Yea, 20. 20 miles. That was Sunday’s mission. Mission Accomplished. But it wasn’t EZ!
Walking out the door today, I was really positive. I’d done some research in my Garmin database to see what my pace was when I finished 15 miles (my longest continuous run so far). I was determined to Go Slow. To take my time, to finish the 20 miles as strong as I could.
Spent some time this week preparing for this specific long run. I was determined to NOT be afraid of it. Hell, I’ve been afraid of that number , 20, since the very first day Marathon Brian emailed me the training schedule. And it continued every single week, as I stared it down on the kitchen bulletin board where the schedule hangs. Each little black check-off mark on daily runs was bringing me closer to that 20. I had to kick its @ss, mentally before Sunday, so it didn’t kick mine on Sunday.
Part of my preparation is about Strategy. The rest is about guts. In the strategy department, I had a nice chat with a friend on Saturday after our weekly weight watchers meeting. Scott helped me “see” myself in the new light that has emerged in the past 12 weeks of training. I stumble back into the Old Diane thoughts sometimes….where Fear and Doubt still giggle and tease me. Scott helped me remember how much I have changed…and how solid my new skills are. Solid enough to take the strain of 20 miles, without breaking. I still find it weird how when it comes to B.E.L.I.E.F., I trust what other people see in me instead of trusting myself. I’ve decided not to worry about it. LOL. Instead, it simply impresses upon me JUST how important it is to pick your friends wisely. These people you let into your heart, into your soul, into your insecurities….they need to have your best intentions in mind, so you know they use their POWERS for GOOD.
Scott’s advice was chock full of lessons, but it was about distracting my mind during this L.o.n.g. Run, and Breathing! Letting the oxygen injection clear my head, and feed my blood, and drown my brain with fresh air. From there, we both agreed, I was loaded for bear in the guts department!
The rest of my strategy came from Marathon Brian. Run 15. And let the last 5 happen in whatever way it takes!
I was out the door at 6am. I am sooo grateful to all you lovely people on Old Stage Road who left their Christmas lights on overnight. I spent the first hour running in Christmas….which was amazing. Such unexpected joy. The universe has a way of taking your fear and turning it into something that will help propel you forward, if you allow yourself to be open, and listen for those whispers. For me, on Sunday, the whispers were hard to miss. They came in the form of twinkle lights, red, gold and green. It was HARD to feel anyway but wonderful, surrounded by that!
My mantra was…”We are doing 5. 5 miles“. That’s all I let myself think about. 5 miles. I counted off to 5 miles, then I celebrated. Good job, that was good. Alright! Nice work. And then it started again. “We are doing 5. Just 5.” And that’s how it went. For 4 cycles.
I ran 15 miles, solid and strong. The last 5 were a struggle. Once I stopped around 15:25, it was like someone took a sledge-hammer to my knees. I could hear you Brian….in my head…..”why did you stop??” Cuz I’m an idiot!! LoL. No, I’m not, but I felt like one right there, over 4 miles from home. “Diane, breathe…then learn. It feels 100x worse when you stop. Remember this, and keep fighting. Keep fighting girl.”
As I neared my Street sign finish line, I began to call my husband with my mental telepathy. Peter, come pick me up at the park. Peter. Come to the park and pick me up. I have to pee sooo bad. Nothing. NA-Da! Turns out Peter doesn’t have any telepathy skills. LOL So I hobbled home the last 10 mins, hoping to get there before my bladder exploded.
After my ice bath, I could walk….such as it was. Spent the rest of the day as a sore bag off muscles. But THIS sore bag of muscles did 20 miles today. And more than that, she F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. Believes…she can do this thing!
It’s funny — when Fear goes away, there is ALOT of room in your heart and soul for Giddy Excitement!
Ciao for know…..Diane