Posts by: April Bowden

Dreams Deferred

Week 12

If all goes as planned, this will be my final week.

I wanted to feel the cool air on my face so I did the first mile outside. I began to wish I stayed outside. After being in the gym for ten minutes, I was joined by the loudest woman on a gossiping phone call. It was too early for this conversation and it was quite rude to carry on so loudly being in a shared space. I wanted to go unplug her machine. She was getting on my nerves and I desperately hoped that the person on the other end had somewhere to be. No such luck. Urgh!!!!!!!

To top off the ridiculous loud woman, Nike was up to his antics again and not registering my miles. Again, the universe recognizes who I run for. Today, my miles aren’t for a person, but rather; for dreams come true. Like this morning’s run, as I pursue my dreams; there will be people who annoy me and difficulties along the way. Today’s lesson, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and just keep going!”

I went back for round two. This time I was armed with headphones, just in case. There were two people on the treadmills (one on either side). The female to my left kept glancing over. After her warmup, she appeared to be trying to run with me. That just made me get rid of my idea to do intervals. Fifteen minutes in, she got off. One down, one to go. The gentleman on my right was going for it. I kept wishing he would quit so I could walk. He too finally caved. I crowned myself Treadmill Champ.

Day 2

I woke up eager to run. I smiled at the enthusiasm I had today. It was the same enthusiasm I used to have any time I had something planned with my brother. He was twelve years older than me, but we always clicked. It was 42 degrees. He loved the cold. Me, not so much. I dressed in my favorite neon leggings, long sleeve shirt and jacket.

After a mile, I was getting warm. The hills seemed liked mountains, but I was having a good run. To make my run better, the horses were out. I completed seven miles.

I know I needed double digits for the day so I went back out to walk later to make it ten.

In the last thirty four days, I have logged two hundred miles. This lady is tired, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I spent the evening with my legs up on the wall. I imagine that will be my ritual the remainder of the week.

Day 3

I chose to run for the #IRUNTHISC1TY supporters in Illinois that I had hoped to meet this weekend. My miles were easy and steady as the reality is setting in that I won’t be racing on Saturday. I’ve eliminated the desire to complete 1,000 miles on a specific day because it just won’t have the same meaning not reaching the goal crossing a finish line.

Day 4

The calendar says rest. I’ve decided to do just that. Sadness has overcome me and I just don’t want to. I haven’t thrown in the towel. That’s not in my character. I’ve just delayed the sense of urgency to reach my goal.

Rest will be good for me. Rest of the body and the mind is currently needed.

Day 5

And the day before what would have been race day has gone exactly as the day after the first day of training….with technical difficulties. I decided on a midday mile. Low and behold, my difficulty really wasn’t technical…but more user error. I forgot to stop my app and three hours later, I laughed at my phone when I realized it was still going. 3:20:14 to complete 1.88 miles. Talk about slow and easy. Oh well. C’est la vie.

The night ended with me in tears as I surfed Facebook and saw the pictures of my friends at expos and pictures of their race day clothes spread out. I’m happy for each of them but I’m so sad for myself and my other friend who is also unable to race. It’s heartbreaking to spend twelve plus weeks training for a race and then not having the satisfaction of showing up at the START line. I have race envy in the worst way.

Day 6

It’s supposed to be race day and the morning started just like it ended….in tears. Who knew I’d be this emotional??

Give Me Strength

Week 11

Like the final 5k of every half marathon I’ve completed and the last .5 of every 5k, this week is about mental toughness and the tenacity to finish what I started. I put more thought into how the names were placed on the calendar this week. I was very strategic in assigning each day of dedicated miles. In real time, I’ll need to log sixty miles in order to guarantee that I will be at 994 miles when I arrive at the start line of my race and have the necessary energy to cross the finish line. Lord, I ask for strength and wellness. Water intake, food consumption and adequate rest will be imperative to get me through.

Day 1

I’m excited about my running dedication today. This person is resilient, determined and fabulous. Today, I’m running for my niece; Michelle. I went to one of my favorite spots. I set my intervals and was doing well for the first few miles. My shins started to hurt, indicative of a need for new shoes. I think I’m going to run the soles off the Sauconys I’m wearing. The weather was perfect and everything went well. I thought of seeing Michelle post on Facebook that things are often tough. Usually the next post shows that she has pushed through. I did the same and ran one extra mile.

Day 2

This is my last scheduled double digit day although I’m sure there will be at least one more. My run is dedicated to my Dad (RIP).

It had been a few weeks since I’d run at this park. It quickly became my favorite place as this was the first real time I felt like I was enjoying all that fall has to offer. The temperature was perfect and the leaves were gorgeous.

I parked my car in a different place this time to keep it fresh. The first mile, I intended to use as a warm up and time to commune with my thoughts. Shortly before I reached the first mile, the coffee I treated myself to was ready to leave me. I despise the thought of a porta pottie but it was the better option, over leaving. There was a huge playground near and I thought surely a place that catered to children would have restrooms. Wrong. At 1.5, I almost became that runner we’ve all seen who darts in the woods to find a private tree. My inner diva wouldn’t allow it. At mile two, I was relieved to see a big blue box. After my brief meeting, I was on my way and able to run comfortably. I was taking it all in. I enjoyed hearing my feet crunch the leaves beneath my feet. My pace was steady and I felt amazing.

I stopped a few times to take pictures. But for the most part, I ran the whole time. I had turned around to return to my car and happened upon a statue. I had passed it several times before on my treks through the park, but I had never gone close enough to really see it. I was once again shocked at how the universe works. Right in the middle of the marble slab was the U.S. Coast Guard seal. My Dad was a Coastie. I took this as his wink from Heaven that he approved of my efforts. I spent a minute there and was on my way. Still heading in the direction of my car, I saw a face in the distance that looked familiar. As I got closer, I realized it was Kristin, whom I had run with in the past. I decided to join her for a few and made a u-turn. I was happy for the push. Had I not seen her, my run would have turned to intervals. After running a nice distance, it was time for me to turn around. I wished her a good remainder of her run and well wishes on her upcoming race in Puerto Rico.

Upon my return to the parking lot, I heard roosters crowing and monkeys “talking”. I thought this to be extremely odd sounds for a park in the middle of the city. I laughed when I realized it had slipped my mind that I had parked in front of the zoo.

Day 3

I didn’t feel like it….at all. I was scheduled to do five. Even though this should’ve been a pretty quick and easy run, I didn’t want to do it. I looked at the calendar to find the day dedicated to my nieces and nephews. I knew that five wasn’t happening, instead; I opted for .1 for each of them. At 2.4 miles, I was glad to be done and glad that I didn’t have any more nieces or nephews.

