I was supposed to run 20 miles this weekend.
I didn’t. This was a terrible run. I decided against doing this run at the Sugarloaf Marathon course before we even left; the risks were too great. And even though I saw a few runners out there this morning, I felt comfortable with my decision. I had no cell reception with AT&T over most of the course and it was really rural. That painfully, isolating-ly alone rural.
As we preview-drove the course this morning, I filled with dread. I couldn’t help but focus on all the negative things. All the hills in the early part of the course, the long and slow kind. The dramatic downhills in the second part of the course. Why did I want to do this again?
I was negative about the heat. All I could focus on was how tired I felt. I doubted that I could run 20 miles by myself. I doubted I could run that long in the afternoon. And I was tired and angry about other things. And my husband, who loves me and hates to see me upset, kept trying and trying to cheer me up by reminding me that I “didn’t have to do it,” and that just made me more doubtful and tired and frustrated.
My plan was 5 sets of 4-mile loops around my neighborhood. They were through densely populated areas — I thought that would help with the isolation that sometimes eats away at me on long runs alone.
I worried about the temptation to stop when coming home 5 times during a 4-hour run. But the thought of going longer or into more isolated areas or driving out to do a run was more unpleasant. So I gave the loops try.
The problem with my loop was that it had almost no shade and it was very hot. The first time I ran by the Androscoggin Bank Clock on Lisbon Street, it was 77 degrees.
My body isn’t adjusted to this heat yet. I had plenty of water and Gatorade, but there is only so much you can absorb at once. So I had a stomach sloshing full of liquid but a tense, angry dehydration headache. All the anger and negativity I brought to my run today bored through my skull like a worm in an apple.
Loop 3, I changed the plan and went to the Riverwalk, which was cooler and shadier. But I was done by that point. I got to the platform by the falls and just, “FUCK THIS SHIT I FUCKING HATE THIS.” I talked myself into running the 1.8 miles home instead of calling Tony.
I tried to summon up the will to run another 7 miles when I got back at 6, but I just couldn’t. Sitting at home tonight and feeling like a failure was more appealing than suffering another hour and a half.