True Grit

As a runner, you experience two kinds of grit. The stuff that covers your face, arms and legs after a long hot run, and the stuff you carry inside of you that gets you through those runs. 

Sunday’s 18 miles required both. 

Now, it’s partly my own fault. I logged higher mileage this week. And tackled hill training. 

Then Saturday instead of resting I went out for a long bike ride with the hubby. 

So I knew my legs weren’t quite as fresh as usual. But it was only 60 degrees when I headed out Sunday morning. And while I’d planned a hilly route again, I’d planned to just run it slow and easy. 

And it started fine. And I hit my turnaround at mile 7 feeling good. And then somewhere along the way it started to fall apart. Around mile 9 I started getting thirsty.  

By mile 10 when I took my second gel my legs were getting a little tight. 

By mile 11 I was really wishing I’d brought money for water. Even tho I didn’t go by any stores. 

By mile 12 I was wondering if they had water fountains in the clubhouse by the golf course. 

At mile 13 I almost checked. Instead, I stopped for a moment. And told myself “you’ll be home in mile. You can stop for water then”. 

And somehow miraculously, feeling like a girl lost in the desert, I made it to 14. 

I actually thought to myself “pretend you’re on the walking dead. They don’t have water half the time. They must get crazy thirsty” followed by “yeah, but they aren’t out running 18 miles dehydrated” lol

I went in, chugged about a pint of water. And seriously considered stopping. Because I noticed it was now almost 80 degrees. (Wow – major warmup!)

But it’s four weeks to the marathon. And I’m not running long again for like 10 days. So I really needed 18. 

Instead I filled a bottle with ice water, stuck it in the tree in my back yard, and decided to run the last four in my loop. 

And at the end of each sweaty, thirsty, cranky mile I stopped. Drank. And poured a bit on the back of my neck. 

A couple times I said out loud “Find your grit. Dig in there and find it. There is no can’t. And you will do this.”

And I did.  Somehow. Miraculously. But I did – completely covered in grit. 

So of course this morning I had totally dead legs. But headed out the door anyways for some recovery miles on my street. And was rewarded.  With some serious wildlife sightings. 

First loop – a pack of three raccoons headed into the woods. Probably to sleep the day away. 

Third loop – a wild turkey. (Probably the same one who was standing on my front lawn yesterday afternoon)

And fourth loop – a mama and baby deer. Saw the baby first. And after we had a staring contest a car came by and he ran to mama. She stared at me and took a step forward. I took a few back. And watched until they crossed the street and ran off. 

Was worth the delay in finishing my run. 🙂

Happy Monday everyone – and hope you find your grit this week when you need it. 

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