Soooooo…Week 7 is over. Yesterday, I ran TWELVE MILES. A DOZEN. And the first (almost) EIGHT of those was entirely without walking. (the final four…not quite so good.) But I went farther than I thought I was capable of…blew my mind when I finally looked at my watch and saw where we were.
A friend joined me for my run yesterday, and I think that made all the difference. In fact, three of my four runs this week were without my iPod, and two of them were with Leah, and one of them was in the pouring rain. It was QUITE a week. I feel like this week, I really, REALLY became a “runner.” I think if you head out near dusk on a day when the remnants of a hurricane are sweeping through your area, knowing it’s going to be dark and POURING by the time you get done (even if it’s just a 4-miler)…and just strap on the reflector and the headlamp and GO…you give up any credibility you may have had when you deny that you are, in fact, a runner.
Finding out today that I ran 26.1 miles this week, and knowing that a marathon is 26.2, and that I JUST missed being able to say, “I ran a marathon this week!” feels kinda like kissing your sister, as the expression goes. But no fear…this week, I’m in for 28…and one week from now, I’ll be up over 30 for the next month. So I guess it’s not so bad…it’ll come.
A lot about yesterday’s long run was amazing…the fact that I was able to carry on a conversation for most of it…the fact that I was able to keep going…and going…and going, when I knew that without company, I would’ve walked long beforehand…the fact that running 12 miles was something I just accepted I’d do, without panic or dread…and the fact that I spent the five hours prior and the entire rest of the day after preparing for AND hosting a dinner party for 20 people and didn’t even sit down till almost 8pm!! (Thank God I had a friend and my dad to help me throughout the day…and my brother to fix my deck lights…and my mom behind the scenes as well…all godsends, truly!)
By the way, just for stats…our total run time was 2:28:32…our overall pace was over 12:00 per mile, which is surprising and a little disappointing…but I feel like I did well, still…?
At the party, some of my friends found my to-do list for the day and laughed at how it contained over 20 items, and among them was “run 12 miles”…they told me that if any one of them had written a to-do list that included “run 12 miles,” that would be the ONLY item on the list! I laughed too…remembering my own detached amazement as I added that item…knowing that I’d just DO it…because I had to…and that I’d have the energy to handle the rest of the evening and pull off this party because I’d decided to do it…and because collapsing in exhaustion wasn’t an option.
And, by extension, this week has really been a huge learning experience of what I can handle if I just decide it has to be done. The things I’m capable of when giving up would be too catastrophic…well, it amazes me. When I think about it, it’s almost like I don’t recognize myself. Those conversations I said I wanted to overhear…where people tell others that I’m training for a marathon AND THAT I’M CRAZY…I really am starting to hear them. My roommate just shakes his head in wonder at me when I tell him my distance for this week, and when he says I’m the kind of girl who just goes out and DOES amazing things, it’s like he’s talking about someone else. And if it were someone else, I’d be amazed, too.
But it’s ME.
My pastor left an awesome quote on Tuesday’s post… “If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” This is already the most amazing experience, simply because it’s turning me into someone I don’t recognize. Or…maybe it’s just SHOWING me someone I didn’t know I was. How many people create an experience that happens this way? Probably parents know what I mean…I can’t imagine you can go through the experience of raising a small child without gaping in wonder at the things you’re capable of handling…but seriously…I haven’t even run the marathon yet, and I’m already changing into something I can hardly believe I am, but can no longer deny.
It’s quite something…believe me.
So. Week 8 begins tomorrow. I hope the rain heads out early in the afternoon…I’m hoping my friend Leah will coach me through some track intervals tomorrow as I wait for my students’ field hockey game to begin in the evening. I don’t know how I’ll do with that…when I tried a track-interval night with Liz this summer, I wimped out big time. I’ll have to do much better than that tomorrow. We’ll see. At least it’s only a 4…I should be able to handle anything for 4 miles. (My self from six months ago just read that and her jaw is on the floor, by the way.) =)
Week 8 is: 4 on Monday…6 on Tuesday (my last 6)…4 on Thursday…and 14 this Saturday. I’m hoping for a trail run. We’ll see what I can come up with. As of Saturday, I’ll be halfway through the program (in terms of weeks…certainly not mileage!!).
So here we go…wish me luck!