I’m sure I’ll wish I had done more later in the week to make the weekend easier. But what I gave was honestly more than I had. Getting closer to fifty.

Day 4

I opened my eyes and checked the weather. The temperature had taken a nose dive. The high was going to be twenty degrees lower than yesterday. In the darkness, I headed to the gym. It was empty so I turned on my music. I liked the time alone and hoped that my hour would be in solitude. Today was dedicated to my son. I pumped out those miles in his honor. I thought about how many miles I would do. I considered one for every day he’s been gone. When I realized how many that would actually be, I opted to try to get as close to the amount of days I’d have to see him.

Day 5

It’s Halloween. Holidays always excite me. Although I’m tired. I will get my Nike+ badge.

Another day for the male child. I was mentally and physically drained. I had gotten some bad news yesterday and I really wanted to throw in the 1,000 mile towel. My mind and body got together and decided they didn’t want to do any miles today. I knew that I wouldn’t let him give me excuses or a pass to do nothing. I didn’t do what I had planned but I got in a few miles. His absence from the home has been difficult, but every time anything brings me down; the thought of him encouraging me gives me all that I need.

Day 6

Today, I run for my sister. I was mentally back on track. But after completing over 165 miles for the month, I knew I needed to give my body a break. As a nurse, my sister would encourage me to listen to my body.

I got in a power walk because I realized that even though I wouldn’t get in the eight I was anticipating, anything I did would be miles closer to my goal.

Sleep is for SUCKERS!!!!!

Week 10
I’m 147 miles away from 1,000 miles. I have three weeks to get there. This is not an unobtainable goal but it does present a bit of a challenge. Fifty miles a week to get there. I will probably have to do at least three days of double dipping for the next two weeks in order to have fewer miles in the last week and fresher legs for the race.

Day 1

It was another one of those days that I preferred to stay in bed. I tried to keep my eyes closed for a few minutes longer as I attempted to picture my workout calendar to figure out who today’s run was for. I had no idea and knew the only way I’d know would be to get up.

I laughed when I saw the name Pam M. as I could hear her voice in my head saying, “Sleep is for suckers!” I pictured one of her previous cover photos on Facebook and her constant mantra of #noexcuses.

In my mind, I was going to start my week off easy. It was 53 degrees and I intended to enjoy my walk to the gym in the cool morning air. I also planned to walk my five miles. That didn’t happen. Somewhere between the bed and adjusting the settings on the treadmill, this became a training run. Each mile was faster than the previous mile for the first four miles. In the final mile, I added 42 seconds. That didn’t bother me much as the treadmill was set to slow the pace for a cool down.

For a run I didn’t want to do, I’d say it turned out pretty good. Five down, fifty to go.

Day 2

I slept horribly and my normal Tuesday routine was anything but. At 1:00 pm, I had completed zero miles. I hadn’t even bothered to look to see who the miles were dedicated to. I knew I couldn’t end the day with zero. I sent a distress text to a friend asking if she’d run with me when she got off work. Thirty minutes before I was to meet her, I was wishing I never asked. I didn’t feel like it.

We met at one of my favorite trails. She had never been there. I really like introducing people to new running places. We ran the trail and through some neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were very hilly and we ran most of the hills. The highlight of the run was open house. The neighborhood is being developed and we saw an open house sign. I was surprised that the door was actually unlocked. For $252,000 we would get an open floor plan home. Downstairs had hardwood in the foyer and kitchen. There was a master with a huge bathroom with double vanity. A second bath with a cute sink was just off the living area. For cool nights, the owners could also enjoy the fireplace. Upstairs, you were met by a grand bonus/media room. There were three additional rooms. One was small and I’d suggest an office. The other two were larger but I wasn’t impressed by the closets. I would have preferred less space in the bonus and more storage space. I loved the first floor and would have been happy with just that space. The less than great second floor, makes this home a deal breaker for me. I now feel a desire to go earlier to run the community again so I can see the other houses.

Today, I ran for Kat. I laughed at the irony. During her visit, we ran a hilly course. She would’ve loved to hate me for today’s run. We also can’t be trusted to “just run” together. She would’ve been in the houses with me. And had she been there, you’d also see pictures.

Ten down, 45 to go.

Day 3

Today’s run was dedicated to my high school track coach. He was the first person to introduce me to distance running. I cringed at the idea of running six miles for practice. Maybe that’s why I don’t like the 10k distance. But once I realized it wasn’t horrible and I was capable, I was ok with it. Thanks coach.

Thirty five more to go.

Day 4

I dedicated today’s run to injured runners and those who can’t run. I am completely in awe of how I randomly placed the names on no particular day of the calendar and each day somehow aligns with the name. In my mind, I think this day was important to me because I’ve seen my friends and people in the running community sign up for and train for a race and find themselves out of money and out of the race. I also put injured runners on the calendar to remind myself that even though I lace up, I won’t always run. Sometimes we must do what we can and not push it. When I thought about those who CAN’T run, I had in mind people (primarily children) who can’t physically run for whatever reason. Today (I realized) is my little buddy’s birthday who can’t physically run. I’m reminded of his winning smile the few times I’ve had the pleasure of his presence with his mom pushing him.

I walked all of my miles today because I know the next two days probably won’t be fun and definitely won’t be easy.

Four today. Thirty one to go!

Day 5

My morning started with a call from the person today is dedicated to. Pusha Pam was on her way to complete the Marine Corps Marathon. It was great to hear her enthusiasm. I knew that she would be on my mind during my double digit run.

Another night run for me on the treadmill. It would also be another night of Amazing Race while I ran. I skipped sushi for the evening and had kielbasa sausage. I prayed it would sit well in my stomach. I decided I would run ninety minutes nonstop. This would be my longest nonstop run in a while. I promised myself I wouldn’t look at the mileage until I had been going for two hours. When I looked, I hadn’t gone as far as I thought or as far as I would have liked but I heard Pusha’s voice in my head reminding me that I could do it and to keep pushing. I heard her voice say, “it’s you against yourself. Hang in there.”

I also watched a few wedding dress shows, “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Something Borrowed”. I took a long break from watching shows like this because I had the “always a bridesmaid” thought in my head. These days, I’m excited for the brides and I like to watch the shows. Maybe one day in the not so distant future I’ll get to be the one trying on wedding gowns.

After two hours, I decided to walk the remainder of my time. This decision was made not because I was tired but because it was late and I’m usually too amped after a night run to sleep. I slowed to a brisk walk and completed my double digit walk/run.

