Nothing gives a blow to your confidence like a shitty week of training. Although the weather has been lovely with feelings of fall, my legs and mind haven’t been in it, and I’m left feeling fatigued and grumpy after each workout.
Cut to Saturday, where I had 16 miles on the books with Jeff and Susan. And since they’re both exceptionally faster than I, I figured this would boost my self esteem—should I be able to keep up, that is.
I created a route that encompassed both Central and Riverside Parks, with the furthest point being the George Washington Bridge. While NYC Summer Streets are fine and dandy, the continual stop and go traffic makes it difficult for a 16 mile training run.
The three of us started around my marathon goal pace (8:00). It felt tough, and with all my huffing and puffing at two miles in, I realized it was going to be a difficult day for a long run.
We reached Riverside Park, and, after a few more miles, our chatting stopped. Jeff ran ahead of Susan and I, and there was nothing in the air but the noises of the West Side Highway and passersby. I felt exhausted. I turned my headphone on to see if some music would shake the dreadful feeling out of me. It did nothing.
More miles passed. Susan tried her best to talk to me about anything to keep me occupied from running. We met with Jeff at a fork in the path, who mentioned how far away the bridge actually was. An optical illusion at it’s finest.
More miles. More hatred. My right arm was getting more sore by the minute. I apologized to Susan for how slow I was. She continued to bring up random things to keep my mind off of how fucking far we were from that godforsaken bridge.
Finally—FINALLY—we reached it. We fueled (or attempted to), and set off back towards Central Park. Jeff stayed with us this time, who brought up my fiancé and I’s bachelor/bachelorette parties. This conversation only lasted a half a mile.
I slowed down even more, and fell way behind Jeff and Susan.
And then my right arm started going numb. When shaking it out didn’t work, I slowed to a walk and stretched it out.
And then I started panicking. (Should you have anxiety issues like myself, I don’t recommend this, especially when your comrades are now a mile ahead of you.)
My chest was pounding, and I started feeling queasy. I poured water down my back, performed my breathing exercises, and picked back up to a slow jog. I finally met up with Jeff and Susan around 96th Street, and, after explaining what happened, told them to go ahead of me.
Somewhere on the streets of the Upper West Side, I lost it. I felt beaten up, dehydrated (and had already gone through three bottles of water), and my thighs were cramping. I knew the $10 in my pocket wouldn’t be enough to get me back to the East Side.
I cut into Central Park, and walked along The Pool. I continued the walking and jogging routine across the park.
I met with Jeff and His Lordship at our local coffee shop. I was greeted with a, “Whaddya want?! Iced coffee?,” and a “KEVIN KLINE WAS JUST IN HERE.” I declined (and was very excited about the fact that Kevin Kline is my neighbor), and purchased some Gatorade.
And then I fell apart.
His Lordship consoled me, and suggested it was my fuel.
Who knows. Sometimes, we just have a shit week in the midst of training. And the only thing to do is to begin again the next week. So, that’s what I intend to do.
Begin again tomorrow.