I ran 19 miles last Monday thru yesterday (Sunday). I ran in the rain on the fun run on Monday. Fortunately, there was a mentor from my training program there to chat with and keep me going. Tuesday, I ran 3 miles and did my first “tempo run” of the training. I averaged a little faster than I have been lately and ran with the same mentor as Monday. He really helped out by keeping me on pace and reminding me of how far we had to go and when we’d slow down next. It was helpful and I needed the extra push both days.
Wednesday is one of my weekly days off and I used it to relax and recover. Thursdays aren’t required on the calendar, but they’re listed as “recommended,” so I figure that I should stick with it. I signed up in advance for a cross training class at a local gym as a perk of the training program for Thursday evening. I had a hard time waking up early in the morning for the recommended 4 mile run. By midday, I assumed I wasn’t going to have time to run. Fortunately, another member of the group posted online that they wanted to run before the class, so I was able to get a running buddy and make sure that I didn’t just skip out on the miles. The class was tough, but fun. It was fast paced and mostly body weight exercises.
I was sore Friday, but managed to get out on a bike with the little kids in tow in a trailer. I rode around the neighborhood and stopped at garage sales that we passed. By the time I got home, my knees and leg muscles were even more sore than before. The kids weigh around 90 lbs together, so it was a pretty good “off day” workout.
Saturday, my soreness had compounded and my legs felt like sandbags. I arrived at the group meeting place tired, sore, and doubtful that I’d complete 5 miles without walking a significant part of the run. I felt ok after I started to get warmed up. When the group I was with most of the time stopped to get water, I got separated from most of them and ran with a mentor I just met that morning. She assured me that I could run the distance and gave me really good pointers on how to keep going and how to make sure I’m running properly. She also told me her own story about running, which helped me get my mind off of what part of me ached and whether I was going to collapse. Nearing the end, a couple more people joined us. One of the women joined me running the last third of a mile and helped pep talk me into keeping running until I got to the end. I thought I was going to cry and then cry more from embarrassment, but the tears didn’t come. I also didn’t collapse even though I felt like my legs wouldn’t take me any further and I needed to stop. The women that I ran with kept my mind on getting to the end and not on the negativity I was focusing on. I hit my 5 miles. I could do it again. I will do it again. Next time, I’ll go longer.
Sunday is the day on my calendar to run slow and easy for recovery. I was hot and I ran off of the trail and around a park to stop at the water fountain. I somehow forgot about the fountain and ran around all the sidewalks at the park and back to the trail I had run on and to the end. I turned around to head toward home and to complete the prescribed 3 mile run. I wound up running 4 miles. I could have stopped at 3 and walked home, but I was on a roll. I wasn’t running particularly fast. I just didn’t feel like stopping yet, so I ran until I was home. It felt nice. I was proud of myself for going beyond the distance on the calendar.
I have a new addition to my running gear. I purchased a GPS watch. So far, I really like it. I like having my phone with me for music when I’m not running with people, but I don’t need to hold it in my hand to run when I use the watch. I can see my distance and pace on my wrist and I really enjoy it so far. Today, I figured out how to put the runs online to see things that I’m interested in like my route, pace, and my mile splits (that is how fast I run each mile broken down).
I still have a few weeks left of this. I go back and forth between thinking I can do this with no question back to thinking I’m going to just completely fail to run 13.1 miles. I have a feeling this is true with any long-term goal, though. It seems like a natural process. I suppose it could feel normal because I’m just a worrier. I can come up with some pretty awful “worst case scenarios” for many situations. I know that I intend to see this through. I intend to tell anyone who will listen after I run it that I did it. I intend to have some sort of tattoo to show off my accomplishment. I know there are people who have done more, gone faster, etc. They’re not me. This is me doing this and I think I’m doing something pretty awesome.
completely doubtful that I could actually do it without walking a significant distance.