17 and 1/2 miles later , and Training Week #6 comes to a close. Yet, here is a piece of advice — never let a week come to an end without having learned something that makes a difference in your life. Look for it, seek it, be relentless about it. Otherwise, you may be falling back Asleep…..and we worked SO HARD to become AWAKE. Hold it tight in your fist! Don’t let it go!
Nine (9) of those 17 and 1/2 miles took place on Sunday. From my house, over the hills, past the Alpaca, beyond the fire house…….9 miles takes you places. And, frankly, this week it truly did. 9 miles took me from a place of worry, past scared, and all the way over to confident. Yeah. That’s right. 9 miles doesn’t scare me anymore, because I clobbered it. I stomped it into the sidewalk with every step I ran on Sunday. Marathon Brian’s pep talk really helped me. I had my plan. To take it slow and steady. I had double the water, and I had an iPod full of upbeat songs. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning, I waited until the sun was up around 8am, and hit the road, so I knew the sun would be on my face…..encouraging me forward. But….I’m not completely “fierce”. I’m a “fierce-wanna-be”. My husband said he could see I was delaying opening the front door and just….going. I was lingering. Delaying. The. Inevitable. The 9 Miles.
I had to PUSH myself out the front door, yet once I did….it all felt very comfortable, familiar. The warm up walk, and the start of my run, right by my street sign at the end of the road. The same street sign that later….becomes my own personal finish line. Marathon Brian’s other piece of advice was to keep running. To try not to walk. He says there is something psychological about succumbing to walking that breaks your drive, breaks your competitive spirit to “get it done”. He says I can slow down my run to a jog, and I can let that jog be as slow as I need it to be. I can slow my jog down to a “barely above walking” pace, which would let me handle a hill, or recover my breathing,,,,,but to be able to do these things without stopping, with succumbing to walking…is a psychological WIN. Humpff. I liked hearing all of this. So, I was heading out on my Journey of 9 — willing to try something new.
I DID AWESOME. I was taking is slow, and all the way out at the 4,5 mile mark, just before the point where I was ready to turn it around, when I reached for my water bottle strapped to my waist belt, and……OUCH! A pain shot up my back like I never felt before! Yeah, just reaching for my water bottle, I sprained my back. I had to stop, and stand there in the middle of the sidewalk, and just let the pain die down. I did some stretches, and slowly began to walk again, until I was able to run. WOW, I never felt pain that made me not want to breathe….until that moment.
I was fine for another mile, until I reached for more water, and there it was again. I stopped, and let it pass. Man-o-man, this is NOT something I wanted to be dealing with and with 3.5 miles still left to go. But I tamped it down and kept going. The run made my knees mushy. It was the first time a run wore out my legs. I take it to be a good sign that they are strong….and this run and those yet to come will only make them stronger. The last two miles were a fight. I succumbed to walking. I couldn’t resist it. But I kept fighting to run again, and the last two miles went like that.
I crossed the invisible finish line by my street sign 1 hour 53 minutes after I had begun. That’s an average of 12:33 pace. I was hoping for 1 hour 48 mins, but…….LOL, I’ll feel proud anyway. (Darn perfectionism!) My back gave me grief the rest of the day, and man, was I stiff. I took two baths and let myself soak. Bu the time I went to bed, I was feeling better. A dull reminder of the back sprain was still there. I would have to keep an eye on that one.
So, right as I walked through my front door, after my run, my husband applauded me (thanks sweetheart) and asked me how it went……my immediate answer was ….“It Was Great. I’m not afraid of the 13 miles anymore.” Bazinga! Yeah, there was the Magic of the 9 miles! LOL, 9 miles is a Looooong way. It’s Far! And after conquering 9 miles, I knew, in my heart, in my soul, in my knees and in my lungs, that I could dig deep and find what was necessary to run 13.2 miles. IT was in there. IT was in ME! D@mn, THAT FELT GREAT. THAT felt like a cupcake! What a treat for my soul, and this one didn’t stick to my hips!
Ciao for now…..Diane