Tag Archives: swatca

A Failed Training Run….and How it Actually Ties to Teacher’s Convention!


I have had off of work since last Friday. Had our regular weekend, however, ours was busy with my in-laws coming down to visit. It was Family Day on Monday (same day as US Presidents Day) so no work for everyone. Then, our district had the Tuesday and Wednesday off. South Western Alberta Teachers Convention was held at U of L today and will continue tomorrow. And then another nice weekend before back to the grind next Monday.

This is all fine and dandy. But….my sleep schedule has been out of whack since the start of this break. I find it necessary to stay up till some ungodly hours watching shitty television. This morning, I had to get up at a somewhat respectful time of 7:15 am so I could get ready for convention. Fast forward to coming home, I laid in bed with Snoopy at 3:15. In my head, I was going to take an hour nap and then go on my run….

5:59 pm. Snoopy decides it time to finally wake up, which in turn, gets my ass out of bed. The plan of no alarm and relying on Snoopy’s internal food clock failed me. I quickly got up, fed the dog, and headed outside. I was supposed to do 6-8 800 meter repeats with a 400 meter jog in between. The 800 meters were supposed to be at a sprint in good form. I was planning on doing the first 800 as I ran to the Civic track by the curling club, then I would do the 400 m jog, do 4-6 repeats in the track, and head back with my 800.

I went out strong on my first 800. This was on sidewalks and slightly uphill, but I powered through. I felt good, not great, when done, and then went into the 400 m jog. I had gotten to the track just before my second 800 was about to begin. The shale track, which I have successfully ran Yasso 800s on before, was wet and squishy. Footprints were all over and footing was not great. I started the second 800 on the back stretch of the track, but I only made it 3/4 around at full speed when I had to slow down.

My footing was off. It was getting darker as it was 6:30 pm. My hip, which I had loads icy hot on, was in a lot of pain. I was tired, my legs were heavy….I went into a slow jog, and then headed back home. I completed a measly 1.65 miles and had only done 1 of the 6-8 sets.

I’m pretty let down right now with how this went. I have had a tough week and a half coming off of my 1:35 Hypothermic Half. My recovery hasn’t been going to best and I haven’t been able to do all my workouts to the best of my ability. While my longer runs have been successful, these speed workouts since the half marathon have been a mess. The varied sleep schedule and the “vacation” time have seemingly thrown me off. I am hoping this is just a phase and that this Saturday’s 16-20 miler going off without a hitch. My goal Saturday is to get in 18 miles, all within that 8:06-9:23 sweet spot. Then, hopefully getting back into my normal routine next week will sort things out naturally.

This has happened to me before in the past…And I felt like a failure. While I am upset at how tonight’s attempted speed workout went, I am not calling myself a failure. A lot of my optimistic view comes from growth and maturity over the years, but most of it today was in part from a presentation I was at this morning. Our keynote speaker, Debbie Silver, at teacher’s convention today talked about how kids need to experience failure in order to find success. She has a book entitled “Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8”. She explained her points with personal stories and experiences. It all resonated well with my experiences as a high school teacher, and many of the children and students she brought up in her presentation reminded me of students I have taught. It also reminded me of me and this training. It reminded me of how far I have come with my running, how many successes I have had, and how these do in fact outweigh the failures. But the failures are just as important. I fell down tonight, but I got up. And it’s going to be ok.

The Moral of the Story is…Don’t Attempt a 12-Mile Run When Hopped Up on Cold Medication!


So, interestingly enough, my Sunday post for today ties into my last post. But it is a 180 in a sense, since this post shows how much of an idiot I can be. Since taking that “unplanned day off“, I ended becoming more sick. On Friday morning of our SWATCA Teacher’s Convention, I woke up feeling like a bus had run over my body after running a full marathon. My head was pounding, my sinuses were clogged. My throat burned when I coughed. I was just feeling oh-so-lovely. I half-ass got ready for convention, and made my way to the University of Lethbridge at 7:30 am. If this had been a regular school day, I would have strongly considered calling in sick-and I don’t call in sick. I went to the chairperson’s breakfast (I was chairing a secondary mathematics assessment session at 10:30) and forced down some tea and watermelon. I apologize to anyone I came in contact with that day because I either a) looked like death b) ignored looking at you c) ignored talking to you, or d) all of the above.

