Sunday, December 19, 2010

Darkness, a gang of cats and tequila will not stand in my way!

YAY me!

I'm so happy, yesterday I had a long run day planned for 13 miles. This would be the longest I've ever attempted to run without walking. Both marathons I ran/walked and never in my wildest dreams during either of them, did I think I'd ever be in a place to be able to run for 13 miles straight.

In fact, during/immediately after my last half (which was only this past September) I vowed, "never again..." never again would i attempt to run/walk 13... and HA - what do you know, not only did I attempt it but it was "just another day at the office," it wasn't for a big deal race, just a little Saturday training. :) And I RAN the whole time. (Oh and by the way, my first 1/2 attempt took 3:30 to finish, my last 1/2 marathon took me 3:03 to finish - my 'slowish' training/non racing 13 I did in 2:36...)  clap, clap, clap.

But what has me even more happy than the actual running of the 13 miles is the finding a way to make it all happen. The ability to dig for follow through... and follow through is the best habit I've cultivated during this whole thing... Two instances of it:

I went to Atlantic City for a few days this past week and had 2 miles planned for Friday morning. It was only 2 miles (thank goodness) but I was partying it up, Jersey girl style - in a very non-athletic way. I didn't get "too" drunk but lemme just say, Corona's and tequila was a-flowin' - I definitely was cutting a rug and fist pumpin' right alongside a few Snookie wanna-be's. When Friday morning rolled around and my friends were sleeping or getting geared to hit the black jack tables, what was I doing? Cursing that last tequila shot and lacing up! I hit the gym and though I'm sure reeked like a frat boy during rush week, I knocked out my run - and even had a respectable pace.

And then there was yesterday's 13 miles.

I still wasn't feeling awesome (Jeeze, I can't party like a rock star like I used to) And I had a lot to do. I had my Weight Watcher meeting (where despite my AC trip, I still managed to lose almost a pound - yay!) I had some blogs I had to post for my blogging gig and I had a sick husband who needed a big afternoon nap - so I had to watch our son. But I knew I was going to have to run my long run.

Finally, my husband got up around 2:15 pm. By the time I got my compression socks on, filled my water  bottles, kissed the baby and did everything else it takes to get me out of the house, It was 2:30 - I knew that I was going to need just shy of 3hrs for this run and was concerned about light. It takes me about 10 minutes to get to my fav. long run park. It took me longer thanks to traffic.  Got to running around 2:50 - cutting my light close... The park doesn't have any lights along the path and lots of the path is surrounded by dense woods. I was worried, and then about 4 miles in, it occurred to me, just run five miles out and five miles back - if I still had light I could run back out in the park 1.5 and back and if I didn't, I would run around the little town right outside of the park.

Well, by 4:30 it was pretty dark, so turning around at 5 miles instead of stretching it out was a great call. I wound up running the last 3 miles in pitch darkness around town which was far safer/less eerie than the park.

Seriously? A tequila reference and a cat... perfect
I had to run about .25 into the park to get back to my car and it was DARK plus, it seems like a million cats had come out of nowhere - there were all of these little fuzzy things with eyes all over the grass just sitting there watching me run back to my car. OK then. Who knew that this underground gang of cats that only came out at night existed?

In any case, I did it - I got that long run in. I didn't make excuses, I didn't skip the whole run, because, "why bother, I won't have time to run the whole 13" or, "my husband is sick, I should really be around for him and I didn't even go back to my car at 10 miles (at some point I considered it, "since it would be too dark to see and that's still a decent long run) I did it and the ability to problem solve, push the excuses aside and follow thru has been a great gift of this journey.

XO
Jen

PS: I didn't feel even a third of the soreness I felt during the half runs. I elevated and iced the legs a bit because they felt a little crampy and used...
PSS: I've noticed my blog posts are getting lengthy, are they too long? You can tell me. I can stop some of the rambling, I suppose.
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