Monday, June 13, 2011
I ran 7 miles yesterday (in 1:16:38)! And I didn't die!
In fact, I even enjoyed myself!
The common theme of the advice that I'd received from my runner friends was to pace myself. I'm still not very good at it, so I started out slow knowing that I had a long ways to go. I felt great the first 3 miles, with the exception of some pain in my left ankle, I must have tweaked it early on. After 3 miles, it's as though I could hear my body say 'Wait a minute, it's time to stop...where are you going?'. It was used to running 5Ks. It protested, but I was able to quiet it down and made my first goal: To make it to the 4 mile mark without stopping to run. This would be a personal record for me, as I had only made it 3.5 miles before stopping. Between miles 3 and 4, I passed my brother and sister-on-law's house. It brought me back to when they first bought the house in the spring of 2008. Shortly after signing the papers, the house flooded and and the water was up to the top of their basement stairs. It was definitely not something that a young newlywed couple should have to deal with...and I felt my heart swell with pride as I remembered the cause for this race...to raise money for flood victims of 2008. I was even lucky enough to see Karen at the house as she was letting the dog out. I shouted her name and waved and kept on going.
I made it to mile 4, and set my 2nd goal: 5 miles without stopping to walk.
My left ankle was still sore and my right knee started to hurt, so I did my best to stay on the level part of the road and kept pushing. As I looked ahead of and around me, I saw people standing on their porches, waving or clapping for us. People would stop walking their dog to turn and cheer us on...and even a few drivers would clap as they were waiting for us to cross the street. My heart swelled and I made it to mile 5.
Unfortunately, shortly after passing the 5th mile marker, I had to stop and catch my breath, but after about 150 yards, I was good to go again. And you know what guys and gals....I finished the race without stopping again.
My friend, Michelle, who ran her first Dam to Dam 20K a week ago, told me that she experienced "Runner's High" when she finished...and when I crossed that finish line, so did I! Don't get me wrong, I was glad I was done, but I felt an energy that I hadn't felt in years...since track meets in high school. It was just as awesome as I remembered.
I did something I never thought I could do. And I'm 30! I keep going back to a memory from when I was in high school and my track coach, Lowell, made us run 3 miles to improve endurance (I'm sure there were some other reasons), and he had to pull me the last half mile. Fifteen years later, I still didn't finish the race alone...but this time, I wasn't being pulled.
Thank you, Tony, for encouraging me to push myself and not leaving my side on Saturday. Without you, I wouldn't have found out what I'm capable of.
(Pictures to come)