I spent all of yesterday exhausted. As in I had 9 hours sleep but felt like I needed more. As in every time I walked around for more than five minutes I needed to lie down for ten. As in my double strength coffee only managed to get me around a few aisles of the grocery store before I had to call it quits and then provided me with the thrill and excitement of palpitations for the rest of the day.
And it could have all been avoided if I'd been sensible. If I'd run my long, slow run long and slow.
Actually, I did run it long. Not super-long but 20k is always going to be long in my books. It's the slow that I didn't manage so well. But I swear it wasn't totally my fault. I got caught up with the bad boys. The ones who lull you into a false sense of security with their easy pace and their amusing banter.
They get you believing that you're where you should be and then they turn for home and all bets are off. The pace ramps up imperceptibly until you realise that you're panting and feeling a lot more tired than you like to feel with 7k to go. Your watch beeps and shows you that you're running sub-5 minute pace. So you mention this to the wolf pack and they promise that they'll slow down and when your watch beeps again you find that you've actually run the next kilometre a second faster.
That's when you realise that you're out of your depth and out of your league. That you're either going to have to run at race pace for the last 5k or run the last 5k alone. Ignominiously alone. With the whole world knowing that you couldn't keep up.
So pride makes you push onwards. Maybe you can hold on for another kilometre or two or even three. And maybe you can talk them into an extra water stop so you can catch your breath before the pain begins again.
The kilometre that ticks over in 4:44 has you almost crying and begging for mercy. But, surprisingly you still manage a 4:49 for the next and 4:48 for the one after that and somewhere in those three kilometres you start to believe that you're stronger than you thought and you might actually make it home after all.
Luckily the traffic lights are against you so you get a decent breather before tackling the last stretch. Then you see the little green man and the race is back on. Finally you reach The Regatta, the finish line, (in 4:39 pace) and it's all over. You didn't have to face the shame of being dropped. And you didn't die.
In fact you feel irrationally elated because you've just run the last 10k of a 20k run at a pace just 2 seconds slower than the last 10k race you did. Plus you're full of endorphins and we all know how addictive that stuff is.
That's kind of, sort of, exactly how my long, slow run went on Saturday. And that's why I could hardly get out of bed yesterday.
Today's a different story, though. Today I'm back to normal. Thank goodness stupidity doesn't always have permanent effects.
And because I have no photos of my stupidity but can't stand to put a post into cyberspace without an illustration (my grade 2 teacher always liked a good illustration) I've chosen a particularly cute pic of my grandpuppy at his first ever birthday party.
The hat didn't last long.