QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Monday, August 24, 2009

The little engine that couldn't

All that trash talking I did about my last 2 speed runs? I forgot to knock on wood so the gods wouldn't hear me bragging and punish me (yes; that's why you knock on wood). Obviously that gal lying on the ground isn't I, but I sure know what she felt like.

Today's training prescription, a la my marathon training schedule: run a 10K (6.2 miles) as fast as you can. (at mid-day in high heat and humidity in my case).

I recruited the 13-year-old to accompany me on his bike to push me when I became tired.

Here, roughly, is a log of my thoughts from beginning to end.

Before the run.

I am feeling GOOD.

I can do this.

I rock.

I am strong.

I want Boston.

I will tell myself to push when it hurts; run through the pain. Pain makes us stronger.

The first mile:

Hey- this is going pretty well. It's a little hot, but I'm okay. I'm feeling strong. I can do this. I WILL do this. (7:28)

The second mile:

Yeah. I'm getting a little tired. Maybe I started out a little too fast.

No... I'm not going to sabotage myself.

I CAN do this. Keep a rhythm.

Run strong.

Keep going.

Relax. Acknowledge the discomfort and run through it.

This is what's making me faster and stronger.

shew. I'm tired. (7:35)

The third mile:

Is the wind behind me or in front of me? When I turn around will it be harder?

I don't think I can do this. I think I'm gonna rest at the half way mark at 3.1.

No- I'm strong. I can do this. I'm supposed to push.

I can't. I have to slow down or stop at 3.1 (7:40)

(meanwhile- the 13-year-old, recruited for encouragement, is so far ahead of me he can't even hear when I yell. He's just in his own world ignoring me. It's inspiring).

The fourth mile

Wow. I didn't realize how tired I was until I stopped to rest.

It's really hot.

I'm going to keep pushing, though.

I've rested a couple of minutes, and now I'm going to push through.

I have to slow down.

My body temperature is way high.

I can't wait to get a drink of water when I get home.

I wish I were home already.

It's HOT. I'm being a wimp. I want this run to be over...

No... it's not healthy to go all out in this heat. I could hurt myself.


I have to stop again after this next mile.

shew. I'd love to walk.

No. I'm not walking. I need to keep going.

If I'm going to stop after another mile, I may as well speed up and get this mile overwith.


The fifth mile

Okay; I'm going more slowly but I'm continuing.

I've slowed down but this workout has done me good.

I may not have done the prescribed workout but I got my butt out here and did speedwork, even if it did turn into intervals rather than a tempo run.

Man it's hot.

I feel a bit nauseated. (8:32)

The sixth mile

Okay. It's really hot. It's really humid. I'm thirsty. I'm tired.

I can't do this. I've got to walk.

I walked until the last 1/3 of a mile, which I ran at a 7:00 pace out of guilt.

The thirteen-year-old? Home already, bike neatly put away.
Oh well. Some days ya got it; some days ya don't.


  1. Rather you than me! I can't work out in heat at all! I die a thousand deaths!

  2. You can do it still. I want to hear good news about your qualifying soon. You KNOW you can!

  3. well at least he went with you, gotta give him that. And he put the bike away instead of just dropping it on the walk in front of the door. Way to push yourself--I'm cheering for you

  4. I'm sorry, but I laughed a bit too hard at "I feel nauseated". We've just started walking in the evenings and have increased from 10 minutes to 20. Not really in your league, but how much my calves hurt is insane. You go, girl! And what? No drawings? I feel robbed.

  5. "Some days ya got it." If by "got it" you mean humor.
    Am I supposed to laugh at your suffering?
    Well I AM.

    "...in his own world ignoring me. It's inspiring." Like Rocky Balboa's corner man, but NOT.

  6. It was really hot yesterday. I just got back from my run. It was pleasant - a bit cooler - less humidity - at least where I am - north of Phila (about 2.5 hours north of Baltimore). I am sure you'll have a better run today!

  7. I don't Have what you're describing on ANY days.

    Good for you Julie!!!!!

  8. I swear to God, that sounds like the conversation I have in my head during virtually every run. Good job getting through it.

    And at least the 13-year old put his bike away on his own, right? :)

  9. I don't run anywhere near the distance you do, but I do hear you. I hate those times when you realize you just don't have 'it' that run. Your legs feel like lead. Then there are days where you just fly.

    I've been very lead legged lately. Don't judge me. I know you won't. :)

  10. I hear you, totally, loud and clear. High noon runs in the summer are not fun. Period.

  11. I know this isn't really the response you're going for here, but I'm still damn impressed.

  12. you can call me and i'll drive next to you while you run and play thrash metal. i can also yell out embarrassing things to make you want to run away from my car... i'm here for you anytime. ;)

  13. I'm tired just from reading this. I want a drink of water now. And some ice cream. Thanks a lot.



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