Now if that just isn't the most self-pitying, self-absorbed title, I don't know what is. But that is exactly how I felt at about 10:30 yesterday morning, as I walked two miles back to my car, having cut short an already cut-short long run. Men, if womanly topics make you uncomfortable, you won't want to read any further.
Let's start at the beginning: the sinus infection. I got antibiotics to treat it. I saw, but didn't really think about, the warnings on my birth control pill that state antibiotics may interfere with the medication. I wasn't worried, due to the timing in my cycle that I was taking the antibiotics. I knew I wouldn't be getting pregnant. However, I didn't realize that I was on the brink of PMS onset.
I realized last Thursday that I was very cranky. Way more than normal. So cranky, I turned Thursday's lunch run into a speed session, and followed that up with an intense evening spinning session. And by Friday, I wanted to bury myself in a mountain of pinto beans and cheese (my usual cravings, but stronger than normal), and there was no way in hell I wanted to move my body. Friday night was fun at a Christmas party. I awoke Saturday morning to discover a major hurdle to my 10-mile scheduled long run: heavy downpours outside. After checking the weather and discovering that Sunday morning would be cold but had no rain forecasted, I decided to spend all day Saturday with Chris, exhausting myself by watching a basketball game, doing Christmas shopping and watching the Bourne Ultimatum.
Sunday morning, I was ready for my long run. A little worried about running in weather, as it's been awhile, but I thought I was mentally ready. First, I couldn't find my clothes. Then, I couldn't find my gaiters - panic attack! After tearing the house apart, I found them in my duffel bag. Next up, my water bottles were all dirty. I did NOT feel like washing dishes! I tore the house apart some more, looking for my camelback, and realized I must have left it in the car. I threw on my fleece, and braved the cold in short shorts and flip-flops to get the camelback. Once inside, I realized the bladder was missing. F$#&. I went back out to the car and got the bladder. Everything else was going along fine, until I couldn't find my trail running shoes. Again, tear the house apart as I almost start crying. It's not supposed to BE this hard! I found my shoes after looking on the floor of my closet three times. Duh, right in front of my nose.
I head out of the house and stop by Ike's to pick up coffee and a scone. The coffee is delicious as usual, but after I get in my car and start driving away, I reach into the bag and instead of pulling out a chocolate-frosted chocolate espresso scone, I pull out an unfrosted cinnamon scone. Ooooh, disappointment cuts through me like a knife. When you are cranky, tired, scared of a looming long run that you have no energy for, have already panicked three or four times in one morning and are experiencing REALLY STRONG CRAMPS even though you aren't supposed to start for two days, you really do NOT want a cinnamon scone, even if you normally like cinnaman scones.
But I didn't cry. Not yet. I made it to Sabino, and pulled out my phone to put in my pack when I realized I had a message. It was Chris, informing me that a soccer teammate had been out to Sabino already this morning, and the creek made all the trails impassable. F*&$. F*&$. F*&$. I called Chris back to get details and then whined and whined and whined about my morning and about how I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. He suggested Esperero Canyon. I called a friend who knows the area very well and agreed that Esperero would be a good choice: a few side streams to cross, but nothing major. Of course, that meant my 10-miler would become an 8-miler, but oh well. At least I was still going to get my long run in.
I tried to ignore the freaking out feelings I was struggling with: I hate that trail. I'm scared of mountain lions. And being out there alone. I tried to hike it once and I just didn't like it. I tried to ignore the mental block against this trail that I have.
I ran to the restroom quickly before I left, only to realize that the reason I was feeling so crampy and so cranky: I started my period. Two days early. F*&$. Damn antibiotics. I had supplies, and soon I was ready to go on my way.
The first .75 mile was okay. By 1.3, I started heading up up up a big, steep hill. A few folks were out, but not many. My garmin made a strange sound, and I looked down to realize that apparently, I was going so slow up the steep hill, it auto-paused itself. It wasn't counting any of the time or distance as I trudged wearily up up up. What a blow. I have it set to auto-pause WHEN I STOP. When I STOP. Not when I get below a 2-mile-per-hour pace. When I STOP. I guess I was going so slow up this hill, it couldn't register my pace.
I was so depressed. What was the point of trudging up the hill if my efforts didn't get recognized on my device? (Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was thinking I shouldn't really attach so much significance to an electronic device, but my emotions were too strong for that to come forward.)
I topped out and headed down, tripping and cursing and then stopping abruptly when I heard something in the bushes. (Something that turned out to be the cymbals kicking off the next song on my iPod.) I was really feeling cranky by now, and when I made it to Bird Canyon's creek, I just did NOT feel like jumping over it and heading up into the mesquite bosque on the other side. With my luck, I'd fall in. And the trail ahead just looked scary. (I told you I was a scaredy-cat.)
So I turned around at 2 miles in, and walked out. Didn't run a single step. I hate running with a camelback and did not want to feel it bouncing around on me. I was cramping more. I felt like a petulant child - I just wanted to throw a fit and be done with it. I felt like a failure. Like there was no way I could be an ultrarunner. What kind of ultrarunner lets a few disappointments, fear of mountain lions and her monthly cycle get in the way of training?
Once I arrived back at my car, I called Chris in tears. Poor guy did really well just listening to me whine and moan. After I got home and showered, we went to my favorite restaurant for brunch and comfort food, before heading home to play scrabble and watch football. We eventually fell asleep on the couch, but woke up in time for Chris to head home and Ash to come over.
Ash and I had a great evening, and I also managed to clean the house and get started on the last custom art order for Christmas (unless anyone else wants to order some! hint, hint :) ).
I'm feeling better today, although somewhat ashamed by my feelings/behavior yesterday. I know why I did what I did, and I know I'll be okay. I also know I have two to three weeks of lowered training coming up to get through the holidaze before I really begin my training in earnest in January. So it'll be okay. Right? Right.