I think my summer running ended yesterday, with the Bo-Fest Half Marathon. I thought I was prepared, and certainly was excited to run it! But, I ended up walking pretty much the entire route. I don't know what happened-- I wasn't prepared well enough, or I had an anxiety attack. I think it was both. All I know is that I could not run without having difficulty catching my breath and having my heart race way faster than it should have been. It was very frustrating for both Bud and I. Bud was with me most of the way, and suggested that I pull out, but I didn't want to, although it was really close a couple of times. I finally finished at 3:14. I am very disappointed, and it has made me think about why I run.
I realized this summer has been a very hard one for me running wise. I wasn't running as well as I know I can, and that was something I just didn't want to face. I lost my joy for running--it became a chore, and thinking about where I was going to run, when I was going to run, and how far I was going to run were the only thoughts in my head. I was thinking yesterday during my "walk", about my first half-marathon 4 years ago. I was so excited and happy to run that race; I took in all the sights, talked to fellow runners, and had a smile on my face the whole time. That hasn't happened in a long time, so it leads me to believe that while I feel better physically after running however far, I don't enjoy it. It's become stressful. I started running about 7 years ago because I didn't want to walk--it took too long! I remember being thrilled when I could run a continuous mile. Yesterday, I felt like I had never run in my life. I was shocked that my mind and my body were working against each other so vigorously. My mind was definitely angel on one side, devil on the other. As Bud says, and as I very well know, running is 90% mental, and my mental game was shut out completely. I guess this race was my "come to Jesus" moment.
So after a sleepless night, in which just thinking about running again made my heart race--I think anxiety--what about you--I still don't know what I'm going to do. I have signed up for the Des Moines Half-Marathon which takes place on October 17th. My friend C-Joy is walking her first half-marathon, and I am debating switching to walking it. I know I'll be there to cheer her on, that's for sure. I did something to my left hamstring yesterday, and it really is painful! Even if I wanted to run, I don't think I could or should until I can walk without limping, and bend over without pain. I'm afraid it's too close to the half-marathon to be able to run it without having problems. Maybe I'm being forced to stop, and regroup. And, I am sure walking it with C-Joy would be a lot of fun, and the first and only time I have participated in a race with a friend next to me the whole way. Usually, I go it alone. Or, Kelly kicks butt and races far far ahead of me! :)
Anyway, I think I will stop running for awhile, whatever I do in Des Moines next month. Bud and I discussed some other options, and I think I will take the fall and winter to try some new classes at the Y, ride my bike before the snow flies, and we'll see in the spring. I'm pretty sure I won't be doing any more long mileage runs. Whatever I do, I will keep exercising somehow! Here's to a new chapter.