Today was my last long run before my half-marathon next Sunday.
I wanted to get up super early to simulate the weather conditions and time of the actual race but with daylight savings time, that didn’t happen.
I got up and drank my normal two cups of coffee but instead of eating a bigger weekend breakfast, I fueled up with a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana. I thought that would be light enough on my stomach to not give me issues but still fuel me for the long run I had ahead of me.
I geared up and headed out the door around 10:30 to go to my favorite park, Swift Cantrell.
When I got there, it was a bit chilly out but I knew immediately that I would be OK once I started running. Besides, when you have a place like this to workout, who can complain?
The run started off great. Then, around mile 2, I had a stomach issue and had to stop to run up to the bathroom. It happened again at mile 3. I actually considered going home to run on the treadmill but I decided to wait and see.
The rest of the run went rather smooth. I was a little anxious about this run because it was my first really long run outside and the park has a few hills. Even though I was anxious, I knew I needed to run there to practice for next Sunday.
As I was running, I really tried to appreciate the moment I was in. Here I was, RUNNING for 10 miles. Who would have thought this could be me? A year ago, I did a 5k in this same park and struggled to make it under 40 minutes. This past Thanksgiving, I ran my first 10k since college. Was I really running two hours straight, without struggling?
Yes, yes I was.
I have to say that the first few minutes were the hardest. I knew that if I could make it past the first 3-5 minutes of running, I would be OK. And I was.
After the first few minutes, my body adjusted and I got into a running groove (it used to irritate me when people said this because how is that possible? It really is possible!).
I could enjoy the music. I could enjoy my surroundings, and I could actually enjoy running. I loved the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement. I loved the strength of the muscles in my legs. I loved the fact that I was running.
My goal last weekend and this weekend was to run the 10 miles in 2 hours.
I did it! I was a little over 10 miles when I stopped the watch. I was so excited.
I had conquered the hills, I had conquered the stomach issues, and I had conquered my own insecurities about running. And…the best thing?
I realized I am not only ready for this half-marathon but I am going to enjoy it and have fun!
How did I celebrate my run?
I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and got a nice hot coffee and I stopped at Walgreens for a big bag of ice.
When I got home, I had a protein shake. Then, I put on a nice thick sweatshirt and got in the tub.
I turned the water on full force (the cold) and let it fill up past my thighs. Then, my kind husband dumped the entire bag of ice in the tub with me for my ice bath.
I read about ice baths after long runs online and tried it last weekend after that 10 miler. I was hoping it didn’t work on Monday but I do think it helped with soreness so I knew I needed to do it again. The things runners do!
Today was a great day for me. I had several realizations about myself, exercise, and running. I realized that if you push your body, it will respond. I learned that if you train properly for a race, you will be ready and you will be successful. I learned that ANYONE can do ANYTHING they put their mind to.
As we start a new week, I am going to leave you with this question. If you knew that you could do something and NOT FAIL, what would you do?