So guys, you know when you start out with the best intentions of absolutely smashing a goal you've set, and then have it all magically come unstuck right in front of you? Well, that was me yesterday. Totally and utterly bombed at what I hoped would be another step forward in my ultimate goal (which will be happening in October this year!)
Let's set the scene people. Think riding on a high after doing a personal best of 15km last Sunday, and feeling like you could take on the world. I talked to my unofficial coach (a colleague whose running past impresses me to no end- think New York marathons, etc) and he encouraged me to go for the 18kms on Sunday.
Woah. Like, woah. Sounds scary right? Well, it kinda was, except after the 15km I was like no biggie, I can do this! and even set my running gear out the night before, downloaded new songs, ate my peanut butter and toast, yadda yadda and synched a new app (ismooth RunPro) so I could start interval training along with my trusty Nike+ app.
Hang, back up a sec. Interval training you say? What? Why? Tell us more Rhi! (< -- Oh yes, that was you saying that. Don't worry, I heard you!)
I'd been reading about the best way to build endurance on a run, and also how to avoid injury. So I don't bore you to pieces, I'll just direct you to my faithful friend Wikipedia and you can read up on Fartlek Training if you want to delve a little further.
Basically, for this run I chose to run for ten minutes, then walk one minute. Piece of cake, right?
Rookie mistake one- thinking it was going to be easy.
Interval training and I are not friends.
Rookie mistake two- Thinking 8am would be early enough to escape the heat.
I knew I was in trouble and felt a little shiver of panic 2km in when my mouth went dry and thoughts of water started creeping in. Plus, interval training was conflicting me. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was cheating somehow when I was walking, and I found it so difficult to get back into the running groove after each interval. I also found that as the run progressed I was concentrating freaking hard and hanging out for the walking parts. It became all I thought about. I know, sucky. Zone- gone.
As the sun rose higher, it felt like I was combusting from the inside out. Holy Jaaaaaayzus, all-things-fire-and-brimstone is it freaking HOT OUT HERE! (As opposed to Hot In Herre, Nelly circa 2002) I ran past the river and considered throwing myself in. I turned a tap on in a park and dunked my head under. I stood gasping for breath in someone's front yard as a sprinkler drenched my butt. Oh yes, all dignity was left back at my front door and it was time to turn around, go home and collect it.
The run ended up being 8km short of what I was aiming for, and although the disappointment was immense and tears of frustration picked my eyes on my last 200m walk home, I had to concede that I had done the best I could on the day and left everything I had on that road.
And it was time to rewash my favourite running outfit so it would be ready for next Sunday, where I'd once again give everything I had to reach that magical 18km.