Sunday, April 11, 2010

I ran in a rain storm if that counts!

So i ran this morning. In the chilly rain and mud and wind.

I had all sorts of weird dreams while I slept last night. I dreamt I met Helen Keller on my run. She was doing so well. Or perhaps, I was not doing so well... and that is why we were running together. When she introduced herself to me, I was impressed to meet her and told her she was a house-hold name, but I didn't realize in my dream she was the one who was both blind and deaf. In my dream, i thought she was an awesome runner!

In another dream, I was driving in a flood and my car spun out of control and I was late for the run and as hard as I tried to make it to the start-off gun, I was too late.

Race runs always make me nervous. I spend a lot of time worrying about it as I sleep. But I slept good in between my sleep.  I slept in clean sheets and each time I tossed and turned and rolled over, I thought to myself, "awwww, this is so comfortable..."

It was raining hard when we started out this race. And it was cooler than the weather said it would be. I don't know how cold it was when we started the race, but when I was done running, it had only reached to 42 degrees.

I was excited to run with Heidi and Angie, but because the trails were so thin, they put us on staggered start times... depending on age.  We are such fierce rule followers, I am older than both and started five minutes ahead of them.

(Looking back,  I could kick myself.  What was I thinking!? I shoulda just blew my age off and started running with their age group!!)

I don't know where my head was, but I continued running alone the entire seven miles. And that was sooo not what I wanted to do!!! My dream and desire was to run with them, because ever since our half-marathon run back in early February, I've been running mostly alone and to be honest, I haven't been enjoying it so much. Running hasn't been as fun! I missed my running buddies!!

The race went okay. During the worst stretches, my calves were sooo tight, i thought they were about to burst. i was reduced to a shuffle, stumbling over one rock after another, running up hill.  i prayed for some downhills for they would call into action muscles that were fresh, ones that didn't hurt so badly.  Meanwhile, I kept looking over my shoulder, looking for Heidi and Angie.   

To no avail.

By the time I reached the 7th mile, I sprinted to the finish line. And then I stood there, shivering, and getting drenched in a downpour waiting for Angie and Heidi to reach me. Seven minutes later they were there and we were discussing whether or not we wanted to run back the seven miles we had just ran.

The truth is. I could have run it. And I should have run it. But it was that seven minutes standing there under a terrential downpour, i started to feel myself feeling stiff and cold.. and when Angie said, "Naww... this is good, I'm gonna head home for a hot shower.." .. i hafta say the hot shower felt inviting to me as well and I was set to head there, too.

So I looked at Heidi and told her I was quitting... and she nodded at me and as she turned around and started running back the same course all by herself,  I immediately felt bad for my decision and wanted soo badly to catch up and run alongside her.

But I didn't.

I didn't! 

I just stood here shivering in the cold... and knew I had made up my choice.  To play it safe. Not to risk any further injury.

But you know what? I could have run the 14 miles.

So I sit here and I feel like I sorta let myself down as I know I could have done it! And I should have done it, but I didn't do it. 

So... I'm quiet all day....... reassuring myself that it's all okay.

Running is a funny thing.  It IS competitive. And it IS fierce.
And some days ya feel powerful and on some days you're basically a whimp.

But I learned something today. If I don't ever wanna feel that heaviness I feel in my gut today, I will push myself forward. And I will.

One step at a time.


Anonymous said...

Shawn: You are NOT a whimp. Staple that thought to your heart and soul. You are strong. Truth be told you will never know why you quit when you did, but if you ran it, surely you would have suffered the consequences.
Believe in yourself. You listened to your gut. Congratulations on a successful run!

Sallie said...

And, you will!!!!

Dan Guerra said...

Oh yeah 20-20 hindsight can be disabling with the 'coulda shoulda woulda' thing. But you did great! Seven miles in the cold rain is nothing to sneeze at! :o)
And standing there in the cold was the deciding factor anyway, so you definitely did the right thing by stopping there. And there'll be other runs, in better weather when you can really go!
Goood goin' today Shawn!

doodlegirl said...

Thanks you guys for your kind words and encouragement!!!

Christine said...

Way to go!!!! I'm so proud of you for doing those 7 miles and you should be, too! As a fellow runner, I understand your feelings about the day. I do. BUT I'm going to preach what I have a hard time practicing myself and that is to take each race as it comes... each one is different, and you are in a different mental, physical and emotional place each and every time and it is OK that you decided to only do the one leg. ESPECIALLY after standing still in the cold rain waiting those seven minutes. That is a long time for you to lose your adrenaline, lose your focus and for your body to cool down and get cold and yes... that's when you could hurt yourself. I think you did the right thing. There will be ALWAYS be a next time. If it wasn't raining... and you hadn't gotten cold and stiff standing there waiting... you would have kicked off and ran that second leg and you know it. As far as I'm concerned... you ROCKED that race!!!

I have to echo what you said about running alone. OMG IT SUCKS!! LOL. I had the opportunity to run with my running class group last Thursday for the first time since late Dec./early Jan. and I was sooo looking forward to it, but it ended in huge disappointment for me. The first mile was great, I was so happy to be in their company, but their pace is definitely a good minute or two per mile faster than what I've been doing, so by the second mile, I was struggling to keep up and couldn't contribute to the conversation, because I was at the high end of my heart rate range, huffing and puffing, and then they slowly started to pull ahead. Within minutes, I was alone and ended up running the rest by myself! And without my ipod because I thought I wouldn't need it as we'd be talking/listening to each other the whole time!!! ARGH! Plus it was an unseasonably 90 degrees ... in APRIL! ... with no leaves out on the trees yet, so no shade... it was SO HOT! I think I like running in 32 F better than 90 F! It wasn't a good run. I felt so dejected. I think I'll stick with my one running partner and my husband who lets me set the pace even though he could run circles around me (LOL!), or shorter solo runs WITH my ipod. LOL.

Run and learn, right?

Happy trails! *_*

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Funny Helen Keller dream!

What a tough run - rocks, hills, cold, & rain! Great job making it through 7 miles of that!

Jen and Angela said...

I always have "Helen Keller/not making the start line" dreams prior to races. That hot shower must've felt great. You are not a wimp. It's only a footrace. Plus, you've got some inspired blogging to do! Jen

doodlegirl said...

Christine! You spoke so closely to my heart! You get it!!! You totally understood what I was feeling. And I completely understood how you felt when you went with the running group but ended up running behind and alone. Right now I'm running between two running groups.. One group I am faster than most all of them and end up running alone and the second group, I am one of the last runners, running alone. I feel discombobulated...not feeling i belong in any of them.

Thanks Tina!!!

Jen... you have those types of dreams, too!!?!? Oooh, i love that, as great minds think alike.... :O)