But there is one: You never know how you're going to feel until you start running.
Twice I've felt like total crap, once with a sinus infection, once with a horrible cold, both times bad enough to leave me wimpering like a kitten. Both times I PRd in races, the first in a 10K, when I broke 47 minutes for the first time, and the second this spring, in a half marathon.
Saturday was, unfortunately, quite the opposite.
I felt great as I lined up for my last half marathon of the year (probably until August of next year, actually). I was worried. I was doing my third half marathon in five weeks, and I ran good, hard times for the first two. I had no idea how my body would react to that. It's a lot. I knew it. I just wanted to see if I could do it.
I continued to feel good as I ran the first mile in 7:30. In fact, I usually gage my pace by how I'm breathing and how hard I'm flowing, and I flowed easy and wasn't breathing hard. I was stunned, in fact, to see my pace floating around 7:15 most of the time and found it hard to slow down. Well, shit, today is going to be a good day, I thought.
I was so, so wrong.
By mile 3, I reconsidered, as I gagged for the first time. For the next three miles, I managed to keep my pace above 8-minute-miles, but I almost tossed my cookies another three times. What the hell? I'd never felt that way, even during my 5Ks.
By the time mile 7 came up, I was hurting, bad, and knew I wasn't going to PR. In fact, part of wondered if I was going to finish. And I couldn't do anything about it. It was 80 degrees, super hot for November in Colorado, and yet I couldn't take any water or Gatorade or a gel because I was afraid I'd puke it back up.
By mile 11, predictably, my pace slowed to a crawl, and I had to walk occasionally.
I did finish - I wasn't NOT going to finish - but did horribly. I didn't even bother to see where I finished. I ran 1:54, or at a 8:47 pace. I ran 1:45 three weeks ago at the Denver Half.
But I was proud. I had a horrible day and pushed through it. I finished. And I wonder if it was just too much. That's what I'm thinking.
If you see me in Vegas, I'll be on a running hiatus for a week or so. I'll start training as soon as I get back. I'll leave this race behind me, call it a good year and eagerly await the Thanksgiving run.
That's only 3.1 miles. I'm already looking forward to it.