After procrastinating a little this morning I set off for my first long run post B & A and my first long run of Boston Marathon training 2012. B & A Marathon and Boston Marathon are six weeks apart. I happen to think is a very awkward distance when attempting back to back marathons. Last weekend I skipped doing a long run in favor of letting my legs rest and recover from my PR marathon. This weekend I knew I needed to push myself over 10 miles if I was going to have a hope of finishing Boston strong and not having to crawl to the finish line.
I decided to run solo instead of with others, a choice I’ve never regretted. Running alone lets me run my pace – my race.
I headed to a road I’ve never run down and hoped to FIND MY STRONG somewhere along the way.
The first steps outside were hard and awkward – my body is still tired.
Mile .5: I wondered if I was going to be able to get any sub 9 miles on this run. My legs felt heavy and I felt discouraged.
Mile 1: 8:23 – I smiled and said out loud to no one but myself – I’M BACK. Thank you legs.
Seeing a sub 9 mile gave me the courage to keep going knowing that I would be able to run over 10 miles today.
Mile 2: 8:14 – I didn’t feel strong but I was getting faster. I was gaining trust in my body. I apologized for doubting.
Mile 3: 7:58 – Pure elation ensued. I was running alone on winding roads. I was free. The air was crisp and cool. I felt like a runner again despite all the mentally hard runs from this week.
Mile 4: 7:43 – I thought of my friends Jess and Meg who I knew were speeding along course at the Rock N Roll DC Marathon. I thought about how jealous I was that they were running a marathon and I wasn’t. If my body would give me a marathon a weekend I know I would become one of those crazy people who ran 2309423098 marathons a year. Then I took a step back and reminded myself that I should be thankful for what my body does give me and not what it doesn’t. 5 marathons in 2011 is a TON of marathons to me – I am thankful.
Mile 5: 7:35 – I wanted to cry. I felt even more thankful. I felt like ME and I decided that with less than a month till my 30th birthday I’m going to allow myself to BE ME and not worry what others think or don’t think about me. I will focus on my prizes – my family, my running, my God. I am FREE.
Mile 6: 8:03 – The going got tough. There were hills. It made me think about Boston – about my goals – my dreams. Boston is a course that has broken me twice. When I was lying in a medic bed last year a volunteer asked me if I would be back again next year – I started to cry [only no tears came because I was so dehydrated] – I said BOSTON has broken my heart twice. I don’t know if I can let it do it again. I decided that I wasn’t going for my sub 3:10 at Boston – I would run for fun and that would be allowing what will be to be. If I run fast for me at Boston – GREAT – if I run slow for me at Boston – GREAT! I want to enjoy the journey and not be so focused on the destination. I think it’s a surefire way to prevent Boston from breaking my heart.
Mile 7: 7:49 – I was happy that I hadn’t slowed my pace – the hills put me in the 8′s – my legs were not failing me today.
Mile 8: 7:35 – When I say I am happiest when I am running – it’s true. I am happiest and feel the most full in life when I am either running or being silly with my children. Running, my husband, my little people, and God – fill me up to the brim. I love my friends – don’t get me wrong - some of them I count in the family category – what I mean by saying these four things fill me up is that I don’t need to be President of the United States – I don’t need to be a CEO of some huge company – I don’t even need to be the most popular blogger – I already feel at age 29 that my life has been a success. That if I died tomorrow I would have achieved many things I am proud of – most of all being a mother to Chloe, Miles and Colton.
Mile 9: 7:44 – I thought about Meredith and wished she was with me. I love running alone but when you are alone no one but you gets to see what you see. I loved seeing horses on my run, listening to the birds chirp, watching the sun burn off the fog. I wanted her speedy legs to be with me sharing the moment.
Mile 10: 7:58 – I felt tired – I could tell that though I was running fast in the 7′s – that my legs were still heavy from a marathon not two weeks ago. Again I felt grateful for what my body has given me since 2003 – 19 marathons and 3 kids later – I’m stronger than ever.
Mile 11: 8:21 – more hills coupled with wind slowed me – but my mind was okay with it. In life, just like in marathons and long runs – there are ups and downs. When you feel terrible and think you have nothing left to give – you always have more. You won’t stay at that point for forever – for every up there is a down. I have never run a long run or a marathon for that matter where every mile was bliss. You run the crappy miles to get to the bliss filled miles. This mile was run to get to the next.
Mile 12: 7:36 – I felt like a runner. There are times I have wanted to quit trying to run competitively [remember that this is not about being a certain pace but about competing with yourself to get better]. I keep coming back to chasing PR’s because they show how hard I work. I use to want to be super skinny so people thought I was fit – that the skinniness was somehow reflecting how much time I was running. Now I want to be STRONG. I want someone to look at me and think – wow – she is a machine – not wow – give that girl a burger.
Mile 13: 7:44 – I am a machine – I run this body. I RUN THIS BODY.
Mile 14: 7:28 – my last mile was my fastest mile. I practice what I preach. Start slow and finish strong. I finished strong and yet again FOUND MY STRONG.
Thank you Kinvara 3 for 14 wonderful miles.I’ve never gone on a run – bad or good – that I ever regretted. EVER. 14 miles – 1:50:21 – 7:53 avg