I was pretty sure my face was going to melt off today. You know, like the guy in Indiana Jones at the end of the movie when he looked at the Ark of the Covenant.  That's how I felt at one point today. Needless to say this drama queen is struggling a bit with the sudden heat wave we are experiencing. Got pretty nauseated during speed work yesterday and hit the trails this morning with the same. I knew I had near 3 hours of running on the agenda. After 30 minutes I called it quits. Mild - mod nausea and lack of desire to try and work through it made me throw in the towel. I tried to tell myself my stomach was just not right, maybe I was sick. Hindsight being 20/20, the reality is I knew I would fight the heat/humidity to accomplish what I had on my agenda and I wasn't ready for the fight.  Of course all the way home I was kicking myself for not staying out there. Queasy feeling left by noon and I felt like my old self, which made me all the more frustrated that I didn't finish what I started this morning.  Sooo....I drove back to the trails and started at 3pm. Probably not the wisest decision..and many more unwise decisions followed. Anyway,  I knew I would now HAVE to deal with the heat/humidity full force and in a way that's what I wanted-dumass! Temps 85 with 63% humidity. Warm soup. Used to running in 40-50 cool mornings or maybe a 65-70 deg lunch run. Wake up call to summer.  The run today called for me to stay in a certain speed range for 2 hours. I knew this might be tough with me being totally not used to heat/humidity, but by God I was gonna try....hmmm...sense where this is going? Well of course I started out faster than the speed zone, trying to bank pace while I was feeling okay. Feeling ok lasted about 15 minutes. Then I got hot, and the nausea started. I told myself I could keep this up for 2 hours, that I was not pushing myself beyond my ability...so I did not relent any.  The nausea progressed, I struggled to get sips of water down on a belly that didn't want it and I pushed ...still convinced I wasn't. After 45 minutes I despirately wanted to quit. I slowed a little hoping to appease my body and still get what I wanted....to stay at the faster end of the speed zone. By near an hour I was convincing myself that there was just something wrong with my stomach that day....that I needed to quit because I just wasn't used to the heat, that I was overworked, underpaid.....Waaaa!  Literally, the wimpering began. Then I realized I had a choice.  I could quit..I was ready...at that point I was done. And I was doing a good job at convincing myself that there was just something wrong with my stomach that day, that I had good reason to quit... And I would learn to quit when things got tough and uncomfortable and painful.  I realized there was another option.  I could quit fighting and listen to what my body was begging me to do and see, just see if I could make myself feel better and continue to move forward, even if it meant...oh dear God no!...not being able to stay in the pace zone on MY agenda. I love challenges so I determined I would see this as a challenge could I make myself feel good enough to NOT quit. So I did. I didn't like it. I didn't think I would feel any better, but I made myself slow my ass down. I started listening to my body. I pulled my shoulders back and stuck my chest out just a little...the breathing became easier.  I quickened my cadence and took shorter steps, keeping my feet under me, especially uphill and over rocks and roots, taking 2 steps when normally I might just take a little longer leap. I focused on my arms-relaxed, letting them swing foreward and back, not across in front or as 1 unit with my torso.  It only took about 10 minutes before I came back to life and believed I might actually be able to run for another hour. I was able to start drinking more water, I took in 2 gels. I stopped and chatted with another trail runner.  It worked. I was liking the result. Not only did I feel like I could finish, but I was completely OK with slowing down and relaxing. I was actually enjoying it.  It also gave me confidence that maybe I can do this when things get tough at San Juan, and Leadville...to figure things out when they get tough, listen to my body, find ways to keep moving forward..find ways to get back to good.  I was also glad my face didn't melt off.

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Comment by Lori Enlow on May 20, 2013 at 6:36pm

Thanks Melinda, I seem to struggle with the same demons time and again, humbling to have to learn the same lessons over and over again, but I am learning and growing...or at least finding humor in the process...

Comment by Melinda on May 20, 2013 at 5:11pm

As always, I draw so much inspiration from your posts. 

Comment by Lori Enlow on May 20, 2013 at 6:44am
I never in my wildest dreams knew where running would take me or where I will go, but I'm loving the ride!
Comment by Karen Blackert on May 20, 2013 at 4:32am

Awesome, Lori! I've been reading Scott Jurek's book and he writes a lot about the mental aspect of ultra running. I've been absorbing it all like a sponge! Your post is one more reminder about what I'm really training; my brain more than my body. I love that instead of just sticking it out, you were able to DO something about it and finish! :) I hope I can be as calm and clear-headed when it happens to me!

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The Cool Impossible: Run Beyond Limits

 
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