Some of my loyal readers - a.k.a. - my parents - have told me that this blog has turned into a running blog. Okay. I admit it. I do write about running a lot. But that's because I am on a marathon journey. So I apologize for that. After May 6th has come and gone, I plan to not write about running as much. But until then - everyone will have to bear with me and read about my running adventures.
Yesterday I was scheduled for a 14 mile run. I was a bit nervous. After all, I had never ventured past the 13.1 mark. Would I be able to handle 14 miles? How would I feel? I was a little stressed about the run - but my goal was to just take it mile by mile and not think about the WHOLE 14 miles in front of me. Let me tell you that breaking up the miles worked out great. I never felt overwhelmed and I think that's the way to go for future long runs. It helps me mentally.
Janis and I started our run at 8 AM. We ran on a country road that happens to be fairly flat with a few rolling hills. The plan was to run 2.5 out and then 2.5 back. Then we were meeting up with Elisa. Then we would run 4.5 out again and 4.5 back. And that would total 14 miles. So off we went at 8 AM. I liked breaking it up like that. Knowing that we were turning around at 2.5 made it seem quick. Before we knew it we were back at our starting point and 5 miles was done! We took our gel at that point and waited for Elisa. She arrived shortly after that and then we were off again.
The miles ticked by and we had some fun with singing, telling stories, and just being goofy. Before I knew it we had approached the 11 mile mark. I was feeling tired but pretty good. We had stopped to gel again at mile 10. I have to tell you that the gel is great! It fuels my body and it made me wonder why I never used the gel for any of my past half marathons. What was I thinking?
We finally got to mile 13 and when I surpassed that 13.1 mark - I was in new territory. Before I knew it- we hit mile 14 and we were done. I was feeling great and all 3 of us were so excited. We celebrated with some chocolate milk and giving each other high fives. You would have thought we had finished the full marathon instead of just 14 miles! I was thrilled. I felt like going over the 13.1 mark was a mental hump. And the thing that made me really excited was that I felt good. I mean - sure my legs were sore and I was tired. But I didn't feel awful or overwhelmed. I felt elated and I felt like I could have run another mile or two. That never happens to me. I think it's the gel. It really makes a difference. For the first time since my training started, I really felt like 26.2 wasn't totally out of my reach. I think I can do this.
Next week's long run is only 10 miles. That will be a welcome break. And it will seem so easy compared to what I just did.
Have a great rest of the weekend.