Sunday, April 10, 2011

I hit the wall...hard.

This morning was one of the worst mornings I've ever had.  This morning I got up at dawn, and  ran the Scotland 10K in Central Park.  Last week, having looked up the route ahead of time, I decided to run the course and see how I did.  That run wasn't so great either, but at least I knew I could do the distance and what the course had in store for me: LOTS OF HILLS!

This morning started off okay, I ate and made sure to drink lots of water before I left so that I would be hydrated.  The big problem that I was concerned about was my legs were a bit fatigued from my run the day before.  I had a GREAT 4 mile run on Saturday, but I pushed myself hard and my legs were feeling it.

As I stood in my starting corral, I knew that I was going to have to make a bathroom break somewhere along the course, which annoyed me.  I didn't want to ruin my pace because of my bladder, but oh well, nature's gonna do what it has to do.

The race began and I immediately felt it in my legs.  But, I thought that I would just purposefully take it at a slower pace and I would be fine.  Then, it felt like every single person in the race passed me.  I mean, I know I'm slow but it still irks me to realize that I am one of the slowest in the entire race.  It really kind of does a number on your self esteem...  I immediately forget how hard I've worked and how far I've come, I just think about how much further I still have to go.  Not a great thing to be thinking in the first mile of a race..

Between miles 2 and 3 were the treacherous hills of the north end of Central Park.  I know these hills well and knew I could take them.  The need for a bathroom was becoming desperate, and finally stopped.  Unfortunately, the port-a-potty was at the bottom of the first big hill and so I had no momentum going into the next big one.  From mile 3 onward I was fighting against the wall.  I had to walk at the top of that second big hill, and then again by the Reservoir.  Every single slight hill became agony for me.  My legs were burning, I was panting as though I was trying to catch my last breath and all I could think about was how I was never going to be able to complete a half marathon if I couldn't even finish a 10K.

I wish I could recall all of the negative thoughts that went through my head from miles 3-6, but I can't.  There are too many to count.  As I jogged towards the finish line (jogged is a very loose term...) I started to cry.  I had never felt so defeated in my life.  For the first time ever, the volunteers actually didn't annoy me as they told me "You can do it!  You're almost there!"  I actually needed their positivity at the moment, because it was the only positive things going through my head. 

As I crossed the finish line, I burst into heaving sobs.  I was so defeated both physically and emotionally.  Why did I set such a lofty goal for myself?  Why on earth did I think I could run a half marathon?  I can't do this...  My decision that I made during the race was that I wasn't going to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon.

Now that I am several hours after the race, this is a decision that I am going to stick with.  Training has been extremely difficult (to say the least!) to fit in because of the long hours I'm currently having to put in at work, and will continue to have to put in until we open.  I'm exhausted all of the time, and now that it will just get more and more difficult as the distances increase.  I'm not afraid of a challenge, but I also need to be realistic.  I still want to attempt a half marathon, but I don't think this is the one for me.  There is still the Queens, Staten Island and Bronx Halfs coming up this year.   I can try for one of those, when I actually have the time to train for them.

Of course I'm not going to give up on my weight loss journey, because that would be silly!  I'm just not going to make it so running heavy.  I'm joining a gym next weekend and I'm FINALLY going to start incorporating swimming and biking into my routine.  I'm still going to run, but it might be once a week, rather than the four days my training program currently requires.  My brain needs a break from it, and my body will thank me for the shake up to my work out routine.

I'm also not going to register for the Walt Disney World Marathon, however today I AM going to register for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, which is run the same weekend.  I've decided that I don't actually want to run a full marathon, or at least I don't right now.  Maybe in a few years when I've got a few half marathons under my belt, but for now a half marathon is a lofty enough goal.

So, you see... While it was an INCREDIBLY bad morning, I've turned it into a positive.  I'm not quitting, I'm postponing.  I'm also going to keep working hard, getting healthier and seeing those pounds melt off and the inches (that I need to start measuring!) decrease. 

I also need to remember how incredibly far I have indeed come...  A year ago, I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without wheezing, now I'm flying up and down them.  A year ago, I was 60 pounds heavier, and two sizes bigger.  A year ago, I could barely walk a mile and now I can run 6.  A year ago, I couldn't even look in the mirror without thinking how ugly and fat I was, now I can't walk by a mirror or a piece of reflective glass without looking at myself in it and thinking "wow, I look good!"

I've come so far in such a relatively short amount of time.  I know this.  I just also know what my body and mind are in need of, and right now... They need a breather.


  1. It's great to hear about your progress, and see that you've overcome this morning's low.

  2. Congrats on your race today. I loved reading about making your bad morning into a positive. I hope you really enjoy the swimming and the gym when you join!

  3. You did awesome today, you finished! And only you know what you need to do to best take care of yourself. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration!

  4. I'm glad you didn't turn your frustration into throwing in the towel for good. I think cross training will be wonderful. You have come SO FAR SO FAST- it's phenomenal.
    Training for a half is a serious time commitment and I'm glad you realized that. The last thing you want is burnout from work and half training. Hang in there!

  5. Hi Maia! I understand how you feel. This is part of the reason I am scrapping my Chicago marathon plans for this year. Why don't we make plans for a fun run one weekend? Drew and I are going to run again soon and it would be great if you can join us. I'm going back to focusing on losing weight and I am running only b/c it is fun.

  6. You are doing an amazing job. It takes a long time to get to the point where you can easily run a half-marathon. Believe me, I know from personal experience. I've been running them for a few years now and it took me a long time to be able to do it. And training for a marathon is a whole different ballgame and you do need to be able to properly devote the time to training to accomplish it safely. If you ever want to chat about running, feel free to contact me through Facebook. I have been doing it for about 6 years now. One word of advice...always take the day off from running the day before the race. You need to rest...perhaps just do some yoga or stretching. If you're running longer races, you should always taper off leading up to the race. Also, I think you will notice that running will become a lot easier once you start cross training. From the end of October till essentially the beginning of February this year, I was not able to run because of a stress fracture in my foot that I got from running. I spent that time doing a recumbent bike, weight training, and abs workouts. I have been back to running since the beginning of February and I am amazed at how much easier running is for me that it was before the injury...and I didn't run at all for essentially three months! I al already back to running 6 miles a day at about an 8 minute pace...a little slower than I was before, but definitely not bad. Good luck and just let me know if you ever want to chat! :)

    --Lara Sedlaczek