Thursday, July 24, 2008

Did someone say 10.5?

As in miles ran....Heck yeah I did! In fact, I'll take that 10.5 and raise you another .2 for a grand total of 10.7 (and in less time that last week's 9.5)!!

So knowing that this weekend I would be calling yet another random hotel room in some other state my home, I decided I had to end my training week with a bang. It was run time, and I had my game face on. It was much cooler and less humid than last week's run, so I was ready to rock and roll.

I hadn't had the best day at work and all of my running buddies had bailed on me, so I was going this one alone. To be honest I had thought about calling it a night and forgoing the run but something wouldn't let me. So despite the fact I would've been perfectly content curling up in bed and watching tv, I geared up.

Usually it takes a mile or so for me to hit my stride but tonight seemed to be starting out on a high note. I have this awful tendency to start out a little faster than I should, and tonight's run was no different. My first mile, in fact, was just shy of my all time personal best (which hasn't been done since high school). While the time itself is nothing to brag about, the accomplishment felt good. And to top that great first mile off, I held that pace through the first couple of miles. In retrospect going hard at the start of the run, not my brightest idea. C'est la vie.

The first 1/2 of my run went by quickly and felt surprisingly good. I was practicing my run/walk strategy and trying to stay hydrated. Before I knew it I was at my halfway point and ready to turn around. That's when I looked up and gazed across the lake. For some, 10.5miles is no big deal. I'm not one of them. When I looked across the lake and saw where I started in correlation to where I was it hit me just how far I had gone, and how much I had accomplished.

The second half of my run went by almost as quickly as the first, that was until the last mile. That mile will get me every time I fear. By the last mile I found myself having to talk my body through each step. Yet again my body was starting to hurt something fierce. My hips ached and my legs were starting to cramp. If I slowed to walk everything would stiffen up but the impact of running was equally unpleasant. I told myself again that this is were the mental toughness comes in. This is where it's brain over brawn.

So I told myself to toughen up and push through it. After a few yards of waddling I could see my end point in sight. As best I could I kicked it into gear and made my "sprint" for the finish. As I keeled over at the corner to catch my breath, I looked around and was relieved to find my self one for a moment (in contrast to the end of last week's run where I keeled over in front of a very concerned police officer). I cooled down over my last 2 block walk to my apartment, washed my face, sprawled across my apartment floor to stretch and catch my breath, and hope to regain movement by morning

Here's hoping next week's epic run around the lake is at least as good as this weeks run.

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