15 miles. Personal Awesome-est.
- 15 miles
- wait… 2:42:05????
- pee stops: 1 (at my favorite Dunkin Donuts… had to get some chocolate munchkins, too!)
- My new thing: I smile at every single runner I pass. Keeps the good energy flowing : )
I was on my own this week. And that scared me. I hadn’t done a long run alone since the single digits- which is now nothing in comparison. <<Pauses to chuckle to self>> I was worried that I would give in to negative thoughts; but I nipped those worries in the bud by giving myself permission. “If you need to walk, then walk,” I told myself. And I did just that.
I was in a lot of pain in the beginning. I hadn’t hydrated well enough the night before and it became evident when just 1 mile in I began to feel dry mouth and foamy saliva. Normally, I down at least a half gallon of water just before bed on the night before a long run along with potassium and magnesium supplements for cramp prevention. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before I was able to do so. Insert dry mouth. Insert pain. I was worried how I’d make it through.
But I started the run, nonetheless, by running 9 minutes and walking 1 minute, hoping hydration would miraculously fall upon me. I wanted to simulate what I would do during the marathon (the water stops are at every mile marker on that day), and I managed to keep that schedule through 8 miles of the run. It was around mile 8 that we approached the dreaded hills of Newton. I consequently had to allow myself to walk more frequently at this point. In fact, I found that I was walking the hills more than running them. By mile 9, I was essentially walking the uphill and cruising the downhill and flat terrain.
Now, last year I accepted this. I walked more than I ran on the hills in order to survive the rest of the run. But THIS year? Something wasn’t settling with me as I approached the water stop at mile 1o. I knew I was much stronger than this. I knew I was much better conditioned than this. I knew I could overcome this battle with the hills. So I came up with a plan. In my last 5 miles on these hills, I would run to the beat of the music on my Pandora playlist. 8 counts running. 8 counts walking. On every uphill. So there I am listening to Dynamite by Taio Cruz:
“I throw my hands up in the air sometime…”
“Saying heyyy oh, gotta let go!!”
“I wanna celebrate and live my life…”
“Saying heyyyy oh, baby let’s go!!”
Cruising the downhills and flats, before I knew it, I had completed 4 miles through tough hills and I was at my final water stop saying hello to the staff of MMP. I had 1 mile to go and was as energized as ever. I made it back to the church in 2 hours 42 minutes and 05 seconds, which clocks me at an average of 10:48/mi. A personal
best awesome-est. I had tears of joy in my eyes. And to think, this was with walk breaks! I could not be prouder of this moment… and here’s a big reason why:
I don’t like to take these calculators too seriously. After all, I know at the end of the day it will be the work I put in on April 16th that matters. However, last year I ran this distance in 3hrs 07mins… and had an IMPROVED pace in the full marathon. I can’t help but to be hopeful that these dreams might come true for me. I could possibly hit my time goal of a sub-5hr marathon. The very thought fills me with the utmost pride : )