Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Left, Right, Repeat..(A run report..)

Can I pull this off? Do my legs remember how to run 8:20's? Wow that sun is hot. Whoa, my HR is 96 standing at the starting line. Maybe I'll surprise myself, and PR. I have successfully run this course, and it was only 2 years ago. I ran a great half marathon one year ago. I pulled off 8's running like a moron in July. Lets see what happens. 

**BAM (well, not a gun - more a horn-like sound)!**

Off we go.

Lisa and I took off together. Her goal was to run anticipated marathon pace (8:50's) for the race, and my plan was to start off with her and try to hang on. In the event my legs felt spicy, I would allow myself to open up and push it at mile 10. No sooner. I also wanted to watch my heart rate the entire race. I wanted to collect data - how is my body responding to a hard effort? And an effort facing these types of hills:

The first few miles hovered around 9's. At times it felt okay, and other times it felt like I was pushing at 400 interval efforts. My HR was varying between 164-170. Yikes. And my GOD it was hot. I practiced pushing negative thoughts out, and staying positive.

I ran with Lisa until about mile 5 when she pulled away. I put in a couple efforts to catch her, but my HR shot straight up to HR 180 at every incline. 1-frickin-80. I know enough to know what HR 180 means at mile 5 - there's no way I'd see that finish line in under 8 hours. I listened to my body and slowed.

Positivity left the building about mile 6ish, when my pace became slower than a training run, and my HR was through the roof. I was melting in the sun, and there were already people walking all around me. I saw Lisa's husband Scott at mile 7, who was waiting with cold face cloths, water and Gatorade. That man saved my day. I pulled off the road, and broke down in tears. I told him I didn't want to do it anymore, and just wanted to be done. He provided some encouraging words, and promised he would check in on me in a couple miles. I trudged onward, sniffling while shuffling.

I will not torture you all with a mile by mile recap of yesterdays picnic. There were a lot more tears, a lot more walking, and a lot more of high heart rates. And a lot more of Scott doing the very best to keep all of us going, and putting one foot in front of the other. Left, right, repeat.

I finished in a time that I am not proud of, and one that is a big fat slap of reality to me. A slap that I definitely needed.

However, I am going to end this post with silver linings:

(1) I am able to complete a 25K - many people aren't as blessed
(2) I was able to spend yesterday morning with friends, doing something I love to do
(3) I collected data, which is being used as a reminder that I need to start being healthy. ASAP.
(4) Re-confirmed my plan for this weekend's 70.3 (gulp): all fun and no tears
(5) Yesterday re-ignited that fire to WANT to be fast, and to WANT this to be fun again. Crying every week while running sucks. And if I want to break this cycle, I need to change my habits. And do it before Chicago, to salvage my last big race this season
(6) Race support kicks ass - Scott literally saved the day yesterday. Knowing that he was going to be there for me, and continue to provide me encouragement to keep on going was priceless. I am very lucky.
(7) I am able to live, race, and train in a location that provides views like this:

And finally, runs/race like this only serve to make the good ones feel THAT much better. Right? Nice job to everything that gutted out yesterday's sweat fest - crossing the finish line of any race should never be taken for granted.

Happy Training!


  1. You have 5 weeks until Chicago, right? And some crazy races spattered here and there? I think you should try something drastically different. Like a drastic taper. Take some time off. Take some extra vitamins. Force yourself to sleep more. You can absolutely have a good marathon, if you change something now. You've been training like crazy. You have the miles in the bank. You're body wants to run fast, but it needs rest and recovery...

  2. I said it before...I believe in you. And I believe that, very soon, you will be back in the saddle and passing my ass again (as it should be :)).

    Whenever I talk about running with you to others, I always refer to you as "my friend Meaghan, who helps me because she's a faster runner than I". And that is the truth my friend :)

  3. good luck in that half ironman this weekend, meaghan! i think FUN is always the best plan of attack. and when all else fails, PRETEND you are having fun and before you know it, you actually will be!:)

  4. @ Katie - thank you, I have already started to make changes. And yes, I am VERY ready to run fast again :)

    @ Lisa: You're the frickin best - thank you again and again.

    @ Hillary: Pretend I'm having fun, no matter what. Got it. Maybe channel my inner Hillary, and remember what you're putting YOUR body through. It'll make what I'm doing seem like cake ;) Thanks for stopping in!