Friday, August 17, 2012

System Cleanse

No, this is not a post on my juicing fascination. Or about the blind date who refused to feed me as he was mid-watermelon cleanse. (I heard about his intestines in enough detail to determine a second date was not necessary). Rather, there are three experiences which I need out of my system before tomorrow am: My Three Worst Runs (Please don't associate the final word with the previous intestinal reference).


Courtenay, BC. We were on tour with our opera production. Fancy, right?! Oh, wait...we were touring to Courtenay. In November. A colleague of mine had never run more than 10 miles and wanted to do a half marathon, so we decided the next morning was the perfect time to do it. I have never been more mistaken. It was freezing cold and raining what felt like ice. Snow would have been SO much better. Neither of us were properly clothed for the climate...shorts, capris, light jackets. It. Was. MISERABLE. Within the first mile my feet were soaked through from the puddles which made it all the more freezing. Around mile 5, I started getting an awful headache which made my vision start to go a bit funny. 8 miles to go??? Not a chance. We turned that boat right back around (wish we'd actually had a boat), vanquished by the rain. I have never hated running more then at that moment.
Luckily, we tried again the next morning. Courtenay is actually a quaint little town, and when we left town and got into the more wooded areas it was breathtaking. Half marathon attempt #2 was successful and even pleasant. But not pleasant enough to erase the memory of #1.



Supposedly I was training for a marathon that was to occur in two weeks. The supposedly bit comes from the fact that I had hurt my back whilst in Tulsa and took about 5 weeks to get back to real running. I decided with a talented soprano friend and fellow runner to go out for a run around White Rock Lake. She would loop once for 9 miles and I could could go around a second time for 18. I attribute the beginnings of this failure to a Vietnamese food truck.
I had a fabulous pork sandwich and my fascination with food trucks made it all the more wonderful. Until that evening when my intestines revolted. (In the very way I encouraged you NOT to think of at the beginning of this post). I assumed I would be fine in the morning. Wasn't. Went running anyway, determined not to be bested by my body. MISTAKE!!! I felt slow and lethargic, which was worsened by the guilt I felt at slowing down my running mate. But that would have been fine. What wasn't fine was the desperate need I had for a bathroom around mile 6. Found one. And never wanted to leave it. But did and attempted running again. I think I must have been pretty dehydrated at this water intake couldn't keep up with the loss of all my insides. Which led to me hunched over the edge of the trail gagging and wishing I could throw up something besides spit. We walked the rest of the way. And I didn't run the marathon.
At least it was a scenic trail...CLEANSE.


Another attempt at 18 miles. Unfortunately in the sweltering heat and humidity of a Virginian summer. Smooth start. Ran from Reston to Vienna in relative comfort (I'd started early in the day) and after 10 miles was headed back home. Out of water, I decided to make a pit stop to rehydrate at the local Whole Foods.
Downed a water bottle and chocolate milk...yes I love it. And yes it is also endorsed as a fantastic recovery drink post run. Bonus. PROBLEM: I quit running and my body didn't know quite how to respond. So it chose stomach knotting, and a hangout in the grocery store restroom. Sensing a pattern with my overactive metabolism. Unfortunately, I still had to get home. Weak, nauseated, desperately wishing for a magic taxi or friend to surface and offer me a ride, I had to make it 8 more miles. By this time it was about 10:30 and the sun and humidity had combined in full force. What's a girl to do?!? I called my mom. She talked me through almost the rest of my run (coupled with occasional walking stretches) and gratefully helped the miserable time pass. With about 2 miles left she had to go. I may have cried. Farewell all mental and physical fortitude. For a brief stretch I honestly thought I would forever be stuck on a roadside in Reston. Home was not happening. Luckily, I have sisters and Lindsey successfully talked me through the rest of the distance.

I felt over-heated, dehydrated and basically awful for the rest of my day off.


Fortunately I now find each of these incidences entertaining. (Please note that not all of my running is quite this pathetic. I do actually enjoy it on occasion.) But it was time to clean house of all negativity as regards my running. I'll need every ounce of space available for positive thinking TOMORROW!!!

See you on the other side!

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