I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal for the week. In fact, I will probably have double digits by the time I go to bed tomorrow. I really just want to push to have less than 100 miles to get to 1000 before next week begins.

Oh yeah. I burned almost a thousand calories.

Day 5

My miles today are dedicated to a true warrior. Regina is a two time breast cancer survivor. I met her when I was a freshman in college. Her husband was in the military stationed at Fort Lee, fifteen minutes from my school. They are the family of the guy I was dating. From our very first meeting, she and the whole house took me in as family.

I was crushed when I heard she was suffering. At the time, we had both relocated and I was too far to come quick. I made sure to check in periodically and was overjoyed to hear that her cancer was in remission. That year, I started volunteering at breast cancer walks and races. It made me feel good to see so many people supporting cancer research and survivors. Before I started running, every year I promised myself that I would complete the 5k in her honor. The year I decided to join her and her daughters in Charlotte, shortly before the walk, she was back in the hospital. In prayer and because she couldn’t, I made the trip to Charlotte to volunteer. Afterwards, I went to visit her in the hospital. She looked weak, but her spirits seemed high. Soon after, Regina had won her battle again.

The following year, I wasn’t able to join her and the girls. I did, however; finally make good on my promise to run a breast cancer race in her honor. That year, along with a crowd of ladies dressed in pink, I completed the “Women’s Only” in Greensboro, NC.

This year, the breast cancer event dates didn’t mesh with my schedule. For the first time since her original diagnosis, I was not able to participate in an event. Today, I celebrate and log my miles for a two time survivor.

She is a true inspiration of every cliche’ that tells us to never give up.

What does one notice after two hours in the gym? The mileage on the machine says eight miles and the mileage on my Nike+ app say 2.notenough. Doggone you technology. Add that to my earlier miles and we’ve got two double digit days in a row. Tomorrow I’ll get in an easy two miler…a very easy two miler and prepare my mind and body to tackle the last 100 miles.

No Small Task

Week 9/12 Day 1

I have less than two hundred miles to go to reach 1,000 for the year. I’ve told myself that I will complete it by my next race, which is less than thirty days away. This goal is a huge goal. Fifty miles a week is no small task. But, if I keep the right attitude, get a decent amount of sleep and eat well; it’s doable.

In order to make the goal have more meaning, I wrote names on each day of my training schedule to dedicate my miles to. In my mind, unbeknownst to these people, they are my accountability partners.

Today, I run for Candace. She is beautiful inside and out. I love her spirit. She is one of my big inspirations to start running again. The year I saw her, her daughter and her mom complete a breast cancer run together did something great for my heart. To date, it is still the most beautiful finish I’ve ever witnessed. They didn’t do it for time. They seemed to be having fun and when one seemed to slow down, the others didn’t complain, they encouraged each other to keep going. They didn’t give up. Three generations of beauty, poise and dedication.

My after run breakfast included fried green tomatoes. I imagined Mama G preparing them as my friend sat at her grandmother’s table listening to age old wisdom. Every time I hear her speak of her grandmother, I wish I had gotten the opportunity to meet her.

Week 9 Day 2

Nothing has gone as planned today. I slept horribly and when I got up, I did put on my running clothes with the intent to run after I went food shopping. By then, I was hungry. I had breakfast and ended up taking a nap. When I opened my eyes, the tv was on alerting me to a tornado watch in the area. So much for leaving the house. By 8pm, all was clear. I went to the gym and I guess others were waiting out the weather as well. This was one of the largest crowds I had seen there. The treadmills were all taken. I almost went home. It’s funny how things work out and that today, my miles are dedicated to my friend Angie. She’s the first person to put the thought of completing 1000 miles in a year in my head. She’s also a bike rider who has participated in the Tour to Tanglewood bike ride in North Carolina. Instead of throwing in the towel for the evening, tonight, I ride for Angie.

Week 9 Day 3

It’s interesting that I put the names on the calendar very randomly and the first day I really don’t feel like doing anything is the very day that I have dedicated to Pam ( affectionately known as Pusha). This woman has a heart of gold. She gives selflessly to others on and off the pavement. I pictured her showing up at my door saying, “These miles aren’t going to run themselves. Let’s go!” Go, is what I did. I knew I didn’t have time to do the six due to a previous commitment, but zero wasn’t an option. I was tired. But I got a shot gel and put my clothes on to run. My inner Pusha got it done.

Week 9 Day 4

Today, my training plan says cross train. Yeah, that’s not really going to happen. I’ve got miles to log. Last year, I convinced my friend John to complete a running program. She did Walk Before You Run with Black Girls Run in Winston Salem, NC. The goal is the same as most traditional Couch to 5k programs, so I decided to complete a 5k for John. At work, we always say we don’t want to give too much at one time….just a little extra. So I gave a little extra on the pavement; 1.9 miles extra.

I’m 25 miles away from my goal of fifty with two days left to complete. I’m 99.9% sure that won’t happen. I’ll get as close as I can. 1,000…..I’m coming for you. I guess there will be some double dipping the next two weeks.

Week 9 Day 5

It’s double digit day. Anything over ten would make me happy. To prepare for my run, last night I went to the sporting goods store to pick up Gu. I got my usual flavor, vanilla bean; and I decided to try root beer. Today I also went to get Swedish fish for the run. To my disappointment, the store I went to didn’t have them. To my surprise, when I got off work I found two bags of fish in the car. The universe aligns again. The fish were left in the car by the very person my long run was dedicated to, my sweetie. I think I have a keeper. Insert smile and heart flutter.

I knew I had to eat something before my run. I decided on sushi. I figured it would either be a great decision or a very tragic decision. I’m happy to report, it was filling enough that I was no more hungry than if I had slept all night to do the same run in the morning.

After sushi, I put together an “aid station” for my run. It consisted of Gu, water, nuun, pretzels and my fish. I put everything in a lunch box and headed to the treadmill.

The Amazing Race was on television. It was nice to watch during my run. I was happy to run the first hour nonstop. The pace wasn’t fast, but it was steady and I felt no pain. Last night, I also picked up a patellar strap. It made a world of difference in how my knee that often bothers me felt.

Seven miles in, I tried the root beer Gu. I loved it! By this time, I was bored. The Gu helped keep me going. By going, I mean moving. I was unenthused and decided to walk. It was getting late and I didn’t want to be too amped when I finally got to bed. The tv was no longer entertaining, just noise to keep me company.

