Remember this book!?
It was one of my favorites when I was a kid! I got it at a book fair when I was in elementary school and thinking back on some of the old stories I wonder if they still sell this sort of thing at elementary school book fairs anymore. They were pretty intense and the illustrations are straight terrifying. I think some of those still end up in my nightmares.
I chose this horse wearing one woman’s high heeled shoe because it is by far the least scary picture in the book. I’m too creeped out by the others to share them here, but if you aren’t familiar and want to know what some of them look like you can Google. Keyword “scary stories to tell in the dark”. Go ahead…I’ll wait…
SEE I TOLD YOU.
Anyway, I have my own story to add to the collection and it’s just as terrifying as the charmingly titled Ghost with the Bloody Fingers. To me at least. We’ll call it:
The Long Run
It was a really dark and stormy night. Or more like a really dark and really foggy early morning. It did look like a horror movie setting out there, which is so ironic. My marathon training is officially in full swing and I set off on my planned 15 miler at around quarter of six. Because of my healing tendon, I gave myself a solid 2.5 hours to complete it and planned to run at an easy pace.
For the first half of the run, everything was pretty cool. I was feeling good and there was some nice humidity in the air that makes breathing so much easier. Around mile 8, I started to unravel. I was getting sore…not in my tendon, but in my glutes and quads. I took a quick fuel break hoping that would help. It didn’t. I got a small rock in my shoe and it was like that sent me over the edge. I started to freak out over how many more miles I had left and how slow I was going, which…who the hell cares? It was a training run and I was still well within the time I had allotted myself to finish. At mile 10 I came to a bridge over the highway and I stopped and didn’t think I could go any farther. I almost called my husband to come pick me up. I was only 10 miles in and how the hell was I supposed to run 5 more? Much less an additional 11 on top of that to finish a full marathon when the time came?
This feeling of complete and total fail washed over me and I actually started crying. Not even a pretty one either. Full on Farrah-from-Teen-Mom-ugly-cry, right there on the side of the road. I was terrible at this and why did I even sign up for this race in the first place!?
Thank goodness it was early in the morning and there weren’t many people out that would have seen me.
After a couple minutes I was able to regain some composure and kept going. I knew if I didn’t finish I would be really hard on myself over it. So I ran some. I walked a little bit. I ran some more. At around mile 13, I came to a busy area with traffic lights and trains that go by. I had to stop for both of these things and both times I almost couldn’t start running again. The lower half of my body felt like it had been dipped in cement. My ankle didn’t hurt, but my quads were screaming like they hadn’t in months and months. Last week’s 12 had been so easy compared to this. This was just horrible in every sense of the word. Worse than ghosts with bloody fingers. My worst run EVER.
But I finished it. I made sure my watched ticked just far enough for it to be my longest run to date and then practically fell on my face in the parking lot near my house.
At the time I felt zero sense of accomplishment; only fear and dismay and a whole bunch of other really negative reactions. How was I supposed to run 26.2 miles if I could barely suck it up enough to run 15?
The realization came a short time later after I had gotten inside, showered, drank like 5 giant glasses of chocolate milk, and laid on the couch in a half-coma for 45 minutes.
WHY HAD THIS BEEN SO AWFUL??
Well probably because…
A horror story in itself. I’m not 100% sure, but for my own sanity, I’m choosing to blame my 15 mile bomb on my recent stomach flu. Just because I felt okay by Friday evening doesn’t necessarily mean I was prepared to run my longest run ever on Saturday morning.
Party of me.
So yeah it was bad, but it’s over and I’m moving on. Physically, I bounced back fast. I had a great yoga class on Sunday and a good 6 mile tempo run on the treadmill yesterday that left me feeling a little more positive. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time reconciling with the fact that my times aren’t what they used to be right now, but if I’m going to do this, I want to be smart about it so I don’t end up in the same position I was in before.
I have an 18 miler in 2 weeks. Fingers crossed.
Have you ever had a run go horribly awry? (I like to think most of us have at some point.) Do you remember that Scary Stories book??