Tag: Nike+

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??

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.

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.

Mind Over Matter

Week 2/12 Day 1

I felt extremely refreshed after my rest day. I got out of bed with the expectation of an amazing run. I parked my car at one of my normal running spots but decided I’d alter my route to keep it interesting. What I found when I turned left instead of going straight were beautiful brick houses in a neighborhood still being developed. I pictured myself living in one of the houses. The other thing I found on my newly explored route….hills. I was half happy and half sad at my discovery. I had to laugh at the irony of it all. I had just asked members of the local running group where I could find some hills to run. Leave it to me to find them on my own. This was a great start to my second week.

Week 2 Day 1

Today’s run would be the second longest of the week. Six miles. One mile warm up, three miles 4:1 intervals, easy two mile cool down. I was excited about this run. I had gotten a good night of rest, I was properly hydrated and I was ready to rock it. It was already really warm and sunny when I got up so I took my run to the gym. I did my first mile with ease. The intervals went well. I was giving 100 percent. When I was down to just two miles to go, I was elated to have done such a great job but annoyed that my app hadn’t given any updates. I looked at my phone and my spirit was shattered. My app read 1.68 miles. I could’ve cried and I wanted to just end the run. I’m usually the positive one in the group, the one that gives everyone else the brighter side. Now, I needed to be that person for myself. I told myself, at least the treadmill had calculated it. I was upset but I kept going. Week 2 Day 1 had some technical issues but it was done.

Week 2 Day 3

Easy breezy was what I had in my mind. I could knock five miles out in a little over an hour. It was mind over matter. I struggled to get out of bed. I knew today was about distance and not speed. I just needed to get it done. I kept laying there and it kept getting later. Wednesday is not the day to play around with time, because I don’t have much extra to spare. For the past year, my Wednesdays have been filled for thirteen hours each week. The option of after work just isn’t an option. Just when my own voice was trying to assure myself that I’d figure out how to get it done much later today or make it up on Sunday, another voice came chiming from the bathroom that said, “You’re going to kick yourself later if you miss this run.” Sometimes it’s nice to get a second opinion. Aside from the race training, my goal of one hundred miles this month is just ten miles and three days away. As much as I would’ve preferred to lay there for another hour, I was happy to just go and be done.

Week 2 Day 4

What comes in a close second to rest day? A short miles day. I was dancing a jig in my head at the thought of “just” three miles. We started at 5:30 and enjoyed great run chat. I was surprised to see so many people out so early. I was also happy that I had on my headlamp. Places that were usually lit had lights out and was dark. After finishing my three miles, I went to fill up my tank. While I was pumping I synced my run an realized I was less than 1.5 miles away from reaching my 100 miles in August goal. What does a runner do when they’re that close and still have three hours until work? They go and tackle that mile plus. Thirteen more miles to complete training this week. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Week 2 Day 5
I didn’t have anywhere pressing to be until later in the day, so I slept in longer than usual. I got out of bed refreshed and ready to tackle my five miles. When I arrived at the trail, I started my app and was more excited. I had one less mile to do than I thought. Win!!!! I decided I’d run the entire time to get to the turnaround. This worked well. In my mind, the quicker I finished, the sooner I’d be able to shop for a bridesmaid dress. After the turnaround, my mind shifted gears. I was initially so focused on my turnaround that I ignored the temperature. I looked at my phone and realized that the temperature was increasing. As it went up, my energy and my water went down. I was happy to be closer to finish than to start. I got back to the car completely on E. No energy and no water. It was too darn hot. My cool shower was amazing. Sleeping in has been nice and necessary. I haven’t gotten in bed before midnight any this week. I’ve been staying up with my son who is leaving for the Navy next month. One day I’ll be training for a race in whatever city he’s stationed. If I’m lucky, he’ll even run it with me. Probably ahead of me, but shhhhhh, don’t tell him I said that. Any time we discuss running, I swear I can beat him.

Week 2 Day 6
Eight miles. I can do this. It has been quite a few months since I’ve done this distance. But I was mentally prepared to do it. I was happy one of my sole sisters decided to join me. She hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before and warmed me that this probably wouldn’t be a fast run. I was ok with that. Today, Nike told me to “just do it”. We took to the trail just after sunrise and had great conversation along the way. After 4.5 miles, we had run the entire length of the trail. She decided she was done for the day and I continued for round two. I was excited to go about a mile down to be greeted by a woman who has seen me on the first trip. She commended me for hitting the trail a second time. It was a little lonely running by myself but by this time, more people had come out so I wasn’t really alone. I did notice everyone wearing Clemson orange. I’m a fan of college sports but don’t have a favorite team. I was told in North Carolina I needed to choose a team and be loyal. When I was in Durham, my choices were Duke, NC State or Carolina. When I was in Greensboro, football season meant I’d hear “AGGIE Pride” yelled throughout the city. I never did pick a team. I usually tell people I like whoever is winning. Lol. Eight miles later, I was done and anticipating my Sunday rest day.