Mission accomplished. Double digit miles on a Friday night, DONE!!! Over 14 miles and I looked in the mirror to realize I had forgotten to take off my eye makeup. I guess I sweat everywhere but my eyelids cause they still looked good. #POW

Week 9 Day 6

Today, I run for my on again off again runner friend. Cherelle joined me for a few runs when I started. I would see her Nike stats on Facebook from time to time and get excited to see her doing her thing. This year, she decided it was her turn to complete a race. Her first was my first, Beat the Heat 5k in Winston Salem. I was so proud of her. She kept a great pace and finished in a good time. Today, I dedicate my 3.1 to her.

More Mental Than Physical

Week 8

Now that I have my horrible week of training behind me, I’ve taken time to reflect and stop beating myself up. I realize that running is so much more mental than physical and I’m my own worst critic. Rather than feeling disappointed in myself for missing ten miles of training, I should be happy that I was able to complete what I completed. I need to remind myself that training provides you the opportunity to try things before race day. This includes figuring out what recovery methods work best. The biggest thing I learned was that when the pavement is too much, try the treadmill. I also believe that a recovery walk the following day would have been helpful. I spent too many hours following being inactive.

How will this week be different? I plan to complete 40 miles this week. I will do as many miles as I can on the pavement, hopefully increasing each day. I will finish the miles on the treadmill if I need to so that I am prepared to do my entire long run on the pavement Saturday morning. I will revert to my previous post long run ritual of taking an ice bath. I’ll add ibuprofen and then I’m going to a street festival to keep moving. I also plan to incorporate daily yoga to aid in stretching and strengthening my body.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Week 8 Day 1

I started my run with .25 on the pavement. I didn’t go very fast, but I also ran the entire distance with no pain. When I arrived at the treadmill, I decided on a two minute run / thirty second interval. I felt great until I looked at the time and distance. It was slightly discouraging once I realized how slow I was going. I had to convince myself that speed wasn’t my goal today. Instead, I needed to focus on just completing five miles with no pain. I realized when I increased the speed on the treadmill, I experienced no pain, but discomfort at a 1.5. When I decreased my speed, discomfort also decreased. This is when I really decided to focus on my breathing, my form and finishing.

I ended up running twenty minutes straight. I left the treadmill at slightly less than four miles with the intent to complete my mileage on the pavement. I ran more than half of what I had left with no discomfort. I waited impatiently for Nike to tell me I had completed my training miles. But he never said a word. Maybe he thinks I’ve quit. Even with no words from my app, I finished my run feeling victorious. I was a little down when I saw that it took 1:29:36 to complete five miles. But I put it in perspective that at least I was starting the week off completing the required amount of miles.

I followed through with my post run activities. I prepared a smoothie and found a yoga post run video on YouTube. The stretches felt so good.

Next up, eight miles. I may split it and do five and three as the newest running shoe store in the area is hosting its first group run. I think I want to go.

Week 8 Day 2

Before I started my run, I did something I never do. I stopped for coffee, pumpkin spice coffee. It instantly became a major win when the guy behind the counter told me it was going to be free. I returned to a trail I hadn’t run in a while. My plan was to complete five miles on the pavement with no pain. I knew I would need to take it easy. I set my intervals to 2:1. When I reached the mile one marker, I was happy with my sub :14 pace. I took my time and decided to go in the direction of the hills because I would get to see the horses. I decided to walk the hills and felt fine. No pain, discomfort at a 1. To my disappointment, when I arrived at the pasture, there were no horses. Oh well.
I hadn’t heard Nike in a while and I decided I wouldn’t look even though I was curious of not only my splits, but also my distance. Although there were no mileage indicators coming from my app, I was quite pleased to get all the cheers.

5 miles later, I had completed this run17 minutes faster than yesterday.

My training planned called for eight miles, but I had decided I would split my run today and join a new local running group later in the evening.

For the first time in a million years, I experienced a feeling that seemed so foreign; intimidation. I arrived early at the group run and I was obviously the first to arrive. I sat in my car doing idle things as a few people began to appear at the designated starting location. My prior enthusiasm took a downward turn when I looked at the people that I would run with. What I saw were cross country and endurance runners who always placed in their age group. Even if that wasn’t the case, that was my observation and it made me uncomfortable. In my mind, all I kept thinking was that I’d never be able to keep up. I don’t think I’ve had that feeling in a running situation since the first time I toed the start line of the two mile run in high school. I knew I would be last to finish. Would the outcome over twenty years ago have been different if my thinking had been more positive? Unfortunately, I’ll never know. Yes, I did cross the finish line last that day. But that day, I also felt a sense of victory. I had done something I didn’t want to do because I didn’t think I was good enough. But I was good enough. I wasn’t fast enough or confident enough to place, let alone win. But I was determined enough to finish. I let myself get inside my head that everyone else was faster. I ran with the people on my team, they were faster. But I let my thoughts also think that about the runners from the other team without ever seeing there ability. That race was the last time I finished that distance last. What I lacked in speed, I made up for with determination. In my mind, I just needed to finish before the last person. As my determination increased, so did my speed. I was never the fastest, but each race my time was faster than the previous. And I was never last again.

I left the group run feeling defeated. I still had miles to run. I decided to complete them on a nearby trail. It was mind over miles. Each mile was faster than the previous. I had beaten my times from previous weeks and I had finished ahead of my biggest competitors; my thoughts and myself.

Week 8 Day 3

I switched my training schedule again. I traded today for tomorrow since I’m running well over my training plan this Saturday. It’s now three today, six tomorrow and no more than two on Friday. It was nice to use today as a stroll. Since I was going a lot slower, I was able to pay more attention to my surroundings and take advantage of the sights of the leaves beginning to take on the season. I love fall and the orange leaves are icing on the cake.

Week 8 Day 4

I did something I haven’t done on a consistent basis in a while. I woke up before the sun. It took me over thirty minutes to actually get out the door. It was rough. When I did exit the house, I was greeted by near perfect weather. The cool air on my face was a pleasant start to my day. My glimpse of the moon was an added bonus.

I walked passed a young guy at the bus stop. He was on the phone. I wondered who he was talking to so early. The list of people I’d want to talk to in the wee hours of the morning before my coffee is a very short list.

Week 8 Day 5

Guess how many miles I did today? Zero. Today and tomorrow had a combined total of 19 miles. Since I’m doing 18 with my friend tomorrow, I decided to take the day off.

Did I tell you I found a race to replace my half? It’s not actually a half. So my plan is to complete the suggested amount of miles each week (even if it’s slightly out of order).

