Monday, December 10, 2012

Check your head

I ran seven miles with D yesterday morning as part of our Death Valley half-marathon training plan.

This week, I got to choose the route. We're alternating route-finding responsibilities during our training, which I admit frightens me since D is a Marine and not afraid of running up and down little things like mountains. This time, all we had to do was run the flat flat flat southwestern section of the Santa Ana River Trail. (I'll be badass next week.)

Despite the paved trail, the oxygen-rich sea level air, the breeze coming in off the ocean, and blissful southern California winter temperatures, not to mention my handsome running partner, I felt like a tub of lard for all seven miles.

For the first two miles I said nothing about it, hoping the feeling would pass once I warmed up. Then I realized I'd left my handheld water bottle—filled with cold, delicious Powerade—in the car. As if on cue, I suddenly became very thirsty. You always want what you can't have.

Morale improved slightly at the halfway point but quickly deteriorated, now that we were running into the sun and I felt like I had a mouth full of peanut butter. I passed the time by making a mental list of all my sins leading up to this run: ate dinner too early the night before, drank champagne on Friday evening, didn't go to bed early enough, forgot my stupid water bottle in the stupid car.

I soon grew tired of all this negativity clouding my brain. It sure wasn't making the time pass any more quickly. Finally, my GPS watch beeped at the seven-mile mark, but I kept pressing on for another tenth of a mile to arrive at the actual trailhead. Punishment for being a big baby, I reasoned. I'm looking forward to redeeming myself next weekend.