Today, I ran 11 miles.
About a month ago, I would have scoffed at that. I would have told you that I am not running the half marathon, or at least not signing up for it…making it a ‘game day’ decision.
But if I did not keep going, keep running, keeping trying, I would be bowing to my fear instead of allowing it to drive me further.
It’s as if the lightbulb finally snapped on and I am ready. More ready than I ever thought I would be. And – dare I say – excited for the half marathon next Sunday, August 14.
13.1 or bust.
I woke up extremely tired for today’s run and began thinking that Naomi’s comment on my ‘wavering‘ post was pretty dead-on, as I am nearing the end of training (and just capped off the barre n9ne challenge). Don’t laugh, but trying different energy blocks was making me motivated for my run today (hey, whatever gets ya through, right?!) as I was trying Gu Chomps today vs. Clif Shot Blox, so out the door M and I went, armed and ready to go, around 5:20 am. (*yawn*)
Walking down the road to our starting point, I looked at M, then looked to my right, down the road we’d be coming back from, 2+ hours later, and thought to myself ‘you’ll be so much happier when you’re running back that way!” (trying not to think about the fact that it would be more than 2 hours later!)
We started out pretty strong, I was feeling good. I think our pace was a little faster than normal (bad sign #1. You’ll see why, momentarily).
The route I was taking us today would not get us lost (phew) and was a hybrid of an old and new route for change of scenery. We chugged along and I was feeling pretty good for the first few miles and then bam, around mile 3 or 4, my legs were already starting to feel tired, and my left knee hurt slightly.
As we neared mile 5 or so, our new route started. And man, was it muuuuuch hillier than I remember it from driving it (bad sign #2!). Ffunny how those ‘rolling hills’ look easy peasy in the car, right? Those hills went on…and on….and oh wait, a little bit more (fooled me when we hit a flat spot and then I looked up and there was another damn hill!) until we reached the top and then coasted down.
That’s when my legs really started to feel like dead weight. (bad sign #3!) We tried our first Gu Chomp at this point and they were tasty, but I would soon find out that they would make me SUPER thirsty. Slightly salty or something. Not a fan. Fail.
This is when my mind started to work in overtime. Started playing tricks on me. This is when my mind flashed back to last year’s half marathon, where this is exactly what happened to me. I hit a wall WAY early and then never quite recovered. Yet, the week prior, my last long run was the best run I’d had. Go figure. So, all of this was coursing through my brain as I struggled through the remaining hills to our halfway point. I made a game day decision to switch up our route and go a different way back so as not to hit those same heinous hills.
I was afraid the reroute wouldn’t be long enough and we’d end up at home facing a mileage deficit like last week, having to run another loop. But at that point, I didn’t care, I just wanted AWAY from those hills.
M was my money shot today…as always, he stuck by me, making sure I was breathing through the hills and kept going. Where my re-route met the rest of the remaining route I had planned, I asked him to check the mileage. I wanted to see if the distance we had left would be enough to hit 11. We had 2.5 miles left.
M said “It’s 2.5 miles, you totally got this! Let’s go!”
It would be close. But off we went.
Those 2.5 miles kinda sucked, I’ll be honest, but I dug as deep as I could and we made it. As we neared that spot I’d gazed at 2:05 hours earlier (to be exact!), I really hoped we hit 11 miles.
M looks. “10.5 miles.”
He starts walking towards my place.
Me: ‘That’s it? Should we do the last .5?!” (my inside voice is saying ‘no, no, no, I am spent! Don’t wannnnna!’)
M: “It’s 11 miles. We did it. 11.1. I was just kidding.”
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more relief or more pride.
We just ran 11 freaking miles.
And next week, we’ll run 13.1. Together.
I’ve officially registered and I am ready. You. Can. Run.