As soon as I dropped off the evaluations for my session, I drove straight to Shoppers Drug Mart and did a rare thing for me-bought some OTC medicine. I wanted to cure this thing fast. After talking to one of the techs, I decided to go big or go home. I bought a box of Tylenol Complete-Cold, Cough & Flu PLUS mucus relief! The bullet points on the package were made for me–nasal congestion, dry cough, headache, sore throat pain, aches, pains & chills…this would save me.

I religiously took my two capsules every six hours. I took a nap with Snoopy (the beagle is truly the best medicine!). I also made my “I am sick, feel sorry for me” dinner-two packs of ramen noodles with only half a packet of the sodium blast. I was going to these CRAZY extremes because I had a goal-to run 12 miles with marathon club Saturday.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling a ton better. My body didn’t ache (but I didn’t take into account the mass amount of drugs in my system causing this revelation). I got up at 6:30. Had some oatmeal. Hydrated. Dressed in appropriate layers. Bid my husband ‘adieu!’ and drove to Runner’s Soul. I could do this.

I had the wise idea to run with the marathon trainers today instead of the half. While I am only doing half marathons this year (my full won’t be until the Goofy Challenge in January 2014) I wanted to get 12 miles in, as my first half of the year is next Saturday-The Hypothermic Half in Lethbridge. . So, I set out with it in my head that I would do a 10-minute mile pace, drink lots of water from my Osprey water backpack, and I’d be good. It’d be that easy.

OK…any of you in Lethbridge or Alberta know how windy it can get down here. Saturday was, excuse my French, fucking ridonkulous. Any direction you turned, the wind was against you. I tried thinking positive, thinking it would get better...but that never happened. Anyway, I ran the first 5 miles pretty solid. I was feeling great. I was on pace, going slower than normal, but sticking with the plan. Honestly, after the first 4, I think I said out loud all theatrical and such “I’m a third way done!” I really had it in my head that running cures the common cold.

Then, I hit Bridge Drive. Please take a second to look at this map, though it doesn’t do justice:

The wind was piling in, the incline was steep, my throat was starting to burn, and my chest was hurting. I kept my head up and lifted my knees, taking smaller steps. But I had to walk. My chest was pounding so much and I started panicking. I didn’t want to quit. I basically power walked straight into the wind for 3/4 of a mile up Bridge Drive. Once I got to the top, I was going to start running again-I didn’t want to quit. So I started a slow jog, but then almost burst into tears. My body was giving up-Tylenol Complete can only do so much.

I smartly had brought my cell phone in my backpack and called my husband. I asked him to pick me up from the westside Tim Hortons. I felt defeated. When he got there to get me, I apologetically said “I’m Sorry” for no reason. What was I sorry for? Making him come get me? Being an idiot? Oh yeah-I was sorry for not listening to him….because before I left this morning, I forgot to add he said “I really don’t think you should be running.”

He’s sitting on the other couch right now as I type this. He told me yesterday he wanted me to title this blog as “Always Listen to Your Husband.” I won’t do that, but I will say that he was right. And I was an idiot to try to do otherwise yesterday. I came home, took a shower, and drugged myself up more. I made my same lovely “feel sorry for me I am sick” dinner, and went to bed by 8:30 pm. Yes, I even feel better today than I did yesterday, but that’s the power of these drugs-it’s hiding the fact I am still sick.
I ran 6 miles yesterday. 6 miles sick. 6 miles I shouldn’t have even run. But, in my mind, I was supposed to run 12 miles. Initially, I was pissed I quit. This is only the second time in the past 9 years I had to stop and call someone to pick me up. . I still need to learn when it is more important to take a day off, and that it isn’t the end of the world. My legs and my body have been conditioned to this type of running over the years, so I will be fine this coming Saturday for my race–as long as I take care of myself first. It’s not like I am going out there trying to win a title or get my personal best. I am going out there to run for my dad–which is why I think I put the pressure on myself to run too soon. But, please note–if I had been able to call my dad to pick me up at the top of Bridge Drive on Saturday, I would have gotten in the car and his first words would have been “You’re a ::insert swear here:: idiot Andrea. You should have just stayed home.” And I would have responded-“You would have tried to do the same ::insert swear word here:: thing!”

In my medicated mind, this picture exemplifies how I wish my drive home from Bridge Drive had been.

In my medicated mind, this picture exemplifies how I wish my drive home from Bridge Drive had been.