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.

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Category: Pen & Pavement