photo from the Spit on the Gold Coast
I don't fear spiders (used to own 3 tarantulas) but right now I'm fear running.
I'm supposed to be running right now but I'm blogging. The plan was to get up and warm the muscles and then run from home. I have 2 hours to do and I'm dreading it. Lately running's been my dentist.
I have monster dental phobia. I build myself up for great pain. Then when it's all done, I think, "That wasn't so bad." But the next time I go, I think it won't be so bad and I'm zinged. So it is with running right now.
2 long runs ago I did 2hr 45min and felt great. Last long run I did 2:45 and felt like my knee was going to pop off from 2:30 on. So where am I? I'm in the dreading stage. It probably won't be this bad, but tell that to my knee.
Perhaps I shouldn't have run to work after that good long run. I ran long on Sun, to work on Tues, and hobbled 74 of what was supposed to be an 80 minute run. I'm being stubborn. Last year I knocked off 10 minutes from my first marathon time and I was only doing 1 long weekend run and 1 not-as-long midweek run. That was all my shins could take.
2006 is not the year of recovery as I had hoped. I took my time off after Columbus. I built up slowly (easy to do if you start in a subtropical summer....nooooo desire to increase those runs any faster). The shins still hurt and now I have a slutty (loose) patella that gives me pain.
The Tuesday after Monday's LRoP (long-run-o-pain), I had a podiatrist appointment. Over here, podiatrists are not medical doctors, they're more like specialized physical therapists and occupational therapists for the footsies. Less invasive. Me likes. The appointment was at 7 am. Me no likes. The train I took got me there early enough to have a cappuccino (large, 1/2 for warming belly and waking self, other half to pour down my back as it was chilly!). On the way to the Podi, I had to go under the rails via the pedestrian tunnel and there I saw them.
They were a sign.
7 very nice marbles in the little gutter. Marbles. Marbles not in a child's suede bag. These were lost marbles. Someone lost their marbles. It can happen literally. I was too busy wondering how the kid didn't hear the noisy marbles on the concrete to see that this was a sign. Katy has lost her marbles to think she should still run a full marathon when bodily injury and pain is still unpredictable. I should switch before it's too late for the half. I know I should. But I won't. I'll run it and be thrilled to finish at all. It's a dog leg course, so after 2ish hours of running, i'll be in walking distance from the start if I feel I need to stop. I'm also banking on psychology here. I'm hoping that the excitement of the race will help me block out the pain. ... if it shows up. It's not always there. That's what kills me. That's the root of the dread.
Now, I am not a pain wuss. I drove from Taos, NM to Dallas, TX while my tooth was absessing and my head was exploding. I was by myself and I had to teach the day after I arrived. 10 hours alone in my car screaming every 5 minutes as the pain cycled back. My t-shirt was soaked with tears, saliva and snot. I mean, I was hot! How I didn't come back from that as an engaged woman was beyond me. My mom met me at home with some great knockout drugs, but really by then, the nerve had all but died and my body, having stayed alert for the drive, decided that nothing was going to wake me.
So yeah, I can do pain if I have to, but do I want to?
Here's my faustian deal: Let me finish the Gold Coast running more than walking and under 7 hours. In exchange, I will take a full month off. I'll only ride my bike to work (only a 20 minute ride now that I've decided to brave the streets and go directly there) but that out of necessity. I will stretch and do alllll the exermacises that the docs and podi tell me to do. After a month, I will trickle back slowly and not hit >2 hour runs for 2 months. Let me get to Honolulu so I can run with my mom and dad cheering me on. Let me get there, and I promise to be good. I'll take time off from most activities (I still need to ride my bike to get to work). I'll do more yoga and stretch my tight legs. I will. Please just let me get to Honolulu.
(one run later)
Went out to run my 2 hours and ran 2:25 and felt fine. My first song, and here I'll be showing you my 70s upbringing, was PP&M's "If I Had a Hammer" followed by BOC's "(Don't fear) the Reaper" and I was changing the lyrics to suit my pain needs as I ran. Most people move out of the way when I run as they hear this horrible hissing. I can't sing and I don't run well. To combine them as I huff and puff is an aural crime. Not totally painfree at the end, but most pain was just niggling and I was able to run like a puppy singing to Schnappi at the very end. I didn't have any pain that made me gasp. What this means is that I'll be all excited about my next run and it'll kill me. I guess this will be okay as long as last run before the Gold Coast is horrible. It also means I'll be singing Schnappi as I cross the line. I might be on time or dead last, but over my dead body will I come in looking anything but frisky!
I had a great time with my tunes. I forgot to turn it off and Peer Gynt was giving me the background music I needed as a woman who's recently added more iron to her diet... Peer Gynt: Suite No. 1, Op. 46: IV. In the Hall of the Mountain King. Usually a hill tune, but hey...
I had other ways of helping me get over little pain twinges. I thought of the vampire fish. I thought... Katy, if you start to hurt, you have to think of a pain worse than what you're experiencing. So I thought of the 2km Hornibrook bridge
(oh, it's 2.8 km??!!? now I don't feel so slow). The most frightening bridge. All those kids fishing. Nearly had a Something About Mary
moment when I was running past a kid who decided that right then and there was perfect time to bring the rod back... Because I'm always prepared, I stopped dead before chunks-o-cheek went to bringing up tonight's dinner. Did you know I'm always prepared? I always have an escape plan. I live life knowing most people are insane and just fooling the authorities.
It was a beautiful run along a beach. I'm glad I did it. I'll be okay. I probably won't beat my best (4:17) or even my first (4:29), and there is a strong possibility that with all the walking I might have to do at the end, the palindrome version of these might be the case (hopefully 7:14 and not 9:24), but I'll know why. I'm okay with it. I'll time my splits and then look at how I did before Santa Painaclaus came to town.
I'm getting that bloody finisher's shirt!