Sometimes, the run you get is exactly the run you need.
Even if you maybe kinda had the mother of all meltdowns before heading out the door. LOL Does anyone else do that? Get SO worked up before going for a long run? I mean, its not like my self-worth is based on how fast or how far I go on a Sunday. And yet, sometimes it feels like it is. So I get buried under this imaginary pressure.
Especially as its now 25 days to Vermont City. And this training cycle has been less than ideal. Stuff going on every other weekend, challenging weather and well, this darn hamstring thing that just will not go away. Although in retrospect, its continually improving. It just doesn’t always seem like it.
So yeah, facing the idea of 20 miles in the rain Sunday morning in addition to all that other stuff….I kinda freaked. (Sorry babe!) And then went all suck it up buttercup and went. And was greatly rewarded.
The goal was to start slow, and stay slow and see just how much of it I could do. The 18 miles two weeks before, was a lot less running than i’d have liked. So I had to tell myself, it doesn’t matter how slow this run is…if it helps you run them all.
I didn’t look at my watch…I felt it beep the miles, but I refused to be ruled by a number. I saw a hawk sitting by a pond. I saw a gorgeous fox run across the road. I got a text of encouragement from the hubs (Thanks babe!). I spent a lot of time telling myself to Get Out Of My Head and just run. It got damp and it rained and my fingers became useless. I found an aquatic creature out ‘swimming’ too.
I remembered Shalane saying at some point during the marathon it felt like she wasn’t even wearing shorts, and I knew EXACTLY what she meant. LOL
When I hit mile 14 somehow miraculously still running, I aimed for 15. When I hit 15 I tried for 16… At 17, and still running (albeit likely slower) it started to become a mission. And at mile 18, still running, I started to smile. Cuz now it was game on and there was NO way I wasn’t finishing these miles running.
When my watched beeped the magical sound of mile 20 complete….I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Instead I texted my running friend (who was out running her long run in a matching outfit (twinsies, yay!)) and said “I ran the whole f@$%ng 20”. I then slowly and gingerly ambled into the house (I finished .05 from my door – convenient!) and said “Guess what I just did!”
At that moment, it was the Best Run Ever.
I was tired. I was sore. And I was so incredibly happy. Its not where I used to be…but it doesn’t matter. Because it was exactly what I needed that day.
A side note… today is also 5 years from the day I broke my hip in a running “accident”. Two weeks after my 3rd marathon (Boston 2013). Spending four months on crutches and rebuilding almost from scratch for my 4th (Disney – January 2014) was a challenge. Yet now here I am training for my 14th. Its all about perspective. Belief you can overcome anything…and that you can’t keep a good runner down.