You guys, I decided yesterday that I have a serious attitude problem when it comes to athletic endeavors. I need one of those awesome 90s motivational posters with a ski slope or Mt. Everest on it to tell me about how life is a very large percentage about attitude. About 3 miles into this race I looked over at my friend Lesley and said something to the effect of “This is why I’m crazy. I dragged my ass out of bed on a Sunday morning when I could be doing many other things, and here I am in the middle of running 10 miles, and instead of telling myself how awesome I am, I’m thinking of all the ways I could have done better — I could have trained more, I could have fueled better, I could have been more organized my stuff better. So no matter how much I do today, I have already decided (3 MILES IN) that I am NOT doing my best.”
I mean, you can imagine that the next 7 miles were loooooong, right?
But let me start back at the beginning. I had signed up for this race about a month ago after my friend Lesley and I had exchanged some fun emails about running. She had run The Relay before, she was making a bunch of running goals for herself this year so we had decided to do some an event together this year and since she is an awesome bad-ass and running coach, she would pace me. She mentioned this race in an email and impulsively, I signed up. I knew it would feel tough but I also knew that 2 weeks before The Relay I should be able to run 10 miles…uh, otherwise I was probably going to be in some trouble.
The race started early, and it was in a beautiful area downtown, so despite being nervous I just kept telling myself what I always tell myself about running — that:
a) You are lucky that you even have the physical capability to be able to do it at all (OBVIOUSLY after the events of this crazy week, I felt that even more strongly) and
b) You always get to see things on foot that you never get to see just driving around…so be grateful!
So the race started and I instantly had The Panic. The fact was I was undertrained (I haven’t run in almost 3 weeks, nor have I even worked out in almost a week) and instead of hydrating and eating well on Saturday in preparation, I drank wine and ate Mexican Food. BRILLIANT. 1 mile in and my legs were not feeling fresh and I wasn’t feeling super peppy.
The second and third miles were fine. Nothing felt great, but at least I didn’t have “I’M GOING TO DIE OUT HERE ON A RUNNING TRAIL” on loop in my mind. By Mile 4 I was basically ready to stop. The only upside to this, I thought, was that during The Relay I actually *do* get to stop at Mile 4. I’m going to remind myself of this moment when I am running in Sonoma! So I was starting to feel a little defeated, but Lesley just kept telling me to soldier on, so I did. Running is one of the few times in my life where I just want to be bossed around.
We finally got to cross the Tower Bridge which was a pretty little bonus, but at this point I was still feeling TIRED AS HELL. Also, I had a super immediate and ravenous hunger that was almost making me nauseated. I’m guessing my pre-fuel strategy of “eat one meal on a Saturday and have it be Mexican food” was maybe not ideal. But we were busy on Saturday, and that is what happened — and hey — LESSON LEARNED FOR THE RELAY! Luckily I had an old Peanut Butter Gu with my water bottle so I chugged that down. (FOUL!)
We made it to Mile 5 which is where we saw my friend Grace who is part of my Relay Team and that was AWESOME! I was tired and feeling defeated and sometimes all it takes to turn that round is someone hollering your name and waving. This was also the point where I realized that I had forgotten to Body Glide my boobs. What? TMI? I mean, listen — this is real running talk, my friends and BOOBS NEED BODY GLIDE. Ah well, I managed to get all the other good spots, so don’t worry!
We kept going through a random neighborhood in West Sacramento and at this point I started doing some running and some walking. Anytime there was an incline, I walked. Anytime I wanted to die, I walked. My mental fortitude was kind of shot by mile 6, and I was most disappointed by that, but hey — it is what it is. Here’s the thing about mental reserves and stress: when you are using a lot of it during your day job 5 days a week — you don’t have a ton leftover for random weekend 10 milers. Noted.
Mental fortitude running low or not, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and I feel pretty good about that. We finished our last few miles doing some running and some walking and praying the finish line would be soon! (Well maybe the praying was just me. Lesley was mostly just telling me that I could do it, on repeat! She’s a gem!) The last mile was through Old Sacramento which was cute, but also kind of weird terrain to be running on, and my capacity for dealing with weird at mile 9 was sort of low, you know? We came right up on the last quarter of a mile and our two favorite gentlemen were cheering us on, which was VERY cute. Lesley (again, with the gem-ness) had made me a poster and Garrett was doing some crazy town cheering and holding it when we ran by, and seriously you guys: IT MADE ME CRY.
Having the finish line be in sight, knowing that I didn’t die, feeling no knee pain at all (WOO HOOO VICTORY!) and seeing people that I love cheering me on….well, WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! It was just emotional. I also felt like, despite the struggles of the day, getting through that 10 miles made me feel like The Relay is going to be just fine. No matter what I’ll get there. (EVEN IF I HAVE TO DO SOME WALKING!)
Total Time: 2:24:57
It was a slow day, but it was a victory just to finish. The first 5 miles I average about 13:30, but the last 5 miles there was A LOT of walking and having a crappy attitude — so I think I’m going to have to revisit that attitude situation. If you have one of those Mt. Everest posters around, send it my way would ya? HA! Anytime before The Relay would be GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT!