Sunday, September 4, 2011

To Half or Not to Half

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I entered this challenge to run 50 miles in 30 days on mapmyrun.com.  If I could complete this morning's run, I would finish the challenge with a day to spare.  I was nervous.  The day's run was eight miles, and although I did seven miles only two weeks ago, I remember how hard that last mile was and how tired and grumpy I was during it.

Eight miles.  With the storm in the gulf, we are reaping benefits of cooler temperatures and lower humidity.  It was, dare I say, slightly chilly at 5 am.  Slightly chilly with a breeze.  Kelly and I were on our own again today, but we got an e-mail from Coach Ric confirming that the other two ladies would not be there.  The fifth woman in our group was dropping out, which I had already assumed since we have never seen her.  So at 5:30, Kelly and I take off for our run, both skeptical of how it would go since we were both tired from working the football game. 

What a difference kinder weather makes.  The breeze was constant and wonderful.  As we passed our first mile, we had a bridge to run over, and it wasn't so bad.  Crossing the main roads was uneventful because no one in their right mind is out at this hour without a good reason, and I guess most people did not have a good reason.  We kept going, and before we know it we're at mile three and coming up to another bridge.  This bridge always looked more threatening to me than the one we always use for our training runs.  But as we made our way up it, it didn't get really hard until we were almost at the top.  I don't think the grade was as steep as the other, and I'm sure that made it easier than it was in my head.  At mile 4.5, we had a water station, and we stopped to refill and refresh.  Coach Ric had put in five minutes for each water stop, but we only took enough time to refill and drink a little.  As we kept going, the other groups started passing us and cheering us on.  We would be last again, but I was still happy with the way our run was going and our time.  We got back to the water station, and this time we grabbed our ice towel that was there for us.  I try to imagine how we must have looked-standing on the corner of the roads, pouring ice water on ourselves and wiping our faces.  I wouldn't have really thought about it because when your in the middle of it all, you just don't care.  But as I pulled the towel down over my face, I made eye contact with one of two guys sitting in a car at the intersection watching us with confusion and fascination.  I was grateful that I wasn't repeating my white-shirt oops from a couple of weeks ago, and we just took off and left them to wonder.

We were on the last stretch, and I was still feeling really good.  We ran in the last mile, and as we reached the end, Coach Ric was there yelling, "Come on, girls! Finish strong!" So we did.  I sped up and gave him a high five as we approached the end.  It was the best run I've had with the club so far. 

Talking to Coach afterwards, he was saying that I was going to be so happy with the progress I make in the next few weeks.  I told him that I had already surpassed anything I could have imagined for myself.  With reaching a new milestone every week, I couldn't be happier.  Then he said I am only five miles away from a half-marathon, and we would be pushing ourselves up to and past that distance in the next months.  FIVE MORE MILES!!??!!  It still seems unfathomable to me.  As I was talking to my husband about that, he suggested maybe I've been successful because I haven't set that goal.  And I think he's right.  I'm just focused on improving and reaching the distances set out by coach's schedule.  And I'm happy every time I reach his expectations.  My wonderful friends post on facebook that there's a half marathon in my near future, and maybe there is.  But maybe there isn't.  And it will be okay.  Because I never thought I would be here.  In two weeks, I'll be running nine miles.  It seems like a crazy number to me, but I have the next two weeks to build up to it.  And I'm sure I'll have my stress dreams and freak outs before it, but it's the next milestone to reach and that will be my focus. 

My daughter came home for the holiday weekend, so we took off for the day to spend together.  It was a good one.  We went to the Kemah boardwalk and rode the amusement rides that are there.  I haven't been on rides in at least eight years, and getting on the ride where they drop you from a high distance was thrilling and fun!  So much so, we rode it twice.  I got the little one's face painted while my husband and daughter rode the roller coaster.  Then my feet were going to kill me if I didn't get off of them, so we headed home.  It was a great day!

My girls on the Boardwalk
Now it's Sunday; the weather is still wonderful and I'm sitting outside as I type.  The breeze is surrounding me, and a cardinal is singing to me.  I am very proud of my run yesterday and so grateful that I have Kelly to do this with.  I know she'll sign up for the half; and for right now, I'm just happy to train with her and cheer her on!

1 comment:

  1. San Antonio hlf marathon has a relay division - 7.7 & 5.4 miles. Not sure why it's not split more evenly. Eric and I are going to run it. You should see if Grace Kelly would do it with you. What a fun girls weekend you could have!!

    So impressed with how much you have been running!!

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