Week 8 Day 6

It’s long run Saturday and even though I felt like my alarm rang thirty minutes after I entered rem sleep, I was ready to go. We drove to our starting point. The first two mikes seemed to drag and for some reason, the humidity felt different. I was drenched in sweat, wishing I had made a different clothing choice. It was odd to me because it was only sixty six degrees which is usually perfect for running.

I had only run the portion of this course to about three miles. Most of my running here has been relatively flat. In fact, I wondered where all the hills were. I found them today. My running partner, Kat, gave me the stank eye a few times. She had been sick all week and had heard me say “this city isn’t that hilly”. Today’s run made me out to be a liar. Oh well. We pressed on. As we ran, I gave her a city tour when we reached landmarks (the a Beacon and Denny’s headquarters). She seemed interested, but secretly, I knew she hated me.

Our run took us downtown. It’s quite eccentric there and I knew she’d enjoy the scenery. She liked all the bike rental areas and the water fountain that had turned the water pink. Six miles later, we reached the Mary Black trail. It was flat here. Yay!!! We completed most of the trail before turning around. By thus time my water was gone. We headed back and I stopped in a convenience store for water. She got coffee. Here, we decided to take a slight short cut. This was great. By this time, I just wanted to be done and back at the car. It was getting warmer and the hills were doing a number on me.

At mile 14, we noticed a sign with orange treats. Bruster’s had pumpkin ice cream. Yes, we stopped to get two cones. About five minutes after we got them, my ice cream was running down my arms . She took a good lick of her cone and all the ice cream ended up on the ground. Her face looked like that of a five year old. I shared my ice cream with her. We finished our ice cream on our cool down. Yup, I’m declaring it was a cool down. 15 miles later, mentally and physically, I was DONE!!!

My Legs Hate Me

Week 7/12 Day 1

I’m at the halfway mark. Today, I’m supposed to do five miles. Instead, I only got in a one mile recovery walk. I’m so exhausted from the weekend.

Week 7 Day 2

I dropped my car off to get an oil change and walked to the park to get in my eight miles. I set the interval to 3:1. On the first run, my legs suggested today wasn’t a good day. I thought that maybe I just needed to stretch more and warm up longer. That wasn’t the case. I think my legs hate me for doing eighteen miles and they’re taking a break. I tried running again a few times and could only muster a jog.

It must’ve been senior citizen day at the park. They all walked passed me saying, “good job”, “keep it up” and “looking good”. One senior did walk by and said something different, ” Is that all you’ve got? Go faster!” All I could do was laugh.

I completed a little over three miles before going to retrieve my car. When I stopped my app, I realized how close I was to 150 miles for the month. So, I decided….run, jog, walk or crawl, I would reach that milestone today.

I went back out for round two. I was in a new area and unbeknownst to me, my evening activity would turn into a hill workout. When I turned the corner to my new found route, all I could see were rolling hills. I had two choices….do it or don’t. Of course, I chose do. It was eighty two degrees so I knew I needed to take it easy. There wasn’t much shade so I used landmarks to run. My pain was less than earlier and my pace was a little faster. My legs were nowhere near 100 percent but I was determined to reach 150 miles for the month. When the water bottles on my fuel belt were empty, I decided to head back. When I stopped my app and looked at my total, I realized I was .05 away from my goal. Everyone knows what I did. I got that .05 and did the 150 dance.

How does one celebrate reaching such a milestone? One glass of wine and twenty five minutes in fire and ice Epsom salt.

Week 7 Day 3

I’m changing my training plan a bit. I’m supposed to do six miles. My body is telling me to rest. So, I’m going to listen. No running today.

Week 7 Day 4

I decided to start my day with a one mile walk to see if my legs had decided to be friends with me again. They have moved from hating to just disliking me. I should be able to do my five miles tomorrow. I have 14 on Saturday and 18 next Saturday. It’s all downhill from there. I will certainly try a different recovery after the 18 miles. Ice bath city. And it should also help that I’m attending a street festival so I will get to continue to stretch my legs soon after. I also intend to do a recovery walk on Sunday and Epsom salt if I feel any discomfort.

What did I learn from completing that crazy mileage? I have reconfirmed that I have NO desire to do a marathon. Do I think I could do 26.2? Absolutely!!! But I can only imagine the recovery for that distance. No thanks. 13.1 is enough for me.

Week 7 Day 5

Nothing has gone according to my training plan this week. But, today I actually exceeded my training miles. My goal was to swap my five miles meant for today with my fourteen for tomorrow. That almost happened. I went to the treadmill. I knew that The Amazing Race would keep me company. When I took my hiatus from tv, I had missed a few shows. It was nice to watch a show about a race while I was running. I’ve always wanted to go on the show and race around the world. The only reason I’ve not submitted the paperwork is because I couldn’t find a suitable partner. I think that has changed now. I’m going to make Kat watch it next week when she visits and see if she’d like to go with me.

The run went well. My discomfort was at a 1. I ran during the show and walked during commercials. When Amazing Race went off, I turned to a show I used to watch often; America’s Next Top Model. I realized that the commercials for this show was longer so I just ran until I was ready to stop. After over two hours on the ‘mill, I had completed over eleven miles for the day.

I was happy to come in the house to stretch and enjoy a low fat chocolate milk. During my stretches, I added a few yoga poses and was excited that I executed a perfect tree pose. After the stretching, came the ice bath. It was cold, yet refreshing. When I put my pajamas on, I decided to elevate my legs. Keys see how I feel tomorrow.

Note to self. When I realized Tuesday that the pavement was a struggle, I wish it had crossed my mind to try the softer surface of the treadmill. Tomorrow, I’m trying the pavement again.

Week 7 Day 6

It’s always nice to explore new territory to run. Sharon and I took to the pavement at Upward Sports Complex. I had been told that the perimeter of the building would give me a perfect 5k. We didn’t quite follow the course and ended up on a private road that gave us great inclines and three beautiful lake front homes to view. I wondered who lived there, if they gave out the good candy for Halloween and how amazing Christmas decorations could look.

We didn’t do much running, but we did get in five miles.

I liked the course and I know I’ll go again to get in some hill training. Running there will be a challenge, but when I put my mind to tackling it…..it’s going to be awesome!

The Sweet Life

Week 6 Day 1

I was happy to have two days off in a row. The rest was much needed.

When I got up to go for my eight mile run, I realized that fall had really sprung into action literally over night. It was only sixty two degrees. I knew that shorts were a no. I pulled my running tights from the bottom of my cooler weather running gear and decided on a short sleeve dry fit. I took a jacket with me and was torn about wether or not I should actually wear it. I ended up deciding no jacket.

