I mentioned a bit back that I was training for a half marathon in April. As of today, that is exactly seven weeks from now, which means I have completed ten weeks of training. The training consists of a short run, about 5km, mid-week and a run on Sunday, alternating long and short (3 or 4 miles) every other week. The long ones keep getting longer, building me up to the race distance of 13 miles.
Last week, I ran the longest distance I have ever run in my life. I completed 8 miles or 12.8km. Less than half way, my thought to myself was, "today, this is going to hurt".
Self fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. Or my body being brutally honest with me?
I wanted to quit so bad but knew that I couldn't. I have to do the distances laid out in my training schedule or I won't be prepared for the race. And 13 miles, without properly preparing....well let's just say that I ain't seen nothing yet if I thought it hurt last week.
So I did it. I finished. I didn't worry about my time. My goal for the race is to finish it. The time is irrelevant.
But the problem is that since I finished last Sunday I have had a perpetual headache. I am not prone to headaches. I normally get one or two a year. I have been popping the drugs left right and center. Don't worry, they are legal.
And tired. Have I mentioned how tired I am? I have been sleeping fine. I normally get eight to eight and half hours every night. And I need that much, trust me. If I don't get my sleep I turn into something from Night of the Living Dead. It isn't pretty, take my word for it. Or anyone who knows me, really.
My work has gotten obscenely busy in the last couple of weeks so the stress levels are up. It happens but once a year and it is a good time to put some money in the bank, or pay my taxes, whatever.
So what is it? The running or the stress?
I am eating enough to fuel a small army and still I am tired. And the headache, while I get some relief, keeps coming back.
Is this my body testing me? Is it testing me physically because mentally I am committed and not wavering from my goal?
For now I will keep going, trying to listen to my body the best I can and take it easy on the short runs. Like today, I was scheduled to do 4 miles. By 2.5 my body was screaming NO. I quit at 3 and quickly sought the approval of my adviser of all things running. Thanks Cheryl, I needed confirmation that I do need to listen to my body. It is smart, it knows its limits.
I will keep going. My goal, it is still attainable so long as I eat right, drink lots of water and rest when I should rest.
And I know this pain, this physical and emotional stress I am feeling, is so much less than some have to endure. And so I do this in honour of them.
If you need me, I'll be downing a side of beef with a protein shake chaser.