September 4, 2011

The running coach


My long run was horrendous on Saturday, but before I delve into the pathetic-ness of it, I have to say that the prior week's long run was awesome. That week, I did a few miles inside and then took on the rainstorm (the same storm that robbed us of power for three days) and a jogging path with my brother for the rest of the 9 miles. Even though I misstepped into a giant puddle that I had to swim out of (thank you, Ziploc, for saving my phone), the running was great. The rain kept it cool, and I felt strong for most of the time. In my training schedule, that was a short week, meaning that my long-run (Saturday) mileage will increase for a few weeks and then drop for a week before it picks up again. So maybe the decrease in mileage made me feel stronger, just to set me up for the wimpiest run of my life the next week.

This week it was hot and miserable. I decided that I need to train more outside, but I waited until the afternoon to run, which was a brutal mistake. The cool temps of the week before were long gone, and I melted pretty quickly. Then, I decided to run in my neighborhood, which is, no exaggeration, the hilliest place in the galaxy. That was the second mistake. Not enough water during my run was the third. Amory put out some Gatorade for me so I could run past the house occasionally and drink some, but I got stuck a couple miles out with a mad case of the thirsties. You know you have it when you consider busting out a window in the local middle school to get to the water fountain inside. You will have tried all the knobs first as you lurk creepily around the school, definitely with a mad look in your eyes and mumbling something to to yourself about water belts. I am in general not into a lot of fancy gear that costs extra money, but I'm thinking that those ridiculous-looking water belts, that have to be giving people water-belt burns on long runs, might be my new friend.

At mile 13.5 (of 17), I shuffled home and cried to A, the husband. My feet were bruised. I had tweaked my calf on one leg and my ankle on the other leg while going downhill. Oh, and I was mad thirsty. He was waiting for me to get home, so he could go on a (motor)bike ride, and I told him to get going because I was not going to go back out there for more torture. He wasn't having it. Even though his desire for a bike ride was at an all-time high, he pretty much demanded that I get my tush back out there and finish the run. After some more crying and blubbering about quitting from me, I finally realized that he was not going to relent on his telling me to get to it.

This is when I realized that I have a running coach. He doesn't run, but he sure knows how to scrape you off the sidewalk and throw you back into the ring. Isn't that all coaches need to do anyway? Motivate. I can get all my practical running tips from Google searches, but Google can't make me feel like a loser for not finishing. I'm sure they'll come out with GoogleLoser next week, but until then, I need the coach.

This isn't Coach A's first rodeo either. He has listened to me complain about running for the last nine months, so he knows my weaknesses. Number one: I love to complain (as evidenced in this post). Number two: I love to sleep late (not a good combo with a long run). Number three: I get the opposite of a runner's high, runner's delirious anger. This is when you are so mad at running that you want to quit forever and waste the money you paid for the race entry fee (if you know me, you know that would be sinful). Somehow, it is just this week that I realized that Coach A is slowly chipping away at all of my weaknesses, and most important, he will not let me quit. Not even if I cry and say I have intestinal issues that would require a 30-minute bathroom break. Not saying it happened, just saying that Coach A wouldn't let that stop me if it hypothetically happened.

Thanks, coach! It may have taken me for-flippin-ever to finish those 17 miles on Saturday, but without you, I would still be trying to (hypothetically) blame my intestines for an incomplete run.