I returned to the park to see the waterfalls. It’s so beautiful there. I took the first mile easy. I was happy to hear Nike call out my splits. They were negative up to mile five. Just as I was beginning to feel fatigued, I came across a structure in the park shaped like a heart. My split here ended up being positive because I stopped to take a picture. In my mind, I heard myself saying; “your legs are tired, just run with your heart.” Mile six was almost three minutes faster than mile one. I was so excited that even though I was ready to be done, I knew I’d be happy with the result once I reviewed them. I only had one positive split. That came from a couple that stopped me to ask for directions. Doing so added almost two minutes to my split. I wish I had stopped my app. But it’s ok. My last mile was faster and the whole run was complete in less time that I had given myself to finish. My goal was to take it easy and finish in 2:00:00. My actual time was 1:44:04.

I probably shouldn’t have, but I did….stopped for a cupcake. Salted caramel. I asked for a freshly made cupcake that had less icing. A tasty end to a fabulous run.

Side note….I’m still training but haven’t decided on a race. The thought of thirteen miles in sub thirty degree weather isn’t appealing to me.

Week 6 Day 2

My victory has turned into my defeat. After yesterday’s Rocky reenactment on the stairs, I began to feel pain in my left leg as if I had pulled something. This morning, the pain was a level six. I knew that running was out of the question. Instead, I decided on a moderate pace walk. I got 2.35 miles in. My plan called for six but my body said no.

Week 6 Day 3

My leg doesn’t feel anywhere near as bad as it did yesterday but it’s not totally recovered either. Pain is at a 2.5. Running is slightly uncomfortable but not a complete no. I decided on slow intervals. My plan calls for six miles. My goal is one hour. I’ll go as many miles as I can within that time.
Nike has been bad again. I looked at my mileage on the treadmill and it said .90 while my app said .35. In my mind I’m screaming. This run is already a struggle. Get the damn mileage right!!!!!
I ended up with five miles. This puts me less than one mile under where I should be for the week. Tomorrow will be an early morning as I need to get my five in before picking up the rental car to travel to my friend’s wedding.

Week 6 Day 4

I’m taking an unscheduled rest day. My leg still isn’t 100% and I’ve decided to run with my friends who are training for a marathon. They’re planning eighteen miles. This will be my longest distance ever.

Week 6 Day 5

We woke up a little later than planned. Kat likes oatmeal and coffee before a run, so we stopped at McDonalds. I had a plain bagel. We met Pam and started our journey. The first few miles, my leg hurt a little but I was determined to get it done.

Mentally, I felt strong. I think I burned additional calories laughing with the girls during our walks. At mile 13, I treated myself to a shot of vanilla gu. I don’t think it gave me more energy, but it kept me going. At mile 15, I had to take a detour to meet up with a few people. After my quick meeting, I continued my trek for 18. I did laps around the parking lot before heading to meet my girls. I met them on the trail. We stopped to take pictures at a pumpkin patch and resumed our run. Upon returning to the car, Kat gave us all a treat…..cheesecake. It was amazing.

The hardest part about the run wasn’t actually the run. It was getting out of the car and climbing the stairs.

Of course they mentioned if I could do 18, I could do a full. Still not interested in 26.2

Hurry Up & Wait

Week 5/12 Day 1

Yesterday, I was excited to look at my training plan and see just five miles for today. I was even more excited to look at the remainder of the week and discover a day with two miles.
Weeks one through three, my average pace for the entire week had been consistent. Last week, it dropped down a bit. It doesn’t bother me too much as I realize that waking up in three different states for three consecutive days was a bit out of the normal for my training. I got most of the mileage in and I’m ok with that.
This morning when the alarm sounded, I had lost a bit of my enthusiasm. I got up and got dressed and then I got back in the bed. This was supposed to be for five minutes. But when I finally got up, enough time had passed for me to have completed two miles.
I think it is really sinking in that I have put in 125 miles of training for a race that I will potentially not even have the chance to run. I’m awaiting information to confirm a graduation date. In the event that this actually occurs, I’ve been looking for a replacement race either near me or in the city of graduation. Doing so was causing me a bit of anxiety. And there honestly is no need (yet) to look for a race when I’m unsure of the date. Gotta love the concept of “hurry up and wait”. I should be more clear of my plans within the next ten days.
Because I have also set my goal of one thousand miles this year, I still need to get in my miles. I will continue to train as if the race will happen.

Week 5 Day 2

Today, I was scheduled for eight miles. Since I had to go to Greenville, I decided I’d go to the trail there. It was nice to be somewhere different. It made for an interesting run. When I started, it was already over seventy degrees so I knew I would be in for a challenge. The waterfalls were breathtaking. Of course, I stopped a few times to take pictures. There were mile markers along the route. I saw one that said mile 35. I wondered the total distance of the trail. I think one day, I will attempt to complete it……maybe. If I find out it’s over fifty miles, I take back the previous sentence.
Parts of the trail was lonely. But I enjoyed the serenity of it all. It was just what the doctor ordered. The cool breeze, the water, the flowers, the people I encountered along the way; all made my run more enjoyable. I look forward to doing it again next week….but I have to go earlier so I can complete better intervals. Today’s intervals were changed to run in the shade and walk in the sun. But, I got it done!!

Week 5 Day 3

Today was a make up. I was supposed to do six yesterday and rest today. I overslept and didn’t feel like running when I got off at seven so I decided to switch the days. My run today had three goals; 1. Complete the mileage 2. Run for an hour 3. Don’t stop until sixty minutes have been completed. This would be my longest time running without stopping in a long time. I was on the treadmill and there was a lady on the elliptical. Yes, I was racing her. In my mind, it didn’t matter how long she planned to be there; I wasn’t going to stop before she did. This was a fun game for me to play. I wonder if she knew she was a contestant in my running game. At about thirty minutes, she ended her workout. I was closing in on the three mile mark and knew I’d have to push to finish in an hour. It didn’t happen. At 59:59 I wasn’t quite at five miles yet. But I still felt accomplished because I didn’t stop. A little over an hour later, Nike congratulated me on completing my miles. After patting myself on the back, I got excited because I know tomorrow’s run is only two miles.

Week 5 Day 4

I was excited for three reasons about this morning’s run. The weather was perfect, I could run outside and I would finish in less than thirty minutes. Everything was perfect. The sky was completely dark. The only illumination I had was provided by the street lights. It was just me, the sound of my footsteps and my breathing. For a moment, the thought of my twelve mile long run entered my head. I quickly shook it away to try to focus on the current run. My pace wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped it would be, it was consistent with my reality.
Another training run in the books. I’m only six miles away from 100 for the month. WOW!!!!

