Sunday, April 4, 2010

Running Warrior Returns!!!

I am in the last weeks of training for a half marathon. I started with the C25k training program in October and signed up for my first half marathon before I could even run a mile!!! Crazy! My training had been progressing nicely and I was able to increase my endurance at a steady pace in the months of January, February and the beginning of March. I somehow got off schedule and started pushing myself increasingly harder. The past couple weeks I have been suffering through some pretty ragged runs due to some over training issues. I felt like I had lost my edge. That I had peaked too early and that my training was now tearing me down. So, I took a couple easy days before my Saturday long run, hoping to rekindle the fire in my belly, my inner drive.

As my husband and I stepped out on the trail today, he asked me "What is your goal today?" I said to run and enjoy it. No time expectations. When I'm tired of running, I will walk, when I'm bored with walking I will run. I need to find my inner drive and passion again.

The run was scheduled to be 10 miles and I did plan to cover that distance, no matter how long it took and no matter if I had to walk occasionally. In the second mile of the run, it started to sprinkle. My husband asked be what I wanted to do. I want to keep going. I was just breaking into a rhythm and enjoying the pace I had set. My body and mind were relaxed and enjoying the run. We continued on. At times the wind kicked up and our rain soaked skin would go numb from the cold. I was only wearing a tank style running top with a racer back and a pair of running shorts. I had grabbed a cotton t-shirt out of the back seat of our car before we started out, because is was overcast and a little chiller than I had anticipated. I did have on my ball cap which served as a wind/rain shield. I was looking a little gansta as I would pull the brim to one side and down a little to shield my face from the rain pelting coming at my right side.

During the first few miles, the rain actually felt good. In about mile three I met a familiar friend. My alter ego and best bud in my survival and weight loss success. I have referred to this inner warrior as the Go-Go Gladiator before. When I felt that passion and energy rising, I felt like falling to my knees right there in the middle of that running trail and crying out YES!!! YESSS!!!! YESSSSS!!!!! Thank You LORD!!!! Man, I missed feeling that fire! So glad to know it's still there.

This was an out and back run. On the way out, we would have moments of pelting rain followed by moments of sunshine and then winds and more rain. I realized that we had miscalculated the run and had run too far, but the bathroom was just a mile further and I really needed to go. So, we ran on.

At the pit stop, the rain started coming down in buckets. So my husband and I huddled in the porta potty together. Thankfully it was one of those larger ones that is handicap accessible and they just put them out this week, so they are really clean! We use the time to make sure we have drank enough, fueled properly, calculate our time, chapstick, sanitize, etc. Then we decide it is now or never and take off running. It looked like we might be sprinters after all!!!

We made pretty good time. About half way back, James realized that he had waaay miscalculated our distances and that it was going to be very difficult for me to complete, especially since we were pushing ourselves to run faster because we were freezing cold and soaking wet. When we hit the ten mile mark James encourages me to stop running and walk. He knows I am stubborn and have been battling with some overtraining stresses and injuries. But, I'm cold, it's raining and my legs feel pretty good considering. He looks around to find a farmhouse near the trail and asks me if he should go find me shelter while he runs the last two miles to the car and comes back for me. I say, no, we can do this together. After another half mile, he convinces me that he needs to run ahead and get the car and meet me at the next road, which will save me a half mile run. I agree. As soon as he leaves and is just out of sight, the wind picked up and the rain started harder and it felt like needles hitting my skin. For a moment I felt really alone and a little scared in the middle of nowhere by myself wet and cold. I wanted to crawl into the bushes and wait out the rain. But, James would be waiting. He would worry sick if I didn't show up at the meeting point. I ran. I ran. I'd walk for a few steps and then I'd remind myself that James is waiting, don't make him worry. At this point, I am soooo soaking wet that water is running off the brim of my hat. I am soooo excited as I round the last corner and see him pulling the car up to the meeting spot. I made it! Just in time! He had just gotten there. He had worried that we would be later than expected and I'd have to stand in the rain waiting for him, so he had pushed himself to run as fast as he could to the car. He said at times he would walk a few steps and then take off running again.

I'm glad I have such a loving husband who looks out for my safety and comfort. We were both freezing, starving and exhausted. My planned 10 miles ended up being 11.9 miles! I'm so glad to be the woman I am and to have the blessing of knowing my inner strength. I know that where I have been is part of who I am, and for that I am thankful.

'Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Thank you friends, for making the journey great!

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is WOW...what progress you've made since C25K.

    I'd like to be a trail runner, but the trails here are just too rugged for me. I need my hiking boots and I don't think I could get away with trail shoes which I do have.

    I have ankle issues from high school and have a tough time seeing my running stride on a trail without having to watch for every little root, rock, and undulation in the trail.

    I'll keep my street conditioning going and keep looking out for trail options.

    You are quite dedicated...very inspirational.