Running for It, Week 19: In which I suck

English is an awesome language. It’s confusing, sure, and it doesn’t make much sense because it’s cobbled together from multitudinous influences, and its grammatical rules and pronunciation are so complex and full of ridiculous exceptions that its a wonder anyone speaks it at all. Wait, I guess English maybe isn’t so awesome as a language? For example, there are no words–not one!–in this language to effectively describe the sheer horror of my long run last Saturday.

I could say it was horrific, but that would fail to capture how terrifyingly awful it was. It was, hands down, the worst run I have ever undertaken since I started doing this thing. It was hot. It was muggy. My clothes were so drenched with sweat that I looked like I had jumped into a pool. A pool of sweat. And at some point, I’m pretty sure I forgot how to run. Seriously, I think the basics of bipedal locomotion completely escaped me around mile 8. I’m not even sure how I got home. Magic, probably?

I could say it was embarrassing, but it wouldn’t approach the sheer heights of humiliation I was experiencing. It was like I told my body, “Hey, we gonna do this thing today!” and my body replied, “No, sir, we are not. Not today.” Towards the end of the run, I had to keep taking walking breaks, and yes, right toward the end I had to go to the bathroom when there was–of course–no bathroom. (I actually briefly considered either going in my britches or walking up to a stranger’s house and begging to use their facilities.) I have figured out a formula for this:

For every long run of n miles, where n>5, Price will experience an irresistible urge to defecate at mile (n-1), if available bathrooms=0.

I could say it was puzzling, but that word doesn’t really express the magnitude of the confusion I felt throughout the run. What the #*@% is happening out here? Why aren’t my legs working? Why am I so tired? How could I have done 11 miles last weekend with no problem, and adding one more mile to it suddenly makes it impossible? I realize that I was doing a few things differently, but I can’t imagine they would account for all the problems I was having. For instance, I was trying out a new Camelbak that I just got last week, but it only added two or three pounds, at the most. I also was using a new interactive running app on my phone, one that would track my distance and give audible alerts about my pace and distance and such. Something was all wonky with it or my phone or something, because the podcasts I was listening to kept stopping and starting and jumping around. I think I finally figured out what was causing the problem, but I had to keep stopping to futz with it (without pausing my workout, so that screwed up my time and my momentum a little), and a couple of times the app crashed and I had to stop to restart it. (Note: probably not going to use that app again.) Still, those technological issues can’t account for all my issues (and oh, do I have issues).

I could say it was disheartening, but that would barely scratch the surface of how depressed I was when it was all said and done. I felt like a failure. It took me longer to run 12 miles on Saturday than it took me to run 13.1 miles back at the beginning of June. I ran almost two minutes a mile slower than I did that day. I know, I know, some of that can be accounted for by that screwy app, but still… way too slow. It made me think that I was making a huge mistake in thinking I could do this thing. If I can’t do 12 miles without collapsing like a wee baby, how on earth am I supposed to do 26? Then again, a flat course in Chicago in October is a whole different animal than a hilly course in Kansas City in July. Still, though… not the high point of my weekend.

At best, I hope I can just say that it was a fluke, but even then English fails me because while I could be saying that the run was a one-time deal that was a unique combination of multiple miserable factors that came together to collectively give me a boot to the head, the vagaries of my native tongue could also mean that my long run was some kind of parasitic intestinal flatworm.

Now that I think about it, that makes about at much sense as anything else I’ve written here today. Or ever.

One Response to “Running for It, Week 19: In which I suck”

  1. anne Says:

    Oh… poor Price! I hadn’t read this till now. I do think it’s a fluke - everyone has a bad run some days, you know? I have faith that you’ll be just fine come October. :)

Leave a Reply