I’ve always been an “all or nothing” person and athlete. I’ve never understood moderation in terms of athletics. I hear people talk about the importance of taking rest days, but I always thought “that’s not for me,” my body doesn’t need a rest day, if I take a day off, I’ll lose everything I’ve worked so hard for. I’ve implemented a “sweat every day” rule, so while I work out every day, generally one of them will be a light and long card piece, and that will constitute as my rest day.
Over the summer, I decided my “rest day” was going to a long and slow run around a 10 mile loop in my town. After starting I decided 10 miles wasn’t long enough and started adding loops on other streets as I went.
It was a hot day and soon my water bottle was dry and I was looking at small mud puddles on the side of the road, contemplating sticking my head in and taking a swig from them. At this point I had been running for about an hour, and had at least another hour to go. I wasn’t too worried, I stayed in the shade and decreased my speed slightly. About twenty minutes later and after adding another 1.5 mile loop to my run, I realized I had stopped sweating. Not good, but I wasn’t about to give up and walk, so I took my phone/ipod out of my arm band and called my mom.
“Mom, hey I’m running on Durham Point and I stopped sweating, can you drive me some water?”
I felt selfish asking her to bring me water, but as a fellow runner, I knew she would understand my plight, and sure enough 15 minutes later her car pulled around a corner and she handed me a water bottle.
Thankful, I continued running, my fatigue growing in the heat, and soon that water bottle was gone too. I glanced at my watch, I had been running for about 2.5 hours, and I was still a couple miles from my house. Curious, I looked at my GPS and saw “26.something.” I was shocked, I had just ran marathon distance (clearly my mind wasn’t thinking straight, as I’d only been running 2.5 hours and in extreme heat and fatigue). I congratulated myself, but then started to worry.
I called my mom again.
“Mom, I’ve stopped sweating again and I’m close to home, but I think I’m going to pass out” (I have problems with low blood sugar, so this was a real concern).
I continued running until she came and picked me up. In the car I went to upload my run to dailymile (a website that you can log your miles in), and that’s when I realized: my GPS had switched over to kilometers! I deflated. I had been so excited that I had run a marathon on my easy day, and it turns out I’d only run 16. something.
Even though it was still over six miles more then I had set out to do, I was extremely disappointed in myself. I’ve been planning to be an Ultramarathoner ever since I discovered the sport, and I thought I’d finally reached a major mile stone: the casual marathon, but unfortunately that was not the day.