Week 5 Day 5

It’s a twelve mile kind of day. My running partner and I started our run before sunrise. For safety purposes, we altered our route for more light and visibility. We decided on a 1:1 interval. This gave us approximately a fifteen minute mile. It was a little slower than I wanted but I enjoyed not having to run it solo. At about mile six, she began to feel bad so we cut the run short (about 7.5 miles). Part of me was ok with that since I’m no longer officially training for anything. But the other half of me was determined to finish. When she dropped me off, I went in the house to refill my water bottles and decided to run laps around the parking lot. This was tedious to say the least. I dislike running circles more than I dislike the treadmill. But the weather was too perfect to go inside. Shortly before I reached the ten mile mark, my phone died. I felt defeated as I knew I didn’t want to run miles that weren’t being tracked. I prayed that the miles I logged would appear once my phone recharged.

I went inside, yet again; to get my phone some juice. I knew I had less than an hour more to run and fifty percent should be enough to do it. This was turning out to be the worst run ever. Again, the waiting time allowed the “you’re not training for anything” thought to creep into my head. I turned the phone back on and was happy to see that Nike+ hadn’t let me down and my mileage was still there. I still wasn’t 100% sure I was going to finish my run. I put the phone down and it rang. On the other end was my son calling. I hadn’t heard his voice in ten days. He was in great spirits and when I hung up the phone, I knew that I would complete my run. We’re a house of finishers.

It took me 3:18 to finish (much slower than my slowest half marathon time) but I finished!!

Three Days, Three Cities

Week 4/12 Day 1

Today’s run calls for five miles. Tomorrow I’m scheduled for eight. I tried to force nike to “allow” me to do the day 2 workout but it wouldn’t. I have an out of town meeting tomorrow and I’m off today. It’s just easier to manually switch the two. I don’t want to end up doing less tomorrow because I run out of time.
The temperature is perfect. It’s only sixty three degrees. This sure beats the almost eighty that it usually is at this time. Temperature great …. Weather, not so much. It’s raining. As much as I enjoy getting caught in a sprinkle. Unless I’ve spent money on a race or have no other option, wet outside will usually equal run inside. To the treadmill. Just me, my thoughts, the sounds of my footsteps and Pandora playing softly in the background.
I was going at a steady pace that I felt comfortable doing. At mile six, something tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey lady, you just did eleven two days ago. Slow it down a little.” Intending to complete this training injury free, I took this as an opportunity to slow it down a little. I still finished in my intended amount of time. And yay. Shorter run tomorrow.

Week 4 Day 2

I was happy to have a shorter run on schedule today. I woke up at the hotel to use the very small fitness center. There was one treadmill, one elliptical and one bike. I was glad I got there when I did to claim the treadmill. Ten minutes after I started someone else came in with the look that suggested they wished they had come in earlier. In the cramped space, the room got hot very quickly. Two miles in, I was soaking wet. I was happy with the effort I was exerting but I knew I wouldn’t last long in the heat. Two miles shorter than I was supposed to complete, but I did what I could in the environment.

Week 4 Day 3

I woke up in a different state for the third consecutive day. I was exhausted and had decided that I’d only run if my body woke me up naturally early enough to get in five miles. That didn’t happen.
When I did wake up, I got dressed and headed to Fort Gordon to see my son at MEPS before his departure to the Navy. It was a long morning. We were able to see him swear in and get on the bus to go to the airport. After the bus rounded the corner, we had a three hour drive home.
We knew that he would be allowed to call upon his arrival so sleep didn’t come easy as we waited for the phone to ring. He finally called at 1230.

Week 4 Day 4

I’m still exhausted and the sleep that I did get was poor. I’m a little down because I am now double digit miles behind in my training plan. Playing make up in the next three days is going to be interesting.
I didn’t feel like driving to the trail even though the weather was perfect for an outdoor run. Instead, I went for another spin on the treadmill. I decided I’d walk my miles today and take some time to think about the events of he past few days. I’ll probably need to add an evening run in order to get the mileage I need. But it’s ok. This will give me the opportunity to start and end my day with time to reflect.
I got in six miles and Nike cheated me. It only read 3.55 miles. I hate it when that happens. I’ll just send an email and ask them to adjust it.
I did add a second run in the evening. I got home for work to change. For some reason it took forever. My wonderful significant other went as well to walk while I ran. I hadn’t realized how much time had changed nor fully come to terms that summer and late sunlight were actually over. My first mile was one of my fastest in a while as I tried to hurry to beat the darkness. I wasn’t properly geared for a night run. My clothes were too dark and the only reflective gear I had were the strips on my fuel belt. Although there was no sun, there was an abundance of humidity. My chest was on fire and the sweat pouring into my eyes burned. When I reached the turnaround, I took a short walk break and convinced myself I’d run until we met. Life aligned and it happened sooner than later. We made eye contact and then I heard a voice saying, “If you want to run faster, you have to run. That looks like walking to me.” I scowled and actually got mad for a minute. Part of me wanted to enjoy the last mile in a lovey dovey couple stroll, but the other part of me was happy to have a supportive and understanding person in my life. So, I picked up the pace and ran most of the way to the car.
I need to start taking my clothes to work to change so I’ll have more daylight….at least for the next three weeks.

Week 4 Day 5

This morning’s run was great minus one thing. I became THAT race director who strategically placed the hills in the worst place, just at that point when your legs wanted a break. The bad thing is, I could’ve and should’ve done the hills first when I was still fresh. I’ll be changing that route next time. 5.5 miles done. I believe this was my fastest run over five miles since training started. #winning

Week 4 Day 6

Another morning of part inside, part outside training. It’s not the most horrible thing in the world. The biggest problem with being inside besides the fact that I prefer to be outside is that the GPS signal is often weak and I lose some of my miles. I noticed this happen before I reached my sixth mile. I had just finished a victory chant for completing an eight minute mile and had actually picked up my pace but my app had yet to announce my next mile completion. I looked down and the time was going but the mileage was not. I wanted to cry. Instead, I decided it was time (even though the sun wasn’t quite up) to go outside.
I drove .5 miles to get to my running path. I jumped out of the car still pumped. I felt strong and knew I could finish sooner than anticipated. At mile nine I began to feel a little fatigued. I thought I heard someone yell, “Only a 5k to go!” I hate when people say that during races. But I kept going. Not that I had a choice, my car was three miles away. At 9.5, I was out of water. I ran into the gas station an filled up my water bottles. When I tried to pay, the lady at the register gave me a thumbs up and told me there was no charge. After I finished my run, I went into the grocery store for granola, yogurt and chocolate milk.
Another double digit run in the books.

