Today's Run: Awful. Ran almost 11 miles in just over 9 minute pace. Was supposed to be a 13 mile run at faster than marathon pace.

I haven't had a bad run in a while, so I guess I was due. Today's run ended with my stomach wrenched in one of those debilitating knots that take great pleasure in bringing you to your knees.

Didn't help that I drove to Vermont and back yesterday - and not for something fun like skiing.

I was expected at my father's house just west of Killington by 11 am Saturday morning. Knowing that I'd be spending the day there, I stayed up till almost 2 am Friday night tackling a random mess of odd jobs around the house. Got most of it all done, but had to wake up four hours later to drive my husband to basketball before I stole our car off to VT alone. (We share one car since I usually never use one.) Either way, I had to get my butt out the door bright and early to get in a full day of quality time with my dad.

Made it to my dad's house by 11:30 (bit delayed by a missed turn and ski traffic), then went promptly to lunch, movie and shopping, then helped him clean his house of pet hair, had a huge slab of pecan pie, then got back in my car and drove home. By then my allergies were screaming. I grew up with pets, but have little tolerance for furry animals nowadays.

Made it home on my fourth cup of coffee of the day. I usually have no more than one. Dad likes coffee, so it's always in front of me, and I needed it to handle both the ride there and back. I also don't think I had more than one glass of water the whole day yesterday. Didn't make it far on that New Year's resolution!

Keeping tally, in one day's time I've had less than 4 hours sleep, almost no water, lots of coffee, heavy foods, two 3-1/2 hour drives, no time to slow down/rest/nap, and an allergic reaction to my dad's eight pets. Did I mention my dad is also going through a divorce? Add some stress to the list.

Surprisingly, I was not looking forward to today's run. I was still exhausted and unsettled from yesterday. I had a few glasses of water today, but not enough to hydrate. Still I forced myself to get out the door and run, knowing I'd feel better once I did. Unfortunately, I got the get-up-and-go less than one hour after having some lunch. Yet another bad idea.

Today's run was supposed to start out semi easy, then gain speed till I was just above marathon pace (8:10-8:15). The total distance planned was 13 miles. I started out just fine, except for some stiffness in my ankles. Nothing unusual for a sub-20 degree run. My ankles warmed up and I warmed up and started getting faster as I approached miles 3 and 4. By mile 5, I had to start using more muscles to kick in the slightly faster pace, and my core, stomach muscles were one of the first recruits. I started getting mild stomach cramps right about then, but nothing I hadn't dealt with before. From there, my run went something like this.

Feeling ok.

Bit faster.

Push the up hill a bit harder.

Cramp. Cramp. Cramp.

Hmm.... Ignore.

Run. Run. Run.

Bit faster still to top of hill.

CRAMP. CRAMP.

Ok, it will go away. IGNORE. Downhill now.

CRAMPCRAMPCRAMPCRAMP!!!!!!!!!

After that, it was an interesting dance of run harder (cramp) and run easier (relief). That continued through miles 6-9. By mile 10, no matter how slow or fast I ran, I cramped up. Then the nauseau set in. So what did I do? Run harder! At that point, I just wanted to get home, no matter how much it hurt. It was freezing.... I felt like crap.... I didn't want to call my husband and quit the run.... My body felt otherwise. Mile 10.8, I shut down completely, doubled over in pain and almost became violently ill, right into the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. (I didn't, but it was close.)

I had no choice but to listen to my body at that point. I was still too stubborn to get a lift home from my husband, but I did walk/jog the rest of the way - about 2.5 miles. I was an ice cube when I finally got there, but I got there. Hugged my husband, had a big glass of water, jumped in a too-hot shower and almost burned off my freezing skin, but I was home! YAY!

If you made it to the end of this long entry, thanks for humoring me.

If you've had a similar experience, I'm sorry to hear it. Every once in a while guess we just have to remember our bodies have as much say in our training schedules as our minds do. Now I need to go to sleep.