Suck It Up Buttercup

Several months ago, after thinking about how much running I had been doing this year, and after sitting down and tabulating all of the running that I had been doing this year, I came up with the idea that I should be doing even more running this year. Profound, no?

Anyway, way back in the old-time-y days of May I made the decision that I should attempt to run at least 1 half marathon (or longer distance) per month for a year. This challenge was borne of the fact that I had already completed a half marathon (or longer distance) every month since February. The challenge seemed easy given that I already had 4 consecutive months under my belt.

Today I’m here to update you, dear readers, on that goal. I mean, it has been 2 entire months since I jotted down the challenge. So without further ado, I give you my list of half marathons (or longer distances) run since February of this year:

  1. February 2012 – 21.64 km – training run
  2. March 2012 – 25.75 km – training run
  3. March 2012 – 30.56 km – Around the Bay 30k
  4. March 2012 – 21.54 km – training run
  5. April 2012 – 21.21 km – Run for Retinal Research Half Marathon
  6. May 2012 – 43.00 km – Toronto Goodlife Marathon
  7. May 2012 – 21.37 km – training run
  8. May 2012 – 44.04 km – Ottawa Marathon
  9. June 2012 – 21.12 km – training run
  10. July 2012 – 21.14 km – training run

So there we have it. Six months and 10 runs later, with each month containing at least a half marathon distance, and with each run exceeding 21.1km. Which means I have only 6 more months to go. W00t!

Today I almost stopped because of a desire to puke. Almost being the key word.

But the story doesn’t end there. You see, while I am stoked that I’ve finished 6 months in a row, I have to say that today’s run was probably the toughest one I’ve done so far. There were several moments during the run where I fully expected to vomit, quit, quit and then vomit, or vomit and then quit. Today’s run was not pretty. Not by a long shot.

I knew the moment I woke up that I really didn’t feel it today. My legs were like lead. I lacked motivation to lace up my shoes and run. I felt tired. I felt weak. I felt dehydrated. I wanted to do anything but run. I just wasn’t feeling it.

After fuelling myself with some delicious oatmeal, raw peanut butter, and honey, and after slamming back a couple of tall cold glasses of water, I begrudgingly laced up and started to run. The first 5km were, well, awful. I really didn’t want to be running, but I figured if I could just keep moving, maybe something would click.

After 5km, I still felt like garbage.

Just do another 5km, then you can re-evaluate. I told myself.

By 10km, I was still feeling like garbage.

But you’re so close to the half-way point – just go to 10.55km. I kept running.

My body was still not responding.

By this point, I could have stopped. I could have called it quits and decided that today would not be the day that I would finish the half. I could try again tomorrow. Or Sunday. Possibly even Monday. But I couldn’t hold out too long because the month is all too sadly coming to a close.

Suck it up buttercup.

Suck it up buttercup indeed.

Yes, I actually thought this to myself. In fact, I said it out loud. Several times.

Suck it up buttercup.

SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP.

I kept running, one kilometre at a time. While my body never truly got into the groove of running, the kilometres kept ticking away. When I hit the 16km mark I knew that I was going to do it. While this offered some comfort, I was still not really feeling the run.

I kept running.

I distracted myself with math. I distracted myself with mental puzzles. I distracted myself with music. I distracted myself with whatever I could to get myself through the last few kilometres.

Four more.

Three more.

Two more.

Holy shit, one more!

And then it was done. Twenty-one point one four kilometres in 1 hour, 45 minutes and 2 seconds. Considering how crappy I felt during the run, I was stoked with my 4:58 pace. Mainly, I was just happy that I’d finished.

Anyway, it’s several hours later. I’ve rehydrated. I’ve eaten. I’ve stretched. I’ve had time to look back and reflect. Of all of the long distance runs so far this year, I’m going to have to say that this is one of the top three proudest runs for me. Not because it was a ridiculous distance. Not because I finished with a less than 5 min per kilometre pace. Nope. I’m proud of this run because I did it when my body, my brain, my everything was telling me I couldn’t.

Bring on August. My next long run is going to be a piece of cake after today.


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