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Clinically insane

I’ve heard that the definition of insane is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different result each time. If that is the case then I must be insane.

I bonked again today, and for good reason. I decided to do my 8 mile run without having eaten in 14 hours and without having had anything to drink except half a bottle of water. I’ve tried this sort of foolishness before and had similar results.

Today’s running started out pretty well. I had just run my first 10 minute mile the day before and felt good about how my pace was progressing. The plan for today was to run the first 6.2 miles at a 11:15ish pace as a test for the Dairy Dash 10K on April 10. I’d then slow up or walk the last 1.8 miles to get the milage in. I was pretty confident I wouldn’t have any problems, but that turned out not to be the case.

I did the first mile okay at about a 10:30 pace, but I was already breathing pretty hard. I figured I could slow up a bit since I was well ahead of my planned pace. I slowed a bit, but not too much, but my breathing was getting harder and harder, I felt really bad, and my ears were ringing. By the end of mile two I knew I was in trouble. I pushed on anyway, maintaining about an 11:00 pace and thought about walking at about mile 2.75 to catch my breath, but continued to push on. The third mile was pretty miserable on the whole and the fourth mile was just terrible. When I got to mile 4 I decided to walk for two minutes because I could do that and still be ahead of pace. I was still breathing hard after two minutes, so I just kept walking. At mile 4.32 I had caught my breath and tried running again, but I felt really light headed and started walking again after only about 50 feet. At mile 4.75 I still felt completely spent and decided to call it quits, stopping my watch at that point. I knew my running was through for the day.

But things didn’t end there. I was still 2 miles from my car at this point, so I began the long walk of shame. I was basically give out and I didn’t even know if I could make it back to my car without stopping to rest. I shuffled along at a fairly slow casual walk, but after about a mile I started to feel like I could walk faster, so I did. It’s pretty embarrassing to have to walk past all the runners and “Sunday Walkers” on the greenway in my full running attire (which included 2 watches, MP3 player safety pinned to my shorts, tech shirt, expensive running shoes and socks, and my surplus Marine Corps hat from the 80s). I’m pretty sure everyone out there knew I was out there to run and that I had failed miserably. The uninitiated were looking at me like I was over dressed for a casual walk, and the runners were avoiding eye contact (they knew). Like I said, embarrassing. I got back to my car and immediately set out to get the one thing that would make me feel better, a Chicago Style Gyro, side of rice, and iced tea.

One of the tough things about what I’m doing is that I’m trying to lose weight and train to run at the same time. And since I’ve been on a weight loss plateau for the past couple of weeks, I really wanted to get back to losing weight this week by really watching what I eat and trying to take in much less than I was using during the day. If I were just sitting around watching television, that would be fine, but I’m also running 30 miles a week now and I didn’t take that into consideration today. It’s something I’ve already messed up before and I feel stupid for doing it again just a few weeks later.

Where do I go from here? I keep at it. Weather permitting I plan to attempt the 6.2 miles again tomorrow and possibly the full 8 miles if I’m feeling up to it. I’ll make sure I’ve eaten and hydrated this time before trying anything stupid.