Before I get started, I just want to say that this will make a whole lot more sense if you read Sunday's post, so scroll down or click here.
Now, onto the post...
Sunday's run was both encouraging and disappointing. Right after my run, though, I felt mostly disappointment, hardly encouraged. Mrs. LB was shocked to see my shirt, even though it's not the first time I've bled, although I don't recall bleeding that much before. I should have been encouraged by how I felt after the run, at having finished 18 miles strong, just as strong as I'd finished my 15-miler the week before.
But those red stains didn't let me feel that. I focused on them and shut all other thoughts out for a bit. Of course, I didn't like feeling that way. I wanted to revel in my long run, to think about the positives, to feel as if the run was an accomplishment. Instead, I felt discouraged. Embarrassed. Foolish.
I thought about it for a while, and what I realized was that I felt that way because I was unprepared. I don't know that I respected the distance, the run, what I was about to set off on. Even though I did well to get GU, to leave the house with plenty of Gatorade, with a charged Garmin, hat, sunglasses... that I left my nipples unprotected was just inexcusable for me. I know not all other male runners suffer from that, but I do. And I learned how to handle that a while back.
And yet here I was, with what was essentially the first long training run ahead of San Francisco, and I totally dropped the ball. I was unprepared, and the blood stains are just tangible proof of that unpreparedness.
While the pain was not entirely unbearable on Sunday, I'm not sure what it would have been like in another five, six, seven or eight miles. Would I have been able to run an entire marathon like that? Who knows.
But what I am taking from this experience is this: I need to respect the run. I don't think I'm some superstar runner, so don't get me wrong here, but I sort of acted like I didn't need to take everything seriously. Like all the rules didn't apply to me.
Tape the nipples? We don't need no stinkin' tape.
I've tackled a marathon yet again and before I know it, I'll be standing at the start line of San Fran, and if I slack on anything I'm not going to have a good experience. I need to get all my long runs in. I need to do my midweek runs. Do speedwork. Run hills. Eat properly. Stretch.
At least now I know what could happen if I slack on something. Next time, the price might be higher than just a bloody shirt, and I really don't want to find out what exactly that would be.