Feeling extraordinary. 13 miles.

Stats

  • 13 miles (step back week)
  • 2 hours 30 minutes 53 seconds (11:30 pace)
  • # of times around Wakefield lake: 2 (a long time ago, I could barely walk it once!)
  • # of battle wounds: 2 (Ok. I am being melodramatic; but I did get 2 blood blisters. And they were not fun.)
  • # people trying to race with me: 1
  • # of times I passed this person while he was out of breath: a bunch
  • # of times I felt empowered by my strength to stay on track with my pace: infinite

And… we’re back!

This week, I am celebrating! I celebrate my return to training. I’ve been plagued for the last 2 months with excruciating shin splints that have essentially kept me out of my running shoes for 3 weeks (aside from the 16-miler that I did on the 12th.) I’ve had to supplement my running with spinning: 1 class for a short run, 2 classes for a 7 or 8 miler, and 3+ hours of spinning for long runs.

It hasn’t been easy; and I’ve found myself discouraged at my inability to keep my body together. Why can’t I just stay healthy so I can go through training as scheduled? The truth is, it rarely happens as you want it. My coach, Rick Muhr, reminds me of that each time he senses that I’m down. The true test is how well you can adapt and keep it from affecting your determination. So I’ve spun my little butt off in these past 3 weeks, determined to stay on track and in shape.

It worked. 🙂

This 13-mile run was utter joy. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt like all of the training had truly paid off. The benefits of my dedication were evident in the ease of my stride and breath. There was no struggle. I didn’t let the crazy man who was trying to race me affect my concentration or my pace, and after running the Wakefield lake TWICE, an enormous sense of pride ran through me. I remembered a time not long ago when walking the lake ONCE was a truly difficult task. I have changed.

I’ll be honest with you; I took more frequent walk breaks this time. I’d been so preoccupied in the past with time that I just wanted to go back to running for comfort.  I did this to preserve my legs for what is to come. I knew if I pushed it, my shin splints would flare up again and not heal in time for this next crucial long runs. At this point in training, I can’t afford to take any more time off or I will be insufficiently prepared.

But guess what? With more frequent walk breaks, I finished in the SAME amount of time as it took me the last time I did 13… and I didn’t stop for water or a snack. Even better? My shins hurt minimally the following day and were good as new by Tuesday.

I know I can do this. It won’t be easy; but as Coach Rick said, “If it were easy, then everyone would train for a marathon.”

I guess I am a champion, in my own small way. And that makes me feel extraordinary 🙂

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