest someone accuse me of giving an overly positive picture of the whole running phenomenon, let me share a bit on today's run. This was 22 miles, the longest I do for pre-marathon training, and if all goes well it takes about 3 hours and 18 minutes (that would be totally on pace). I went out a bit too fast, but settled down to a 9 minute pace that I held pretty consistently up until about mile 19. Then, at exactly 19.6 miles, I was walking. It was quite odd, in that I didn't plan on walking. I had no intention of walking. I was running up this hill, thinking things like "2.4 miles to go" and then there I was, walking. Now I'm not a runner who walks on the long runs. Lots do, but I don't. So that means that when I start walking on a run, it's Bad News. Why? Because if I'm walking it means I'm running totally on empty (if you'll pardon the pun) and the remaining miles of the run, however many there are, will have to be run entirely on will power and masochism. 2.4 miles is a really long way when all you want to do is lay down on the side of the road and die. A really long way.

So I know you're all sitting in suspense, dear imaginary folk, so I'll tell you that I finished the 22 but ended up walking probably about .5 miles all told. My total time was not that bad, 3 hours 21 minutes. But by the time I limped up the drive way and collapsed on the lawn, I was not a happy camper. Everything hurt. Everything. Back, legs, feet, hips, butt, you name it, and it hurt. And I wasn't even injured! This is just the way 22 miles feels on a bad day! My wife came out to say hi and all I could say was "Why do I do this to myself?" and she said "I've been wondering that for a long time."

Of course there are just loads of reasons I do this to myself, and having a chance to think of blog posts is just one of them. But those reasons were not really on my mind at the moment. What a pain! The sick thing is that I'll be back out there on Monday going for a fast 7, and I'm really looking forward, truly, to the chance to do 26.2 miles on May 31. Weird, weird Shifter.

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