Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cut Short

That was ugly. At 16 miles I started to feel cruddy and by 18 was certain I was just a few steps from going off the cliff down into Bonk Canyon. So I stopped running. I walked the two miles home from there. No 20. Instead, 18 miles, the first eight @ 7:45 and the last 10 at 7:30. The only other thing to say is I'm an idiot; once again I did not respect the necessity of fueling a long run. At eight miles I had most of a gel (call it 75 calories) and half a serving of Accelerade (50 calories). Yeah, that's going to do it on a (planned) 20-miler, 125 calories and 6 oz. of water! The thing is, my stomach tolerates eating and drinking well on a run. There's no reason not to feed the fire. It's just laziness and bad planning. It's just stupid.

All that said: the last two miles were no walk of shame. My legs appreciated the opportunity to unwind. My whole body relaxed. My mind, too, eventually. I went around and around about the failure that the run was; about the training I've done for Eugene and how it compared with other races; about the aches and pains; about the unlucky truth that three hours don't last just a little bit longer; and about the gray Oregon sky, that fucking gray Oregon sky. For a moment I had myself believing that if it were blue, everything would have been OK. The plan, the pain, the passage of time. The sky. TS Eliot said, "April is the cruelest month" (as Art Spander readers well know), no doubt as he was training for a May marathon. But in the end he wrote, "Shanti shanti shanti."