Five Ugly Miles


Last week I began training for my first half marathon in two years. I was two weeks late getting started because I twisted my knee during hub’s annual Birthday Bowl. (I’ll add that during the throw that twisted the knee, I threw a strike.)

I decided to run/walk the number of miles prescribed for last Saturday rather than start with the lower mileage I would have done in my first week of training. I only had to run five miles, but that’s two more than I’ve done in a loooong time. I woke up that morning feeling a sense of dread because I knew I was in for some slow plodding and sore muscles afterwards.

As I left the house at 8:00 a.m. I told hubs not to wait up for me. Yes, the funk I woke up to turned into negative talk which pretty much cast a pall over the training session. There are plenty of words I could use to describe those five miles, but I’ll keep it clean and just say they were ugly.

  • When I got started the temperature wasn’t just cold, it was stupid-cold, by my standards.
  • I put a packet of Gu in the pocket of my tights. And then the zipper got stuck. No Gu for me.
  • As soon as I turned on my Ipod I received the dreaded “low battery” message. I turned off the Ipod to save the precious amount of battery for the last half of the run.
  • A seam in my tights started to bother me after about two miles.
  • The foot that was operated on seized up at the three mile point. I had to stop, take off my shoe and stretch it.

I was contemplating pulling over to readjust my tights, hoping no one would see me. Thank goodness I procrastinated because about five seconds after deciding to wait until I got to the next restroom before readjusting, two friends of mine, Tom and Steve ran up behind me and said “hello.” Embarrassment averted.

Once I got to mile 4 I caught myself smiling. I knew I was going to finish.

This will be my 11th half marathon. But a two year lay off is a long time. In a way, I’m as proud of those five little miles I did on Saturday as any training I’ve done in the past, including an 18 miler in a 100-degree heat index. That dread I felt at the beginning of the run was actually fear. And on Saturday and I didn’t sleep through it.

I ran through it.

 

 

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