Saturday, August 6, 2011

how to "recover" from a crap-frickin-tastic run?

First, I apologize because this is going to be a novel, but I need to share my frustrations with this run in an attempt to get past it.

This morning I had what I would call the worst run of my life. I knew it wouldn't be a great run because I would be alone, but I was hoping that I could pull it out somehow. I got up and got my things around - this included my hydration belt (2 bottles filled with water and 2 with propel), ipod, cell phone, PowerBar Energy Blasts (raspberry), and the remains of my Clif Shot Bloks (Mountain Berry?).
While gathering all these things I toasted an english muffin to eat. I felt like I was forgetting something but couldn't for the life of me remember, so I headed towards the Y. It was around 6:40 when I started running. Pardon the horrible blurry picture, but I really wasn't in the mood to cheese it up for another!

I started off on the completed portion of the pufferbelly trail. Less than a mile in I realized what it is that I had forgotten - a very crucial part of my running attire with all the humidity recently - BODYGLIDE. Oh crap, how was I going to run 9 miles without bodyglid? I decided to tough it out and see how I fared. Another few minutes later I started having horrible stomach cramps. I have been battling these cramps for several weeks now when running - and they are SO painful. I felt like I was running strong, my pace was pretty close to where I wanted it. Unfortunately I had to stop and use the bathroom at 1.8ish miles. I ate two shot bloks at about mile 3. And was feeling okay, but then again at 3.5ish miles I had to stop to use the restroom. I started thinking to myself that if I had to stop after EVERY lap it was going to be a LONG run. After the second bathroom break I started running and I hit an emotional wall - I was not even half done - HOW ON EARTH WAS I GOING TO RUN ANOTHER 5+ MILES?!? Luckily it was short lived and my stomach seemed to settle down.

My optimism was short lived, around mile 4.5 I started having pain and cramping in my ribs, just below where my bra sits. It started out sort of mild, so I decided that this run wasn't going to be about time, my goal today was just to finish the whole distance without walking. I slowed down some and tried to focus on anything other than the pain. Just after mile 5 it got to be too much and I had to walk. I tried to walk just long enough to get rid of the pain and then start jogging again. There were several long stretches of walking. In desperation I tried to "hold" my ribs while running and that seemed to help some, but it was by no means a solution, the pain was still making me take frequent walk breaks. I was falling apart inside and just wanted to quit. Somehow I kept pushing though, at mile 7 all I wanted to do was call my mom and cry but I forced myself to keep going.

The last of my mileage was going to be on the Salomon Farm loop around the Y. I decided that I would walk up just up to where the loop parallels the road and run until the trail turned back away from the road. I started running and managed to run past that point, I was pushing myself to run to the next mile marker every time I passed on. I ended up making it about 3/4 a mile without stopping. I hated myself for having to walk, I couldn't understand why everything had fallen apart at not even 5 miles. I was so frustrated when my phone announced that my pace was over 10:00 per mile. I knew I couldn't finish in 90 minutes but I wanted to be as close to that as I could, so after a short walk break I started running again. I was determined to finish off my mileage running, so I set short distance goals (I will run to that tree, then when I got to that tree I would run to the next, etc) and managed to finish off the rest of my mileage running.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 9:23
Mile 2 - 9:03
Mile 3 - 9:45
Mile 4 - 9:11
Mile 5 - 9:46
Mile 6 - 11:14
Mile 7 - 13:02
Mile 8 - 10:33
Mile 9 - 10:02
Final time for 9.02 miles - 1:32:09 (avg pace: 10:13 m/m)

And my pace/elevation chart:

I don't know how much I walked, but it was far too much for my liking. I feel very defeated by this long run and sort of want to quit. I know bad runs happen to everyone, and honestly my time wasn't terrible. But, what bothers me most is that I don't know what caused the terrible pain in my ribs so I don't know how to fix it. Well, that and of course the stomach cramping and digestive issues - I know what causes them but can't seem to find something that cures them.

In an attempt to put a positive spin on this crap-frickin-tastic run, a few positive notes:
- I finished all the mileage
- the lack of body glide ended up not being an issue
- my legs and breathing felt fine with the running I was able to do

Readers poll: Has anyone had these rib cramps while running? Did you figure out what caused them/fixed them? For reference: Mine started out on the right side and ended up traveling around to the left side too.

One last question - what do you do to help yourself get over what felt like an "epic fail" of a run?

1 comment:

  1. Girl - my heart ached while I read this recap. I'm so sorry it was such a struggle. I do have lots of sucky runs which do really help to make my rare good run that much better. I'm wondering if it isn't time t check in with your doctor - those stomach cramps are more severe and have continued longer than anything else I've heard of in the running world. You'll want to get a plan that will work for you if for no other reason than to give you confidence that you can do it!
    I'm sorry it was such a challenge. Hang in there. You kept going and that's way more than I would have done!!!!! ((hugs))