11 Miles: An Emotional Breakdown and Negative Splits

by Stephanie on September 4, 2011 · 3 comments

in Running

This week’s schedule called for a long run of 11 miles, the longest training run I’ve ever done (I didn’t even do 11 miles before my first half marathon!).  I decided to do the run on Sunday morning because it was supposed to (and did) rain all day Saturday.  The nice thing is that the rain brought the temperatures way down so it was very comfortable weather to run in.  I got started this morning at about 9:15 and it was in the low 60s.  It warmed up some and was sunny but never got bad.

This run was a bit of a roller coaster, as I know long runs can have a tendency to be.  There were a handful of aches and pains during it, one complete breakdown, and a couple of really good things.  I don’t have the energy to type out everything because I still haven’t fully recovered from the run so how about an easy bullet list, eh? :)

  • Miles 1 & 2
    • Tight calves, as usual.  This cleared up after a couple of miles, also as usual.
  • Mile 5
    • Some arch pain in my right foot.  Nothing bad but it is unusual for me since I’ve never had arch pain before.
  • Mile 7 & 8
    • Side ache.  This happened at the same mile marker in my first half.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  It did not happen at all in my 8 and 10 mile long runs the last few weeks though.  Not sure what exactly causes this when it does happen.
  • Mile 9.3
    • This was my total emotional breakdown.  I tripped and fell while trying to go around a big family taking up the entire sidewalk.  I have tripped before (examples here and here) and its frustrating.  Especially when one of those falls turned out to cause a bigger injury.  I wouldn’t have fallen if I didn’t have to get off the main sidewalk this time on to uneven brick stuffs.  I scraped up my leg though not too bad.  I did my best to get right back up and start running again because it certainly wasn’t bad enough to stop.  I was SO upset though… at having fallen, at having potentially injured myself one month before my half marathon.  After just a few tenths of a mile I couldn’t hold in my anger and frustration any longer and I started sobbing.  I stopped and bent over and just lost it for a couple minutes, crying and gulping and gasping for air.  After that I was able to pull myself together and finish the last 1.5 miles.

So, I got my 11 miles in but not without getting a little beat up along the way. I guess its things like this that make us stronger, right?

Now for the good stuff… the stuff that makes this run even more of a success than just finishing.

  • Negative Splits, Every 2 Miles
    • My Nike+ GPS app is set up to give me feedback (distance, time, avg pace) every 2 miles.  I’m happy to report that every 2 miles my average pace went down, meaning every two miles was essentially a negative split.  My average pace for the full 11 miles was nearly 30 seconds lower than my average pace for the first 2.  This includes miles 8-10 when I fell and stopped for a couple of minutes for my little crying fit.  I’m extremely happy with this!
  • Nutrition Successful
    • Today I had a large banana about 30-45 minutes before my run.  Then I used Sport Beans at mile 4 and mile 8 as well as water and a little Gatorade (G2).  This worked great.  I didn’t feel hungry during the run, I didn’t have any stomach problems at all, and I felt good.

With the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon only one month away (4 weeks from yesterday!), this run was definitely a confidence boost. 12 miles next weekend then taper! :)

Have you ever had an emotional breakdown on a run?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie September 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Good job on the negative splits!!!! That’s what makes it all worthwhile :) The falls, scrapes and breakdowns are just part of life no matter what you’re into. I commend you on letting it out and moving forward.

And doesn’t it just drive you crazy how people take up the whole sidewalk??? Pet peeve!

Good work!


Stephanie September 5, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Katie, Thanks so much for reading and commenting! You’re right, breakdowns are a part of life. And YES, it DOES drive me nuts when people take up the whole sidewalk! 😛

P.S. I’ve been reading your blog for the last few months and I love it!


Samantha September 9, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I second the pet peeve! I HATE that! Especially when they see you coming and don’t move! Great job on hanging in there.


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