up and over

As we drove home from my mom’s house on Saturday night, I got the feeling that I wanted to go back out to the beach and run the bridge. Little man was spending the night with his grandparents so we were pretty much free to spend the morning however we wanted. (Exhibit A of “You know you’re a runner” is “when you voluntarily give up an opportunity to maybe sleep in for a pretty run.”)

I would have liked for Mr PugRunner to join me. It was going to be cool enough that it would have been good to clear his sinuses, and I thought he could just walk a bit and then we could have a breakfast date afterwards. However, when the alarm rang, he didn’t budge, so I packed my things and headed out by myself.

Honestly, I could not have asked for better weather. The sun was shining and the temperature never rose above 60*F. It was a little windy, but it always is by the beach.

What I could not prepare for was my body’s emotional response to the bridge.

I haven’t run a bridge, hill or anything more impressive than a speed bump since the Gate. And while I loved that race, and have a lot of great memories from it, my body apparently disagrees.

As I started my way up, I noticed my breathing was getting more and more shallow, and I wasn’t able to catch a good breath. It felt like when I started hyperventilating at the end of the Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K last year, when I just got completely overwhelmed by everything. It was awful. I was about 3/4 of the way up the first side of the bridge when I had to slow to a walk, take a moment to focus on filling my lungs and get my head together.

Fortunately, the view makes it easy to relax.

I resumed my journey to the top of the bridge and then let myself go on the way down. Rather than turning and starting back up again, I gave myself a chance to relax by running the boardwalk that winds under the bridge. It’s a little quieter and a bit more nature-y, so I was able to give myself a chance to recover.

Then it was back up. The shortness of breath didn’t go away, so I built in little intervals for myself (run for two light poles, walk for one, run for three, walk for one). It gave me something on which to focus and helped me feel better.

I like to run the bridge 2 1/2 times on a regular day. It puts me at a little over 4 miles, and I can push myself while doing it. On this particular day, I gave myself permission to take my time. When all was said and done (my Garmin was on low battery, so I used it for half the run and then switched to RunKeeper for the rest), I managed 4.33 miles at a 12:00 pace. Not too bad for the first time back, and I realize I have missed the change of scenery.

I will definitely be working this back into my training routine. I need to get over my mental wall and I need to have some new things to look at as I get working on my longer runs.

Have you ever been sidelined by a mental or emotional response to a run or workout?

How do you cope and get past it?

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16 Responses to up and over

  1. Jess says:

    That bridge is on my list! I want to run over it because it just seems so pretty. I think I may be addicted to bridges.

    • runswithpugs says:

      It is beautiful. And it’s a good height and steepness. Plus, it connects to the beach and also through some of the St. Aug neighborhoods, so you could build it into a long run through historic downtown, if you were so moved.

  2. The weather really was fantastic in the mornings this weekend! I had a great run Saturday AM.

    Running can be so humbling at times – especially runs like these. It’s just a reminder that it takes hard work and dedication, but when you do it successfully, it feels THAT much better. Normally this time of year, I take a step back from running and focus on other types of cardio and workout. I still run 1-2 days a week, but I give myself a rest both mentally and physically before diving into training for fall races. Hope you get your groove back soon! <3
    Devon | the food bitch blog recently posted…Bacon and Kale Egg White ScrambleMy Profile

  3. Kathy Bruinooge says:

    well done…. I went out for a longer (4) mile run yesterday… my breathing was very unsettled until I got to 3.5…. then it settled in and I was able to finish strong.
    So yea for us, that is a very pretty bridge. Keep up the great work.

  4. That bridge has a beautiful view. I think the more you run it the more confident you will become.

  5. This looks like such a beautiful route. I hope the bridge runs get increasingly easier for you.
    Meranda@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…What’s the difference between your Greek Yogurts?My Profile

  6. Anne says:

    That sounds like a really awesome run!

    We have hills in North Carolina but we don’t have any bridges and my city. It would be really nice to be able to run up hill for that far. I gotta give you credit, when I lived in st. Augustine I certainly didn’t seek out bridges to get any hill training in 🙂
    Anne recently posted…Summer LovinMy Profile

  7. Glad that you got out for such a beautiful run, and good for you for tackling that bridge! Keep it up and it will seem easy, or at least easier!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Confessions Of A Tanning GoddessMy Profile

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Lovely view! I need some hills in my life. The desert is not flat but the city is and I feel like if I were to tackle hills right now I would crawl up not run.
    Elizabeth recently posted…My First Fun RunMy Profile

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