I knew it wasn't going to be a good run this morning the first time I pressed my snooze button. I rolled out of bed at 6:45 after three snoozes and choked down a few pieces of toast and some Powerade while reading a few chapters in Hebrews. At 7:30 I was still sitting at my kitchen table, barefoot and in pajamas. The night before I had made plans to meet some of my running friends at 8, and it is about a 20 minute drive (depending on the number of red lights) to our typical launch pad. I trudged to the bedroom and began my typical Saturday morning dig for my running clothes. No surprise: they were all dirty. They didn't smell too bad, so I put them on anyway. A guy at a running store once told me that SmartWool socks can be worn for a few runs before being washed...I hope he wasn't joshing me. By 7:45 I sprinted out the door with one shoe tied, my hands filled with my Garmin, my mid-run fruit chews, my non-nerdy fanny pack, and my headphones. I arrived a few minutes late (luckily I have gracious running partners), frazzled, and already short on breath. This isn't gonna be pretty, I thought to myself.
I was right.
Des and Amy casually carried on conversation while I focused on a futile attempt at regulating my wacky breathing. As we racked up miles, my breathing became more out of sync, I felt a twinge of pain beneath my left rib, my left shoulder throbbed, and I felt dizzy. I limped along with them trying not to focus on the pain. We arrived back at our starting point after 7.38 miles so Des and Amy could head home, but I still had 4.22 miles left in my run (someone check my math here..) to get to my 12 miles that my training plan insisted I run. I stopped for a minute or so to part ways with Des and Amy, check my pace (8:28...seriously, these ladies make me do the craziest things), and then I was off. Back up the hill to complete my last leg. I slowed the pace down a bit to what seemed like a tortoise pace, but at least the burning in my rib went away. I resisted the urge to peek at my Garmin, and just kept running, trying to focus on my music and ignore how crappy I felt.
I ran the last .10 mile with my arm up, eyes glued to the screen of my Garmin and came to an abrupt halt at 12 miles. A coughing fit ensued and snot shot out onto my sweaty gloves. I bent over to catch my breath for a few seconds. When I got to my car, I checked my pace, hesitantly. I did not want to see the numbers....
In one week I'll be running my first half marathon of 2013. It's a trail run in Lincoln, so I don't quite know what to expect for a time. I'll post an update after the race!