First of all - I am totally blown away by the generosity of friends, family and readers. I sent a private email to a few folks on Sunday, announcing my intention to participate in the Komen Race for the Cure on October 2nd.  On Tuesday, I published this post. As of this morning, I have raised $870 which is well over my original goal of $750 and 91% of the way towards my revised goal of $950 with 35 days left to go. I have felt warm and fuzzy all week knowing that so many people are willing to support me in my efforts to support Komen.  We'll file this under E for Encouraging.

The running on the other hand? Gets filed under Discouraging with a Capital D.  As I mentioned, I ran my first 5k inareallylongtime a week ago on the treadmill at the gym. My time was 26:48. Monday morning before my trainer, I ran another one. My time was 26:50 - 2 seconds slower despite starting out at a faster pace.  Wednesday morning, when my alarm went off at 6am, I wanted to hit snooze and burrow back down deep under the fluffy white comforter swathing my giant, king-size, cat-free hotel bed with, but with $785 already raised, I felt like getting my ass to the gym was the better part of valor.  

Worst run of my life bar none. 

After the first mile, running at the same 6.9 pace I am used to, I was dying. I finally decided it was because I had no water and so I paused and drank some and then got back on and restarted.  But no matter what I did, I couldn't find my rhythm nor could I find any energy and all I wanted to do was quit. And then I felt like an asshole because when someone with breast cancer is going through chemo and/or radiation, and they're sitting there puking their guts out, and they feel like death not even warmed over, they don't get to quit. They have to suck it up and power through if they want to beat the disease. So who the Hell am I to crap out after 1.5 miles into a 3.1 mile run? What does that say about me and my strength?

I waged an inner battle with myself for the entire run. I'd say: "You can do this Rougie. You have to do this Rougie," and then I'd be ready to collapse and so I allowed myself to slow my pace to 6.5.  Then 6.3.  Eventually I slowed to a walk - several times. And then I felt like an asshole so I'd pick up the pace. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. For over 28 minutes. 

I tried to justify my struggle. I was running on a totally empty stomach.  I didn't have water. It was hot in the gym. I'd had no caffeine.  Maybe rolling out of bed and onto the treadmill was a bad idea. Maybe I need to train in the afternoons when I've had nourishment and caffeine and my energy levels aren't negative 67.

You might be wondering why I am being so hard on myself. Well, once upon a time I could sustain an 8-minute mile pace for at least 3 miles. Once upon a time I could sustain an 8.5-minute mile pace for almost 10 miles. Once upon a time I ran a half marathon in 1:59:48. Once upon a time I was a running badass. Now, I am a running lameass and it bothers me. 

I know I have 35 days left. I know that I can't make a lot of snap judgements based on 3 runs in 1 week.  And somewhere deep inside I know that it doesn't really matter.  My finish time means nothing to anyone but me.  I don't raise extra money if I finish faster. I don't have to give money back if I finish slower.  The primary goal is to raise money and raise awareness and I've done both.  

It doesn't mean I am giving up my promise to try and run faster.  I plan to continue getting to the gym and getting to the track a few times a week to keep practicing. I plan to run speed drills even though I detest them.  I plan to work as hard as I can to try and meet my (extremely lofty) goal.  But if I fall short, I am not going to beat myself up.  I am still going to be proud of whatever it is that I have accomplished.  We'll file that under P for Progress.

3 Comments

Don't beat yourself up so badly. That you're doing it at all is what is important. The rest will come back, but you have to work into it. Remember, you weren't instantly able to do an 8-minute mile, you had to work at it. Patience, grasshopper.

I seem to recall hearing of a run which ended with a Giant Gaping Hole in your knee, Little Miss Hyperbole. That sounds worse than one with a Less-Than-Satisfying time. This Less-Than-Satisfying time actually works toward your goal of a Highly-Satisfying time, so you're doing wonderfully.

Yes, don't beat yourself up or I will kick your ass. You are PERFECT, no matter how fast you run. Never forget that.

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