Tuesday, February 19, 2013
February 16th, 2013 – 9.34 Mile Run
The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”
This was a great run. It was one of those runs where you don’t want to do it and you know you don’t want to do it. Getting dressed for it and leaving the house doesn’t change your mind about it. Neither does being on the run or finishing half the run.
This is very unusual for me and probably most runners. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times: The hardest part is getting out the door.
Typically that’s true. But this one was going to be long and hilly and I knew it.
I met Lisa and Betty at Lisa’s house. We loaded up on snacks and hit the door.
The first mile and a half was great. It was either flat or down hill and it felt really good. My legs didn’t feel heavy, my breath wasn’t labored. It was a little warm but nothing I would call uncomfortable.
Then at mile 2, the climbing started…. And it was relentless. 2013 – The Year of the Hill, indeed!
I knew this hill was going to kick my ass, but it WORE. ME. OUT!!!
We knew when we started that this run was not going to be about speed. It was about the distance, the hills and just getting it done, so there was no real pressure.
At about the 3.5 Mile mark, I was at that perplexing point, where you’re not sure if you are exhausted or if you are just at the end of your fuel. We weren’t due to refuel until we got to the halfway point, which was about 4.66 miles in, at the Moorpark Country Club.
So I was trying to stay hydrated and hold off on refueling. But I also know that no matter when I fuel up or what I fuel up with, I always seem to need to replace my calories at around mile 4. Doesn’t matter if it’s a training run, a race, a 10k or a Half, I can never seem to fuel enough beforehand to carry myself more than about 4 miles. Especially on hills.
At about the 3.75 mile mark, I took a packet of Peanut Butter flavored Gu. It wasn’t bad. There was no caffeine and I still had my PB&J sandwich and my packet of Trail Mix for when we reached the halfway point.
After I had the Gu, it was apparent that I had indeed been at the end of my fuel. I felt better immediately and I could tell because I was able to keep my knees up as I was trekking up this hill.
At about mile 4, we hit a peak then started going downhill. This was great! We hadn’t made it to the Club yet but it felt soooo good to just not be climbing anymore!!! Sure, once we turned around, we’d have to climb back up, but that would be after we had rested, refueled and refilled our water bottles. We could do anything after that!!
So we made it to the Country Club and I could not be bothered by the wait staff, who were *clearly* miffed off that we were in their snooty “Members Only” atmosphere. I was tired and desperate.
Sweaty and clearly exhausted, I threw my shoulders back, held my head up and walked into the air-condition bliss that was the Moorpark Country Club. Obviously, I was noticed immediately and a staff member asked if I was looking for a restroom and directed me to one. Excellent!!!
After I rinsed my face, emptied my bladder and refilled my bottle (with unfiltered tap water. Ick!), I was ready to go. I found Lisa and Betty sitting on the ground out front. I’m sure the staff just loved that, but I sat down with them and we had our snacks and refreshed our weary bodies.
Soon we were ready to get back at it and head home. I stretched while Lisa and Betty went to the restroom to freshen up. The homeward trek was sure to be much better.
Only it wasn’t….
How can this be? How can this route be uphill BOTH WAYS?! I heard stories of old, told by earlier generations about how they walked to school in the snow and rain, uphill, both ways, but I always laughed. Silly Grown ups! But now, I swear, I was living the same nightmare!!!
Oh ,right!!! Toward the end, we had hit a downhill stretch, so it made sense that we would start the homeward trek climbing again. But surely it wouldn’t be long.
Only it was…. It seemed to go on forever!
At about the 5.25 mark, we hit another peak and started to go downhill. This did feel better than going up, only now the temperature had risen about 20 degrees since we’d started.
I was hot, I was hurting and we were only 6 miles in. If I was going to make it back, I had to change my focus, change my mantra and just sail in. It’s a mental game now.
At this point, we had just finished running a about a quarter of a mile stretch, with no sidewalk and very little shoulder and we were running on the wrong side of the street, which is dangerous when you’re near the point of collapse.
So we crossed the street onto the main drag that would take us home. Lisa and Betty stayed their course, but I ran on the other side of the street. We were back on wide, nicely paved sidewalks, but the only way I would feel safe is if I was facing traffic, so we separated but I kept a visual on them for most of the trek.
I believe every runner has at least one annoying habit. Whether it’s spitting on the course (which I think is ABSOLUTELY disgusting), stopping without pulling to the left, talking too much, being too fast, being too slow, being too funny (my BIG brother is *hilarious*. I have trouble running with him he is so fast and he cracks me up!), thinking their way is the best way, there are a myriad of annoying things another runner might do that will make you want to drown them in a port-a-potty.
I have several annoying habits: (1) Whenever I cross a busy street, I blow a coach's whistle. Two quick blasts. Sorry, but I have too much to live for to worry about pissing off a driver who may or may not see me. (2) Usually, I stick to my regular workout playlist, which features Michael Jackson very heavily but I also enjoy Eminem, Lady Gaga, The Beatles, Flo Rida and yes, I’ve been known to be bring sexy back on a run. Those can get me through about 7 miles. After that, I need a little bit o’ Jesus. I switch on my Gospel music. And I praise Him….. Loudly.
I’m sure it was annoying but I spent the final 3 miles blowing my whistle and singing my heart out. It was great!
Yes, it was hot. Yes, I was beyond tired. Yes, the voices in my head were telling me that I couldn’t finish and that I was stupid to try. And yes I was starting to believe the lie. But when I finally landed in Lisa’s yard, I felt like it wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty but I hadn’t let it beat me. Thank you, Jesus!
In Other News:
February 14th, 2013 – 4.28 Mile Run
I woke up early to get this one in. It had been far too long since my last run and I was so glad to get this one in. It was a beautiful, crispy morning.
Later that day
February 14th, 2013 – 1.53 Mile Run
Jordan had flag football practice and I heard Gracie, who hates running, wanted to run with me! So I changed my clothes before I left the office, headed out to the field and we ran laps around the park for a little while. She’s cool. I hope we get to do that again.