Today was W8 R2. I wasn't expecting miracles, but I had a personal best run two days ago, and with the end of the program in sight, I was confident I could do it.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the flowers blooming. And my partner J finally agreed to come out with me again. (He started out with me for the first couple of weeks, but I have been on my own most of the program, and especially for the most recent weeks.)
I guess I had performance anxiety, or fatigue or something. I didn't even make it halfway. My thigh was cramping during the walk in the warm-up! It was just bad all around. I gave up and walked about a minute and then tried running again, but hardly made a minute more. At this point, J (who does try to be supportive but doesn't always "get it") declared that he was going off for a walk in a park right next to our route. The park is more of a preserve, heavily wooded with only some tracks made by previous visitors, that tend to veer off in every direction. I called out that I would join him, and followed, and called and called, but he was gone. So I wandered around the park a bit. (It was really, really beautiful, an oasis in the city I didn't even know was there.) Then I returned to the trail, ran perhaps another minute, gave up and slowly trudged home the short way. My heart wasn't in it.
J was upset that his planned run was de-railed, and that he had to wait for me (as I never did find him in the park, and he didn't hear me calling.) Personally, I think he should have consulted with me about his route-changing plans before just taking off, but mostly I found that I resented his presence. It is so easy for him to run, even though he doesn't hardly exercise, eats like a decadent 5 year-old (all Kraft dinner and candy), and has only been coming on the runs with me sporadically as a favor - and even then it isn't a challenge and he slows waaaay down to stay with me, or runs ahead and loops back. So here I am, after working my butt off (literally, it is smaller) for 8 weeks and all ready to impress him with my running for 28 minutes like it is no big deal, and I could hardly manage half of that.
Performance anxiety? Bad luck? I don't know what is wrong with me today.
***Update: J deserves rather more credit than I gave him in this post. Apparently, when he went off into the park, he said he would "catch up with me" on my route (I didn't hear that), and he didn't hear me calling after him. He meant to head me off at a different part of my route, which I believe and understand as pretty reasonable.
Also, after I wrote this post, which I am pretty sure he hasn't read, he came upstairs and found me in the shower and told me how proud he was of me and my running efforts, today notwithstanding. He even gave me a back-rub and massaged my sore legs.
I was thinking about it, and while he wasn't exactly being Mr. Sensitive walking off into the park like that, and being put out that he had to wait for me, most of my frustration today is my own issue.
I am jealous of how easy it is for him. And that is my problem, not his. Shame on me for comparing myself with a man nearly 1 foot taller, who is an ectomorph, practically designed for running, and who has robust good health. I wish it was as easy for me, or even close to being that easy, but it isn't his fault he is an extremely lucky guy. I wanted to impress him with the results of my hard work and I failed today, and he isn't to blame for that.
My real lesson today is that I need to focus on my own journey, and avoid comparing myself to others. It is still a miracle that I can run at all, since I was barely walking with a cane 1.5 yrs ago. And I know that everyone has bad runs. Perhaps my next one will be better.