Except that I hit the wall. Of my ten planned miles, I ran two before I found myself overwhelmed and needing to stop. It was both physical and mental, and I found myself walking for a few minutes, then running another half mile, walking, running a half mile, walking, running a quarter mile, and then taking the bus and the subway home. Add in the last stretch from the main road to the apartment, and it was just shy of 3.5 miles.
I was crushed. Disappointed in the run, in myself. I wanted the first time back to be magical, to be everything I'd dreamt about back in California. But I couldn't do it. Not even do half. Not even a quarter before I had to stop.
I know exactly why the run was a flop.
- Per usual, my body decided to get me through an incredibly stressful time, and then just as I think I'm in the clear, I get a ridiculous cold. First the sore throat and coughing, then runny nose, and finally a fever and full-body exhaustion. On day two of feeling this lousy, I decided to run ten miles. Not my smartest decision.
- It was very hot out - we're in the middle of an intense heat wave right now, and even though the temps are about the same as I was running in back in California, the huge difference is humidity. I could wear light cardigans over my sundresses to work a week ago; today, a tank top and shorts feels excessive.
I came home, complained to Matt, and then cried in the shower. Even though I knew what I needed to do to make the run better, I was devastated. And even though I went out that afternoon and bought a running water bottle and some Gu/Clif gels, just thinking about reattempting the run tomorrow morning is leaving my stomach in a knot. I'm nervous, and I'm scared. There's always that little what if? in the back of my mind: what if I can't do this run again, tomorrow or ever? What if I can't get my act together, even in Chicago?
Because the thing is ... my first run in California was supposed to be a ten miler.
And I bonked that one, too.
And then I pretty much quit running for two months.
And everything else became a struggle again for the better part of a year.
I can't do that this time. I may have fallen, but I have to get right back on the horse. Post-California move, I was running just to run. This time, I have immediate race goals - the first being a half marathon in less than three weeks.
And even more than the upcoming races, I have my renewed sense of motivation. I couldn't finish my long run, but that doesn't mean I've failed, not even short-term. There are any of a million things that can go wrong during training runs while a race ends up being great; you can have flawless training runs and the race can be a fiasco. I'm going to go back out there tomorrow, more properly armed, and give it everything I have. If I hit the wall again, I will have to reassess some things. But I'm absolutely not going to give up, no matter what.