Last night I slathered the bottom of my legs with Icy Hot in hopes that it would help my legs feel better. I think it did. Since I didn't get my mileage in yesterday, it was up to me to get the run in. I had planned on running with Kelly, but things didn't work out, so I had to go it alone. If I could make it to six miles, it would be the longest run I have done solo. My legs had been bothering me, so I promised myself I would at least do four and see how it went from there. I decided to do 2:1 intervals. I also told myself I would not worry about speed and just concentrate on getting in the distance.
I went outside to spray myself with Off. Since Friday, the mosquitoes have been awful. AWFUL! My friend, Angela said it best when she said they were plague-like. And she is right. As I was spraying myself, there was an entire slew of them trying to land on me. It was disgusting! As I walked to the trail head to get started I was still shocked to see that I was completely surrounded. It was like a wall of mosquitoes right in front of me, and I wondered if I would make it.
Luckily, once I started running, it was harder for the mosquitoes to land on me. The legs did hurt but not as bad as yesterday. I slowed down a little, careful not to push it too much. As I rounded the corner, I saw a family of squirrels and I thought of Angela since she was attacked by one last week. Seriously, a squirrel jumped off the top of a tree and landed on her ankle. Freaky, right?
Luckily, the squirrels were too preoccupied to notice me running by. I had the music low so I could still hear all the wonderful nature sounds. I thought of my fellow Road Runners, many of which were running in a half marathon this morning. Sometimes when I'm running, I wonder what the hell I am thinking. How can I possibly think I can do such a thing? I am barely getting to the third mile, and I'm tired! How in the world will I make it through a half?
Those thoughts are courtesy of the mean girls in my head. Sometimes it's hard to shut them up. But somehow around mile three, my legs stopped hurting quite so bad. I think maybe they went numb. But the running was a little better. I was running in a new part of the neighborhood, so I wasn't too sure of the mileage and where I would end up since I didn't map it out. But I was just trying to enjoy it as much as I could with the damn mosquitoes. The Off started wearing off around 4.5 miles, and when I slowed down, they were landing on me. It didn't help that I was closer to bushes and fences at this time because this is where they were much worse. Once I got away from them and closer to the park, it was better. I made the loop there, stopping once to refill my bottles from a water fountain. They must have installed some since the summer. This is good to know.
I realized that although my run was slow, (averaging about 15:30 pace) I was feeling pretty good. I made the last lap back to my house, and I had to come inside to do my cool down walk because the mosquitoes were just too much to handle. I stopped the Garmin and the mileage was 5.75. Perfect! With yesterday's magic mile and 1/4 mile warm up, this makes a perfect 7 miles for the weekend.
And to make things even better, I stepped onto the scale. It seems as though I have finally broken through my three-month-log plateau! Yipee! I hope it continues because that sucked! Maybe this is the boost I need to re-step up my game. It's hard not to get discouraged.
But in the words of Coach Dan, "...it's not supposed to be easy."