Running Long

Running Long

The long run sits on Sundays……double digit runs that start at almost the longest mileage I have EVER done….and climb into the stratosphere to 22 miles or something insane like that!   Marathon Brian has told me — the running during the week made him more weary — because it’s day after day, and then ya gotta get ready for work and go do that!  “The long run, on Sunday — was enjoyable“, he said.  Ohh -Key -Doh – Key!!

6:15am, out the door.  Ohhhh, the air smelled of fall.  I was alone out there, but not lonely.  Mornings like this are what turned me on to running outside.  It just smelled so good, and felt so good to be outside.  Right away it felt different from when I was running for the Half.  Back then, last winter, 10 miles was the peak of my training.  The Half was only a week or so away from that point, and each long run brought with it the curiosity of whether I could do it.  Not today.  The 10 miles today were already done.  I knew I could do them.  I was just setting out to try to run all of them.  Run all of the 10 miles.  That’s the new goal.

I made the mistake of removing my custom orthotics from my sneakers today.  I had them made by the Shoe Dog at RoadRunner Sports.  I’ve been hot and cold about them from Day 1.  I like them sometimes, I don’t other times.  But here’s some advice for you…..learn from my mistake…..DON’T remove your custom orthotics when you have 10 miles to run.  WHAT the HELL was I thinking?  Well, I wasn’t….thinking….that is.  STOO-PID Diane!

I had a calf ache right from the start that cramped the entire first two miles.  Right from the get go — I was walking too soon.  I didn’t let it get me down though.  I just kept going.   Look, I want to run the whole mother-loving thing, every single time.  But….it just may not be in me…every time.  So I’m not going to ride myself like a pony and get myself down about it.  This is just Week #1.  I have alot of time to Learn!  Who I am today, running here in Week #1…is NOT who I am going to be when I board that plane for Orlando in Week #18.  The job in front of me — is to do the BEST things I can, encourage myself to grow as MUCH as I can, care for myself the MOST I can between now and then.  To Become the ME who is ready to Run on Race Day.

Today was a great step in that direction.  Today, I ran 10 miles….with some walking out of necessity.  When I walked….it was just short breaks.  And the moment I did, I found a landmark ahead of me to mark where I would run again.  I fought for it.  So when I was done, I could rest my head on the pillow at night, knowing I gave it my all.  THAT is my measure of success.  THAT satisfies me.  For now.  For today.

I practiced using the PowerBar shots.  I practiced eating and drinking on the run.  Amazingly, I reached the llama farm , which is about 3 miles out and my reaction was — wow, I’m here already.  That feeling continued.  The first 5 miles went fast.  Before I knew it, I was at the turnaround spot.  Miles 6, 7 and 8 were wonderful also.  It made me realize that on an OUT and BACK — part of the reason the OUT feels so much harder, is because you carry with you the full weight of all 10 miles.  You carry them on your shoulders like the weight of the world.   It was a good reminder to myself to TRY to LEARN not to do that.  Break it down Diane.  Into manageable pieces that feel less heavy.  The BACK feels heavenly.  Lighter.  Like Flying (in slow motion, in my case…LOL)

By the time I reached 5 miles, I was WAYYYY out there.  In the outskirts of Spotswood.  Heck, I’m not even in my own town anymore.  LOL  The silent morning was lovely.  Not a car on the road, just ahead of me two deer ran across the road.  A little fawn, whose spots had mostly faded and its Doe Mother.   In the silence, they were stunning, graceful, peaceful, beautiful.  Nature, just as it is meant to be, while the human world sleeps.  As I reached the spot where they crossed into the woods, I looked into the clearing toward where they ran, and there they were about 15 feet in the woods — standing still as statues, just staring back at me.  Their ears were big, and round and standing straight up on their heads, trying to access what I was, and if I represented danger.  Heck, even Bambi and his Mom were wondering, “What are you doing all the way out here so early on Sunday?”  LOL

I only saw 3 runners out there that early, and they were all “Chariots of Fire” types.  Lean, Ripped, Fast, Gazelles.  The woman was flying.  She smiled, waved, and said good morning.  She carried only her iPod.  She looked like she had been running for a while, and her tank was still pretty full.  She looked like she could run forever.  I decided, I would like to be like her one day!  The first guy was about 17 years old.  Each step he took looked like a meter in length.  He was moving so fast, cars would have had a hard time keeping up.  The last guy was in his 20s.  He too was moving…but not so fast that he couldn’t  shoot me a good morning and a wave.  Running is a community.  Something happens out there when you are far from home, with only your feet to take you back.

Don’t believe me?  Go ask your spouse, mom, dad or friend to help you with this experiment.  Get in your car, and drive.  Just go.  Set the odometer and go 5 miles away from your house.  Stop the car, and Get out, and let them drive away.  Stand there for a few minutes, and look around.  Get a sense of how it feels to be standing on that distant corner — 5 miles from home.  Yea, it’s familiar surroundings, still in your general neighborhood, and yet — far from home.

Now, start moving.  Your task is to get yourself home.  Any way you can.  Walk, Run, Crawl, Hop, Skip, Jump…. whatever you do, start chipping away at the distance between your house, and that lonely distant corner.  You WILL get there.  You WILL find your way home.  But you’ll have to FIGHT for it.  And when you finally make it home……your house will look homey-er, your doorknob will feel softer, your family will seem more loving, that glass of water will taste sweeter, breakfast will smell yummier, and you will feel STRONGER.

Why you ask?

Because you had to FIGHT FOR IT!  Everything will seem just THAT much more precious today.  And THAT makes all the difference in the world.

Ciao for now…..Diane

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