Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why I'm racing marathon #10 with guts

When I run, I often have grandiose monologues running through my brain. They are full of poignancy, realism, and are incredibly motivating.

Then I get to the computer and they spill out of the backside of my brain.

Little snippets weave their way through my words, but nothing ever matches my endorphin-riddled thoughts. What's left is often things I cannot describe well--which is kind of pertinent to my bloop today.

But first, let's go back a few days.

Adam took me to see The Edge of Tommorow on Saturday night after my hot and schweaty 13.5 mile run.  We ate sandwiches at Which Wich and I ate but one bite shared cookie cake. It was like a high school date in the best possible way:

I'm kind of eh on action movies. Call me a girl, but I just kind of zone out after more than a minute of shooting/fighting/explosions. This one had a little bit of that, but I thought the story was pretty interesting and even though Tom Cruise has morphed into a weird dude in his personal life, he was actually kind of funny at times.

I worked Sunday and then realized that with marathon training week starting in less than 24 hours, I might need to write down said training plan. So I scribble my plan on some Post-Its and shove them into my day planner:

Very formal, right? I will pushing my body hard to get through these workouts in the summer. I'm not sure what the sweet reward will be at Jackson Hole. I might be exhausted from a week of HTC and traveling through Yellowstone or refreshed that I'm running in temperatures not upwards of triple digits.  Either way, I'm not going to lie about my excitement when I see the top 3 women from last year ran it in 3:34, 3:37, and 3:44. Nevermind the ridiculously small field... or the fact that it is 6500' elevation. I'm bringing my guts game.

I almost ran Sunday night after work, but I decided to save my energy for Day 1 of marathon #10 training.

It was 88* when I started after a 10 hour day at work. But I was jazzed about getting back into training again.

Last night, after wining and dining:
I really should have done like these two and headed to bed:
But the Braves were playing in Colorado, Boundless came on at 10pm (thanks RunningNole for getting me addicted), and I just had to read a chapter in the new running book I'm reading:
So when Adam nudged me awake at 9:37am this morning on his way out the door, I was like, doh!
What 32 year old is still sleeping until 9:37am?!?!?!

I make coffee, eat some Cheerios and frozen waffles with peanut butter, and head to my local Fleet Feet to find new shoes.

After trying on a too-stiff Saucony and a I really-wanted-to-love-them-but-didn't Mizuno Sayonara, I tried on Adidas Boosts. The heel is a little cushier than I'm used to and the heel drop is about 10mm, but they were suuuuuuuuuuuper comfy.

I was also in the market for a handheld as I want to see if it might be a comfier option for the cup-free thing. I have a hydration belt, but I'm not sure which one will annoy me more for 26.2 miles. So I'm practicing.
Then I go run 10 miles in my new Smurf shoes.

The first few miles are brutal. I feel awful. It's stupid humid (like 80+%), my legs feel like bricks, I'm having phantom pains, my left ear bud doesn't want to stay in, the shoes aren't my Wave Elixirs, and this stupid handheld is annoying the heck out of me. I had my hair in pigtails and one my rubberbands just randomly falls out around mile 1.5--I have to stop to put my hot mess of a hair in a ponytail.

Really not ready for a summer of awful running.

But I plod on and tell myself to JFR. It's hard. I care about my pace and use it to measure the possibility of my future performance. I pull back to make it easier and then get caught back up working hard again. I actually think about turning around at mile 3 and doing 10 another day this week.

At just past mile 4 and entering the mile long unshaded portion of the Greenway, I tell myself to pull up my big girl skirt. Practicing what I preach, I smile like the idiot that I am.  That'll teach you to sleep until 9:37am dummy!  I take a moment to compose myself at mile 5 before I turn to head back to the start.

Lose Yourself by Eminem starts and I hate that he's asking me to capture the moment. I'm trying, I'm really, really trying. 

Then something weird happens. I start thinking about things that are not directly involved with how terrible I'm feeling.

I think about the store opening we are doing at work, the hot dog bar that I need to create a menu for, ideas for articles I am going to write, how I really should stop at the grocery store to pick up dog treats and cereal, how I really should have bought new shoes for work and not spent so much on shoes for running, how this Jason Derulo song will forever remind me of running behind that dude in the clown wig at The Pig, how this handheld really isn't too annoying when there isn't any water left, how I really need to clean the kitchen desk when I get home (those arm warmers lying there in June are just embarrassing):

Back to reality... I actually feel stronger on the last 4 miles. My leg motion feels more fluid and I know I'm running faster, but it hurts less.  I push the pace harder and faster and it feels good. Really good. I know it's not the paces that I was running in January/February, but since it is 40* higher, I'm satisfied with the effort.

Those things I cannot describe well that I was mentioning at the beginning of this bloop? Those were all those wild, happy, and free thoughts I started having around mile 7. This random 10 mile training run is the epitome of why I run. To conquer those negative thoughts, to feel my body move faster by the mile, to overcome a workout that others might have thrown in the towel. 

As I walked up the gravel path back to my car, salty sweat stung my eyes. It's impossible to explain why that pain felt good to someone who isn't an athlete. It's the reason I continue to lace up, it's the reason I push my body out of the comfort zone, it's the reason I'm going to race my next race with guts.

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