Challenge Accepted

Week 3/12 Day 1

This week, I have 31 miles and one day of cross training. Day one said five miles. I decided to meet up with a local running group and get my miles in with them. I was told the Labor Day run would be epic and epic meant ten miles. I had prematurely decided that ten was not on my agenda. I would do five, maybe six and be done. Somehow when I’m with a group, I’m easily encouraged to do more. I anticipated hearing Nike say I was at five miles, but that never happened. Part of the group stayed about 200m ahead of myself and one other lady. She wasn’t a runner but wanted to try to do ten. At just over seven miles, I realized she was becoming fatigued and I asked how she was doing. She initially said fine, but I didn’t believe her. As her pace began to get slower and the group was getting further out of sight, I assured her that I had already done more than my training plan called for and it was ok to head back. She seemed relieved. I sent a text to one of the women I knew to let her know we were heading back. My mile mate ended up with eight miles and I completed just under nine. I’m probably going to hate my six tomorrow, but they will be done.

Week 3 Day 2

I was awakened by the sun shining in my window just before the alarm rang. I was ready to tackle my six miles and be done with it. Unfortunately, my phone was completely dead when I picked it up. I had recently reinstalled Facebook messenger and doing so had killed my battery. There was no way I was going to do the run if I couldn’t sync it. I needed my credit. I decided to take care of other tasks on my to do list instead.
When I finally finished everything else I needed to do, I thought I’d go ahead and knock out my miles. My stomach disagreed. By this time I was hungry. I went home and prepared my lunch. Afterwards, I played online for a few and decided to take a nap. When the nap was over, I got dressed and filled my water bottles. The walk to the gym to use the dreadmill was dreadful. It was well over eighty degrees and humid. I was excited to open the door and feel the cool air hit me. I jumped on the mill to do my thing. Shortly after I began, the once cool gym began to have a not so cool feeling. My body temperature began to rise and I longed for an early morning outside run where an occasional cool breeze would graze across my skin. I could see the branches on the tree swaying outside the window but I knew the air outside was warm and my desire to feel the breeze quickly faded.
I turned on the tv to help the time pass and take my mind off the unpleasantries. From time to time, I could hear the cheers from my nike+ app. I was grateful for my Facebook friends and even more grateful when the six, hot miles were over.

Week 3 Day 3

I tried to sneak out before anyone in the house woke up. I was fumbling around in the dark since I didn’t get my clothes out the night before. Just as I put my shoes on, the alarm clock rang. I hadn’t been quick enough. I think we were both surprised that I was still in the house. When I said I was going running, I knew the question that followed would ask where I was planning to run. When I said the trail, a brief silence followed. “You do know it’s still dark?!” I nodded. “So you said you’re going to the treadmill?” I responded, “No. I want to run outside.” I was informed that going alone in the dark wasn’t an option and if I insisted on being outside I had to wait for her to get dressed and come with me. I was slightly angry because I was losing valuable time to run before the sun would join me. But I was slightly happy that my safety was important to someone else.
I knew I wouldn’t have time to do the full five miles at this point in order for her to have enough time to get ready for work. This was a motivator for me to go faster so I’d have less miles to run after. I was just under three miles when my time on the trail expired. We got in the car and drove the four miles home. I finished the other two miles running laps around the parking lot. I didn’t like running in circles, but it was a better option than a second consecutive day on the ‘mill. Tomorrow is a cross training day. Yaaaay!!!

Week 3 Day 4

I was supposed to cross train today. In my mind, I was going to ride the bike for thirty minutes and lift for twenty. In reality, the only thing that could count as cross training was my walking. I’m tired.
Twenty miles down for the week. Fifteen to go. I’m so glad I didn’t get peer pressured into running the marathon.

Week 3 Day 5

As per our agreement that I wouldn’t run in the dark alone, I slithered out of bed before sunrise to take my trek to the gym. I use my walk down as a warm up. When I do this, my first mile is always slow. I ended up increasing my speed every two minutes in order to bring my average pace to a respectable (for me) pace. My intent was to do this until I reached three miles. I was excited to hear Nike call out my splits….all negative. At three miles, I would back off and convert to an easier steady run for a mile and a super easy final mile for my cool down. This worked perfectly. I finished in my desired time and was able to do the final two miles outside to enjoy the sunshine.
When I finished, I was drenched in sweat. As It rolled down my face during my cool down, I could taste my hard work….salty! My post run stretching was made slightly difficult by all this liquid awesome. The sweat that rolled into my eyes burned. I ended up doing most of my stretching with my eyes closed. All in all….good workout.
Tonight’s challenge will be going to bed at a decent time to prepare to knock out ten in the morning.

Week 3 Day 5

I was slightly restless and woke almost an hour before my alarm. I hoped to fall back into a light sleep. When that didn’t happen, I decided to start early. This would serve as a good thing for two reasons. Today marks my one year anniversary with my significant other. Finishing early would allow us some time to hang out before starting our busy days. An early start was also sure to provide me the opportunity to get a nap before going to work.
It was before 5am so I knew I’d do most of my run on the treadmill. My guess was that it would take me three hours to finish. As soon as the sun peeked out, I intended to hit the pavement. The gym was empty so I turned on the tv to keep me company. My choices were infomercials, 80’s sitcoms, food shows and crime shows. Infomercials don’t interest me. I’m not in a shopping mood. I wasn’t in the mood to think about food so early in the morning. It was too dark for me to watch crime shows. My mind would wander and I’d be sure to think someone was coming to get me. 80’s sitcoms for $500, Alex. I watched “Married With Children”, “Full House” and “Saved By the Bell”. I also caught a few minutes of “Hanging with Mr. Cooper”. It was just before sunrise and I had completed six miles. I was ready to go outside.
One of my girlfriends met me for my final miles. I actually finished with eleven. Most of my splits were in the 13 minute per mile range. This was faster than most of my training runs to date. This was the first run that I believed this training plan wasn’t too difficult and that I could accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself on race day. I ran with confidence and ease. I felt strong!! My app stopped talking to me after mile four, so I lost some time checking my splits. BUT I completed eleven miles twenty minutes faster than I expected to complete ten.
I know that the road ahead will challenge me. Today….I wholeheartedly accept the challenge.