Today was long run day for me. More importantly I was scheduled for a 23k run, the longest run for me to date. I went into the run nervous but fairly confident. There really would be no reason for me not to be able to do this, I have, after all, run 5 half marathons, all with half decent times.
I had to start my long run after 9 a.m. which of course meant I would be running until close to midday. Not ideal for this runner who regularly wilts in the sun. Just my luck, it was a perfectly clear morning with a high U.V. For 12k all was good. From 12k to 16k I was a little tired and hot but not doing badly. But after 16k it fell apart. I had been in the sun for too long and I no longer had the drive to push myself. Essentially I felt myself quit. I am not a quitter but today I feel like I was. I did complete the 23k, but by the end I was doing more walking than running. My pace was a staggeringly slow 6:35 by the time I was done. I have gone from running half marathons, no walk breaks, with sub 5:50 paces. How can I now be this slow??? I know I am now taking walk breaks every three km to mimic water stations and breaks for the marathon. But really? 6:35? I don’t mind 6:35 and feeling good. But this was 6:35 and feeling like I wanted to fall down and cry. Oh, and did I mention I actually turned my watch off for five minutes to allow myself to stand under the shade of a tree?
I can make a million excuses for why this was an awful run, most notably a bit of heat exhaustion. But ultimately you have a job to do and you just have to get it done. While technically I got it done, it just doesn’t feel that way. I feel like I bailed and just didn’t have the mental strength to push myself past physical weakness, kind of a double whammy for a runner. I know good runs will come again, and I have to remind myself that I really enjoyed the first half of the run. But in the end…what a disappointment.