After last week's long run, to say I was a little worried about this week's even longer run would be an understatement. Part of my worry was that IF things went wrong again, Brian was going to be two hours away, too far away to come rescue me. Fortunately, two local friends offered to be on the other end of my phone if I needed them. Thank you, Brandi and Lori for that! And Lori also met me at 7:00 in the morning to run 4 miles with me...which I really enjoyed! Thank you, Lori! Those 4 miles went by so quickly and easily!
With that part of my worry taken away, I tried to "fix" other factors that might have played into the 15 mile train wreck from last week.
First, I made sure I had as much of a rest day as I could on Friday. Instead of running errands between the end of serving lunch at Gloria's choir camp and the beginning of her closing Evensong and concert, I went home and
relaxed took a nap.
Second, instead of Chinese (sesame chicken) I had pasta (baked Ziti) for dinner on Friday night. Hello carb loading!
Third, I made sure I was drinking enough water all day to be well hydrated.
Fourth, I went to bed at a fairly reasonable hour and got a pretty good night's sleep.
Finally, I started running almost four hours earlier than last week!
Right before I went to bed, Gloria gave me this...
I decided right then and there that I would succeed.
Saturday morning, I got dressed, pinned that turquoise flower in my hair, and set out to conquer the demon that I had allowed that bad run to become in my mind.
Like I already said, my friend Lori ran the first four miles with me. We chatted about our kids, races, the running watches we each use, back to school. work, and probably other things...and those four miles passed easily. We circled back to the park where Lori was going to leave and I was going to continue on for another twelve miles...hey...that's less than a half marathon...and I can do a half marathon!
As I prepared to head out for those remaining twelve miles, I discovered that my earbuds were dead. I only run with one earbud in my ear and had discovered a few weeks ago that the one I usually use (the left one) had quit working. So, I had been using the right one...in my left ear...and now it wasn't working either. Twelve miles with no music?!? Yikes!
The first few miles...bits and pieces of some of the songs on my playlist were running through my head. That gets annoying though. Thankfully that phase passed pretty quickly.
Then I started trying to calculate how I was going to run twelve miles...what route would I take? Did I dare venture down the roads of last week? What if I reversed part of it...then I would have more downhills than uphills? If I don't do that part of my route, what can I do to make up those miles?
About five miles into my remaining miles, so really nine miles into my sixteen miles, I started thinking about people I know who cannot run or do the things they want to do right now. Those thoughts turned into prayers for them, as well as prayers of thanksgiving that I COULD do what I was out there doing.
Then school crept into my mind. I go back to work in just a few days so that I can prepare for a new group of five year old tiny humans to enter my life. While I do not yet know their names or anything about them, I began to pray for them...for their hearts to be prepared for kindergarten, that they are eager for the start of school, and that I can be the best teacher each of them needs in order to grow into readers, writers, and "math-ers" (as one group called themselves a few years ago) and develop a love for learning. From there, my thoughts turned to my babies that will be entering first grade in two weeks after a year in my kindergarten classroom last year and I prayed that they would continue to learn and be successful this year.
By then, I found myself at thirteen miles. Just three miles to go. My feet were hurting and the pesky blisters were coming back. My run/walk intervals had already become fast walk/slow walk intervals with some downhill running. Now it was just walking. I ran one last downhill about a mile and a half before I was done before I couldn't even manage that much running any more. My prayers changed again to "Just let me finish these last few miles." And walking, I finished my long, slow run.
I finished my run upright.
I finished my run with a smile on my face.
I finished my run thankful that I had finished my run upright and with a smile on my face.