It started out ok. Even though I had to pee since the second I left the office, and refused to stop at one of the port-a-potties along the trail (G-ross). Even though I was a little bit tired from having run four days in a row, and was into my fifth. Even though I was doing my first ladder workout. Even though I was wearing my watch which always made me run a little faster. I was just SO EXCITED to be out of the gym, off the treadmill and outside running.
I'm usually not that prissy when it comes to running. I get dirty, I sometimes spit, I don't mind running through puddles or running in the rain. Except I hate bugs. All summer there have been a large number of tiny little bugs swarming in some of my favorite running locals. Especially in the early evening time that I run, and maybe the fact that I am always running next to water. They are so tiny and almost invisible unless you are looking in the right light, but usually even that isn't a problem as long as you remember not to run with your mouth open (ew).
Yesterday's run, however, was nothing short of a disaster. What started out as good, started feeling awkward and icky after about a mile when I realized the bugs, instead of being in concentrated clusters along the road, were EVERYWHERE. I could feel them hitting my face, even when I kept my head down and looking at the ground. I began breathing with heavy exhales to avoid swallowing any in my path (this proved somewhat ineffective) and it was only a matter of time before one flew directly into my right eye causing me to stop completely, step off the path and blink until it was gone. When I stopped I realized that there were bugs stuck to the front of my shirt, my hands, and legs and I was beginning to get so frustrated I wanted to turn around and give up. I wanted to admit defeat and go home.
I was so close to quitting, but I made myself push on. "Just keep going," I told myself. Even if you don't end up doing the ladder workout, just get in the miles. Just shut up and do it so you can go home and feel proud of yourself. So I did. I kept going, shaking off my shirt and wiping off my face every now and then. I even managed to get through one ladder, my turn around point, and was halfway through my second ladder when another bug ended up in my eye. This time it was my left eye, and it hurt. Being that I was on the side of the road with no mirror I wasn't really sure how to get it out, but eventually I got it to feel better and I kept going.
Finally, as the sun went down, the bugs disappeared. I was able to complete the workout as planned, and was really proud of myself for not giving up when I was incredibly frustrated. I knew that pushing through something terrible will make parts of the marathon feel easier. And even though that run was incredibly disgusting, frustrating, and a little bit challenging at times, it STILL beat having to run eight miles in the gym.
This is what I felt like last night. Minus all the facial hair. And the really cool goggles.