I told myself I would start running at 2:00. I’ve staled as long as I can. The sheets have been stripped off the bed and are in the process of cleaning. The kids have had lunch and are happily playing with Noni.
I’ve searched the garage looking for the pieces of my Camelbak and cleaned them all. Filling the bladder and sticking it in the freezer to cool for a few minutes.
I’ve mapped my route to try to hit as much elevation as you can in south St. Louis.
I’m dreading this run. My legs are heavy from the 40 mile bike/2 mile run brick on Friday. My shoulders are tight from the 1.2 mile swim on Saturday. I’m not feeling it AT ALL.
I keep telling myself that if I don’t run this run, my hopes of 70.3 are all but gone. If I can’t get my mind around this run, how am I going to get it around 70.3?!
Come on Katie. What is wrong with you? You’ve come this far to give up today. GO RUN!
So I reluctantly kiss the kids, tell my mom thanks for watching them and head out. I start my Garmin and start warming up. And just as what I was worried about became reality. Everything hurts. Tired. So tired.
This sucks. It will start feeling better around mile 2 or 3. Right?
The short answer is no. In fact, around the third mile my left IT band and hip start getting cranky.
This isn’t a good feeling. This is enough of a reason to stop and turn around right? Just stop. Turn around. You don’t want to injure yourself. Good idea.
I stopped running. In fact, I actually turned around and started walking back. But then I got really angry with myself.
What the hell are you doing? You might as well call and cancel your hotel. You’re not going.
That’s all I needed. I turned BACK around and headed further down the route I had mapped. Focusing on my heart rate and trying to stay in Zone 3 which was also NOT working. I hit that hill you see around mile 4.5 and hated life again.
Why didn’t I just turn around back there? This sucks.
I start getting angry again but all this bitching has distracted me from the hill and before I know it, I’m at the top. The strides start coming a little easier. Definitely not effortless but manageable. The pain in my hip is still there but a dull pain. Definitely not gone but manageable.
I WILL BE an Ironman. I WILL BE an Ironman.
I keep chanting to myself. Envisioning myself in the race…I’ve finished the swim, I’ve finished the bike and am looking for any means necessary to get myself through the run.
I start thinking about the target paces my coach has given me for the race. I look down at my Garmin. I start to panic.
Shit. If I can’t speed up now how am I ever going to beat the cutoff for the race. What if I don’t finish?
I look down at my Garmin…Zone 5. Yep, stress will do that. F*$@!
Come on Katie. Get it together. Focus on the run today. Focus on finishing today. I WILL BE an Ironman.
This is what’s going on in my head. About mile 7.5, I’m run/walking. My left IT band is NOT happy but if I don’t finish I don’t get home.
Do whatever you can. You ARE NOT calling Scott to pick you up. NOT! If you do, he and everyone else will doubt that you’re ready and THAT is not an option.
I turn the last big corner on the street leading to my neighborhood and I remember it’s all downhill. Almost giddy at the thought, I find a little more in the tank and speed up some.
Yeah. Nice job. You’re almost home. The kids are playing in the backyard, I can see them as I pass my neighbors. I feel like I’m coming in to the finish of a big race. I’m almost crying. What the hell is wrong with me? Who cares, I’m DONE!
I quickly strip off my shoes, socks and shirt and proceed to the hammock. I give myself a little time to rest and think about the struggle that was the run. I think about how uncomfortable it was. I think about how happy I am to have it behind me. Then it’s time to move on. Groceries aren’t going to buy themselves.
THIS…THIS is reality. THIS is really what goes on in my head. The back and fourth. The internal negotiations. The humility, the fear, the self doubt and then the finish.
At this point, I’m right where I am. I’ve trained hard. I’ve pushed myself to places of discomfort and then pushed beyond.
T minus 2 weeks…Ready or not…here I come.