Saturday, December 3, 2011

More and More Miles

Last night, I started feeling ill.  My husband had been sick earlier in the week, so I blamed him for giving me the "ick."  But I had my Saturday run, and I wasn't going to miss it unless I was on my death bed.  So I took some Sudafed and Advil, and the plan was to go to sleep a little bit early.  Come 8:30, I realize that my fuel belt is stuck in Houston, and I am without a place for my water or my Skittles.  I was in full fledged panic mode.  There was no way I could carry a watter bottle with me for 14 miles and God only knows how many hours.  I was freaking out.  Luckily, my husband is very sweet, and he took off to the store to buy me a inexpensive replacement.  =)

At 4:15, my alarm went off, and I was up and dressed in no time.  At 4:30 when I was driving down my street, I saw a woman running by herself.  I thought to myself, "She is crazy!!"  Ya.  She's the crazy one.  I'm leaving my warm bed at 4:30 in the morning  to drive across town to do the same thing.  Hello pot.  Meet kettle.

We have missed two Saturday runs, so I was really looking forward to conquering the distance.  We set our Garmins and took off.  It was not good.  I was tired and winded in no time.  I kind of worried and hoped I would find my groove soon.  If not, I would be in trouble.  The conversation kept me preoccupied and pretty soon we came to part of our route where we go past this pool.  But today, we were supposed to turn at the pool.  So we turned.  And we're running along happily until we pass a street where we see the back end of car dealership.  This means that we are going back in the direction where we came, and I have led us astray in my quest for following the route.  We took a minute to pow wow, and we decided (or rather Kelly bullied me ;) ) into just doing our normal route We would make adjustments later on. 

At about three miles, I started feeling good.  Eventually we come up to a park, and I told Kelly that we would need to stop and see if the bathrooms were open.  But they weren't.  And then we got to our water station, and there was no water!!!  OH!!!  NO!!!!  Then I remembered that they had moved it down a bit, and we wouldn't be getting a refill until mile 8; and even with my humongous new bottle, I wouldn't make it.  Luckily Kelly had $5 with her and she had to use the bathroom, so we detoured again (this time on purpose) so we would go past a convenience store with a very gross bathroom. 

Somehow both of us managed to mess up the Garmins.  Well, Kelly's wasn't her fault; her Garmin lost it's GPS signal for about half a mile.  I paused mine when Kelly went to tie her shoe and forgot to restart it.  We estimated that hers was off by .9 and mine was off by .8.  We calculated how much further we needed to go since we were so far off course.  Turns out we could have turned around about 1/10 of a mile earlier, but we needed the water station - for water and for a stretch break.  It's funny that all sense of decorum and embarrassment kind of disappear at mile 10.  I didn't care how I looked; I sat down at the corner of that intersection to comfort my legs with the butterfly stretch.  We took a couple of minutes, and then we were back on the run.

I was all too aware that this is where everything started to hurt last time.  But I just kept hearing my sister say, "Ain't nothin' but a thing!"  I don't even remember when or why she said that, but I just kept hearing it and thinking, "This is just what we do.  We just keep going."  The only thing that hurt now was my toes.  And it wasn't really that they hurt more than they were just sensitive.  But my back was okay, even with the 100 pound water bottle on my back. 

At about 11.5 miles, I was getting tired.  Kelly asked me if I was okay, and I was; I was just tired, and I found myself wishing the one minute breaks weren't going by so fast.  Her calves were on fire and in need of some relief.  We would get to the corner (about 12.5) and take another stretching break.  It helped, and we started off again; and I felt a little refreshed. 

We got to 13.1 and I announced it and asked, "Where's my medal?"  After that, it was quiet.  We were in the home stretch and focused and out of conversation.  We ran side by side in silence.  When we were getting close to the corner where we turn to get back to our cars, I heard Kelly whispering, "You can do this.  You can do this!"  I said to her that there was no fight going on here.  She was doing this.  She was going to finish this and there was no arguing over that.  If there was a fight going on in her head, she was definitely going to win.  As we approached the corner the marathoners were passing the street on the way to finish their 26 mile run. 

Usually we run the distance in, but today we took our intervals.  When we got to 14 miles, you should have seen the look on Kelly's face! It was great, and I'm sure the joy on mine matched hers.  We saw the group by the driveway, and knowing we may get hugged at the end, Kelly said, "I am so gross."   I said, "Kelly!  You just ran 14  miles.  You are not gross.  You are AWESOME!!!"  In all actuality we were both gross, but it didn't really matter.  The Garmin beeped, and we ran it in with Coach Dan waiting to high five us at the finish!

This was a first for both of us.  Kelly had never run 14 miles either; and at 14.25, we both had a new record under our belt. It was an incredible feeling.  I just felt very confident today, after the first three miles, that is.  I wasn't doubting that I could do it.  I was tired, but not defeated.  It may be time to go ahead and put that 13.1 sticker on my car.  =)

Countdown to Mardi Gras half - 64 days!!

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