On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mind games

Saturday: I ran 11m. It was tough. And then it was done.

Oh, did you want more?

Okay, then. There's also this: my mind played games on me during this weekend's long run. Wicked games.

(Maybe not wicked like that.)

Granted, it was in the 80s when we started our long run at 7am. And granted that I had a miserable cold and didn't get enough sleep. And granted... as sad as I am to admit this... I just kind of wasn't feeling it. I haven't been, for a while now.

But this weekend! On one hand, I'm happy that I got an 11m run in. On the other hand, it was hard. When I would stop to walk, my body would instantly yell at me. Dizziness, chills, all of the symptoms of heat exhaustion would hit me. But they were psychosomatic. (I'm pretty in touch with when heat is bad for me and when it's okay, and I wasn't at risk for heat exhaustion. My head just wanted me to think I was so I'd stop.)

It should have been a great run. Kim was in town from Chicago and we met up at the start. The course for the run was multiple loops of Central Park. Around mile 5, I had convinced myself to stop. Not even Kim's company was pushing me through (I felt terrible and Kim was - literally - running circles around me to avoid taking walk breaks). Not even my plans to meet Samantha for brunch after were convincing me to keep running. Just then, I heard someone say, "Are you Tracy?" It was Tara! Meeting her helped me was one of the only things that got me through a second loop of the park. We gossiped,* we walked, we drank a lot of water, we finished 11m. On one of the hottest days in New York history.

So, 11m done. Ugly. But done.

*It's amazing to me that the NYC running community can be so big and so small at the same time. Here we were, two women who knew each other only from the internet, and yet we were able to immediately start talking about other runners we knew (also from the internet). Maybe the NYC running community is big but the NYC internet running community is small?


  1. You are such a badass for doing the LTR yesterday! I read through the frightening heat warning e-mail from NYRR and decided late the night before that I would rather not risk it - I have had some close calls with the heat. However, when I went out for errands for Saturday, I found it wasn't as brutal out there as I thought, so I resolved to fit in my long run on Sunday instead. I managed 10 miles, the most since my ear surgery! There were plenty of breaks, but my pace was normal considering the weather, and aside from a naggy leg cramp I felt great! YAY us!

  2. I always coveted that woman's body from the video...but didn't get the peeling nail polish boredom thing.

    I did almost 15 miles over 2 days, 6 of it inside, and thought I was a freaking Ironman.

  3. Holy shit. I think we were seperated at birth. My long run on Sunday was HORRIFIC. Average was 11:30 for 13 miles. My legs were lead from the beginning and end up walking near the end. Told my running buddies to leave my sorry ass behind and I would meet them at the car. We got to have better runs, right? Aren't we due? Seriously. WE ARE DUE!!!

  4. i blame you for this!!!


    dammit tracy why did you inspire me to start a BLOG

  5. Well, I think you did great considering how shitty you felt but I know that is not what you want to hear, so instead I will say GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

    (but you know I am just kidding)

    I thought the run was great (the being supported part, not the heat and all the chafing afterward) and loved running with you two. I wish I could do more of those long runs!

  6. This is a great description of just about every long run I've had lately. Last week's actually wasn't that bad. Apart from that, though, this has not been my training season so far.