LEARNING – disappointment and perseverance

I did it!  Eventually.

I had been training for the Seattle half-marathon for the previous 2 months and I was all set for the big day this past Sunday Dec. 1. I was all set that is,  until I woke up Saturday morning with what appeared to be food poisoning. A horrible day of vomiting, diarrhea, little food, and lots of sleep ensued – it was not quite the race preparation I was planning. Needless to say, I didn’t make it out on Sunday morning and I was very VERY disappointed. It was a depressing day for me; not only did I still feel kinda crappy, but my disappointment managed to get the better of me and I spent the day in a lazy, gloomy, blanket-wrapped state. I felt like I let myself down and I let all the people who were supporting me down too. I felt like a quitter, like this was just another item on the list of things I said I would do but I didn’t. I knew it was all out of my hands, I didn’t choose to get sick – but I still felt let down.

It was a bad place to be mentally. I had to snap out of it. And snap I did.

I made a plan. Monday I would get myself back to normal – healthy food, lots of vitamins, plenty of green smoothies, and rest. Tuesday I would run my half-marathon – just me, myself, and I for all 13.1 miles. Wednesday I would reward myself with a trip to the spa. Thursday I would finally start planning for my trip to Thailand next Tuesday. Then I followed the plan.

Monday (healthy day) went off without a hitch. I was feeling good and getting excited for my run. Tuesday (run day) started off with a protein and carb rich breakfast hash, a couple of chores, and planning a route to run around Seattle. By mid-morning I changed into my running clothes, strapped on my sneakers, and set off on Mile 1 of the course. My route was big loop around Seattle through parks, over bridges, around lakes, and up one gigantic hill. It was bright and sunny but fairly frigid at times. Here it is in photos – because it was my race and I could stop and take pictures if I damn well pleased.

My route. My phone died at the end and didn't record the final mile.

My route. My phone died at the end and didn’t record the final mile.

First I ran down through the Arboretum to the shores of Lake Washington.

First I ran down through the Arboretum, under the 520 bridge, and to the shores of Lake Washington.

Lake Washington looked mighty cold.

Lake Washington looked mighty cold.

While crossing over the Marsh Islands I happened upon a local resident.

While crossing over the Marsh Islands I happened upon a local resident.

and then there were the stairs...

and then there were the stairs…

Across the Montlake Bridge and through the UW campus along the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Across the Montlake Bridge and through the UW campus along the Burke-Gilman Trail.

A pit stop at Gasworks Park.

A pit stop at Gasworks Park.

It really was a beautiful day.

It really was a beautiful day to run around Lake Union.

Under the I-90 bridge.

Under the I-90 bridge.

Then some more stairs up to the Fremont Bridge.

Then some more stairs up to the Fremont Bridge.

Past the Space Needle and through the streets of downtown.

Past the Space Needle and through the streets of downtown.

Along the shores of Elliot Bay and then up the steepest and longest hill - Madison Avenue.

Along the shores of Elliot Bay and then up the steepest and longest hill ever – Madison Avenue.

I ended up walking more than I hoped, but I also ended up running more than I ever have before. All in all it was probably a 60-40 walk/run split. My left calf was cramping from the midway point and my right foot was paining me from the beginning. It was a true test of will for me and I persevered. I trudged all 13.1 miles of my route and by the end I was hurt and tired and hungry and oh so happy.

Had to take a post-run selfie with my official half-marathon bib.

Had to take a post-run selfie with my official half-marathon bib.

It took a bit over 3 hours and more than 1500 calories. My fastest mile was the second and my slowest was the eleventh. I climbed and descended over 1300 feet, from the top of Capitol Hill down to sea level and back again with a few hills in between. My course was different than the one I would have run on Sunday – it would have been rather difficult to run down the middle of I-90 with out it being closed. My course had steeper hills and it went around a lake. My course didn’t have any gatorade stands or port-a-potty stops, no cheering fans or competitors to help me keep pace. I was all alone, but it was okay. I was all I needed, and my course suited me just fine.

The pride and joy of Tuesday’s post-run bliss more than made up for Sunday’s sad situation. I took it easy the rest of the day and had a well deserved good night’s sleep.

Wednesday (spa day) was a much needed reward. I soaked and steamed and heated all my hurts away. And then I ate a huge bowl of Korean Bibimbap (yummm), and soaked some more.

Thursday (today) is going swell. I got my ‘Southeast Asia on Shoestring’ Guidebook and took the ferry over to visit with the family for a few days before I depart. My legs are still sore but my spirits remain high. My disappointment led to my perseverance, and my perseverance led to happiness. I couldn’t ask for more.

Speaking of asking for more – in my last post I asked my friends and family to support me in my fundraising effort Run Rene, Run to benefit Child Haven International – and they did! To the tune of $330. Thank-you to all who donated. I truly appreciate your support.

Now to plan that trip to Thailand. Hmm…

 

Thanks for reading!

-Rene

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2 responses to “LEARNING – disappointment and perseverance

  1. That was quite an accomplishment. I’m looking forward to your trip to Thailand – have seen photos and it seems a magical place to visit. Congratulations on what you accomplished and on your plans.

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