Meltdowns and Compliments


A lot has transpired since my last post. I’ve hit rock bottom in my training and I’ve fought my way out.

I only clocked 1o miles last week and both of my runs were horrible. The second run was especially terrible. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a run; it was a walk. I ran the first mile or two and then walked the final few miles. My legs hurt and my heart wasn’t in it. All I could think was, “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to run Portland. Why am I doing this to myself?” It’s the first time I have ever considered quitting.

I called my dad when I got home from the “run” and told him I didn’t want to run Portland. I didn’t think we were ready, and I thought it would be better to find a different marathon a few months later to run. I was pretty sure of myself, so I was pretty surprised/pissed that he didn’t agree with this plan.

After a long talk, we decided on a new plan. Because of our poor training, we have decided to run Portland as a training run and then aim to run a different marathon in early 2012. Makes total sense, right? If you have a crappy training cycle, why don’t you just run another marathon? Yet another example of how marathon runners are a bit nutty.

We did a little research and we have tentatively decided on the Huntington Beach Marathon, which is on Feb. 5, 2012. We haven’t actually registered, so it’s all just tentative at this point.

I’m the type of person who loves plans. I like knowing and planning for my next step. I also hate failure, so by shifting my expectations for Portland and thinking ahead to Huntington Beach, my attitude has dramatically changed. Plus, if we  commit to Huntington Beach, I will take these feelings of self-defeat and failure as a lesson. I hate feeling unprepared and hope to use this as motivation to push myself in the next training cycle. I don’t want to run Huntington Beach just for fun; I want a PR! And breaking 4 hours would be pretty sweet, but let’s not get ahead of myself..

Now, onto the compliments.

This week I went to Orange County for a couple days for work. My goal was to work out/run twice while I was there, and I actually did it! I’m terrible at working out during work trips, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Working out in the hotel was kinda fun because it was pretty empty and I felt like I had my own personal gym. Note to self: I want a small gym in our next home… But I digress.

On Monday I did a tempo/speed run. I didn’t feel super great, but didn’t feel terrible. Compared to a month ago, I was pretty slow for a speed/tempo run. But I logged six miles on the treadmill, which is all I wanted.

I got off the treadmill and there was a lady in her 40s who was on the stationary bike. As I got off the treadmill, she said to me, “You’re really amazing. I’m probably 20 years older than you, but I’m just learning to run and I hope I can someday run like that.” This totally made my day. It wasn’t so much that someone thought I was a great runner, but it made me look back on the progress I have made in the last year. I still have a ways to go, but I’m miles (no pun intended) ahead of where I was when I started training for the Seattle Half. So maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up so much about this less than ideal training cycle.

I’m heading to California tomorrow with my family to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday. Dad and I are running a 20-miler on Sunday. Let’s hope the running gods cooperate. 🙂


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