So my wife says to me, “Hey Eric, would you go running with me on Saturday?” I thought about it for about a half a second and then blindly agreed because that’s what you do as a married man. Those of you who are married know what I’m talking about.
“How far are we going?” I ask. “8.5 miles”, she replies. “OK Hon”. At this point I have never run any more than 3.5 miles. I agreed because my wife is trying to get back into running after suffering a knee injury. “I’m going to use the Galloway Method” she said. “There will be a minute of walking for every 2 minutes of running, so you should be able to keep up with me.”
So I just agreed to run 5 more miles than normally do because I’m a beautifully loving devoted idiot. Yet, I’m an even bigger idiot because I believe that I can do it. Not in an egocentric “I can do anything, because I’m super Eric” kind of way. No, it was much more basic than that. Perhaps a personality trait that I picked up from my wife, but in my head I thought, “Eh, how hard can it be”.
We start out running using the Galloway method, 2 minutes of running at a conversational pace, 1 minute of walking. I’m out there feeling strong and confident for the first couple of miles. Around mile 4 my wife asks me if I’m feeling tired yet. “Yes, I’m feeling tired”, I admit. I was, I was feeling slightly tired, but not like I was about to feel later.
I start running with my wife, miles 1 through 5 and I’m still in good spirits. I’m feeling light in the legs and strong as if I could out run my wife at any point, but that was not the point of the outing. Around mile 6 I’m starting to feel tired, I can feel the lactic acid building up in my leg muscles. I’ve read about this, but never felt it like I did that day. Mile 7 and I’m just gone. I have NO MORE GAS! Since we were doing run walk intervals, every time she would walk for that last mile I would run to catch up with her. This only seemed to increase my exhaustion. I finished out my last mile pitifully and made my way to the water fountain.
I drank like an old horse that had just been run hard without water through the west Texas desert. After gulping down what seemed to be gallons of water, I sloshed my way to the Jeep. All the while, my wife is busy jogging out another .75 miles. I pick her up once she has completed her workout. On the way to get some frozen custard, my wife’s idea, I can feel my peripheral vision going dark. “Sorry honey, we are going to Sonic. I need carbohydrates now!” I was having problems thinking at this point. I get to Sonic and got a Route44 Powerade and a small tot. (10 points plus values for all my weight watchers fans). I eat very slowly and suck down the Powerade. My body recovers slowly, as the fuel enters my bloodstream.
I learned that day how wholly unprepared I was to increase my mileage by 230%. How stupid I was to think that I could keep up with here with no additional preparation on my part. How the heck did I think I was going to be able to run the Austin 3M Half in January? I feel like a complete noob and I just got owned by my wife on a long distance run. I MUST be better prepared. I must start thinking about fuel and hydration for my long runs. I need to start building up slowly during the week. I will do better!
Then Sunday comes and with it the rain. The temperature drops and it continues to rain for the next four days. Yeah, daddy isn’t doing that. I’m not prepared for it and I don’t wanna run in a downpour period. My own runs seem to be met lately with excuses before I can edge myself out the door. OK, those are my excuses for missing my Monday and Wednesday workouts. Today is Friday and other than not having a running partner, I don’t really have any more excuses.
It’s too cold, It’s raining, I’m tired, I didn’t sleep, did I just feel a twitch in my knee? etc. I sip my coffee slowly while I battle each excuse in my mind one by one dispelling them. As they loosen their hold on me, I lace up my running shoes and let the familiar feel of them ease me into my transition. I finally push myself out the door and start to saunter around until my legs start working. It is after all 5:30 in the morning and I don’t want to rush myself.
I guess I need my running partners to push me as much as I push them.
I start running and its 54 degrees, perfect running weather. Once my legs warm up, my body remember what to do and I’m starting to feel good. I run the entire 3.26 miles and finish feeling strong. I finish up with an 11 minute pace and that’s when I have my Epiphany. It’s true what they say; you never regret going running, it’s just getting out there and doing it.
Come on Saturday, I’m ready for ya!