Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have a post all lined up about Ragnar DC this weekend and how fun/awful/memorable/miserable it was (summary: so happy I did it, probably don't want to ever do it again... but ask again in a few months!). Stay on the edge of your seats for it. Here's a preview:

I chose this picture because my legs look great. That's me (there! me! with the legs! I never claimed to be modest.) waiting to grab the slap bracelet from my teammate.

But this post isn't about Ragnar. It's about self-sabotage and freaking out and anemia and frustration.

Monday: ran 10.2 miles on the treadmill just because. Ragnar didn't do a number on my legs (only 13ish miles in 36 hours), so I was feeling fresh after taking Sunday off. I chugged along at 6.3 mph and got some school stuff done and felt good.

Tuesday: little creaky from the run, but still good. Nick and I biked 25 miles @ 17.9 mph. That is a good 20 seconds/mile (average) faster than we normally do. I have changed my Garmin so it shows the average pace for the activity, and I loved watching that average pace hover around 18 mph. It felt good but hard.

Wednesday: wheels fall off. We had 8 miles planned. Last week we did 8 miles at a sub-9:00 mile pace, and this weekend all my (short) runs were in the low 8's. I was feeling speedy and overconfident. When we started out and did 2 miles at around 8:15 I decided that was AWESOME and we can do it and there's NO WAY this will end badly. I was pumped. Mile 3 was around 8:23. Still good. Then my chest tightened, my legs turned to lead, and I started wheezing. I still was somehow convinced that this run could happen! We could still bang out the other 5 miles in the low 8's. Definitely below 9 min miles. Come on Laurel, just push through.

I started beating myself up about slowing down and Nick was wonderful to have alongside me. My legs were failing and I was wheezing and crying (because crying helps you breathe. fact. just kidding, it wastes precious energy feeling and makes you feel dumb.) and Nick kept encouraging me and telling me to just slow down and keep moving. But my average pace was still 7.3! Then 7.2! Then 7... then 6.8... Then we reached the house at mile 6 and stubborn me decided to run/walk the last 2 miles. My chest had loosened but I still couldn't breathe deeply. For the record, I don't think I have asthma issues, I think it's the anemia. Either way, we ended the run with 8 miles at a 9:30 pace which is not bad but I feel bad about it nonetheless.

This is where we go back to last week. When is it too much? When are tired legs enough of an excuse for slowing down? When do you push through and when do you give in and say, this is too much, you cannot breathe, just quit? I am competitive (more on that in the Ragnar post) and that includes competing with myself. If we did 8 last week at 8:XX and I did 13 this weekend at 8:XX then doggone it, you're doing 8 today in the low 8's even if it hurts! Even if you ran 10 miles 2 days ago and biked hard for 90 minutes yesterday. I am my own worst enemy.

As usual, I'm being hard on myself. I know this is not the end of the world (and we still got the mileage in!) but it feels crappy that I pushed myself so hard, was in so much pain, and still didn't reach my pace goal. It was warm out, we didn't have water, there are hills, etc etc etc. I'm feeling icky about training and I know I shouldn't. 44 days till the marathon (that's still 6 weeks!!!). Oh, and 9 days till Ireland ahhhhhh!

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