Saturday, October 26, 2013

I think I am ready....

With all training programs I have looked up and read, I have noticed that they have you run the 13.1 mileage before the race, weeks before, to give you a feel and adjustment, primarily you will run this training run at a slower pace because come race day, your adrenaline is pumping and your speed does pick up a bit, being surrounded by 1000's of other runners. The Women's Running Half in November will be my 4th Half Marathon, but the more exciting part is it will be my 4th half this year alone. Yup, in this one year alone I will have completed 4 of them. I know to a lot of running enthusiasts that might not seem like a lot, but to someone like me, new to this whole experience and almost self taught, that is a pretty amazing thing! I know in some training programs, they have you run more than the 13.1, actually going up to 14 miles, since I am fine with just 13.1, I stick with that mileage.

Like I have said in the past, I really don't follow a strict running schedule because of work and life and I like to just go with what is right with me. The one thing I really stick with is getting in my long runs once a week. Today I took on the long run of 13.1 miles. I had planned it do it today because I am off of work, actually off for the next 6 days, it is glorious. The weather has finally cooled off here and because it is perfect timing, considering the race is now in 28 days, getting in this last long run would be essential. I know I can run 13.1 miles, I have done it 3 times before, actually 4, if we count my very first training run of 13.1, my body can handle it, but for the sake of myself I want to make sure each and every time.

Yesterday I made sure I fueled my body right at breakfast, lunch and dinner and I did. I got to bed at a decent time, I know the day before race day, I can never fall asleep right away, same with training. I had my clothes and everything laid out and I was ready to go. I got up around 430, I had set my alarm for 5 but I guess my body wanted to start a little earlier. For breakfast I had a light English muffin with one tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter and a banana and some water. I packed my cooler with my Dark Chocolate Zico water and I wanted to try Lenny and Larry's Muscle Brownie I had received in a RunnerBox awhile ago. I knew I wanted to eat something right after.
Sorry the picture is sideways. I took this after I almost ate the wrapper haha.

I got downtown to my spot around 545. I thought for sure there was going to be tons of cars because the weather was perfect, cool 70 degrees with a great  breeze and it was dark and early. I was the only car in the parking lot!! A little bit of panic set in because god forbid something happened to me, I like to be around a lot of people, but I shook it off. I got my fuel belt ready and I was comfortable in my long sleeved shirt I had on. Yeah I had to take advantage of this cooler weather.

I had a great first mile pace. I was feeling really strong and my stride was comfortable, the walks weren't hard and each walk I transition right into my run perfectly. My ankle was bothering me, but not when I walked, only when I stepped down hard and was making turns. I have no clue what I did, but I kept chanting Mind of Matter and pushed the shooting pain out of my head. I seriously don't know where my motivation and determination come from because that hurt a lot at times.

At around mile 7 I started to feel a road block. My pace was slowing down, I was getting caught up in my head. I chewed on my Gatorade Fruit Punch chews with some water and then I got back to it. I jumped the road block for a while and then that freaking 10 mile road block came back up. I swear once I hit 10 miles, I always slow down a bit, not sure why, its like my brain says "nope we are done" I took some sport beans and really started running. I kept saying 13.1 is just a 5k with a 10 mile warm up. I was running back in Snell Isle, this really beautiful area and I was trying to make sure that I gained at least 4 miles back there before I headed back to my car because I knew from one part I would have at least a mile back, so if I went over the bridge at 12.5 I would finish the 13.1 right at my car.

Well I am horrible with direction and just was running down streets, not looking where I was going or where I have been that I got lost. My runtastic was creeping on 12 miles and I was nowhere to where I needed to be. My pace was great and the amazing thing I was running fantastic. I wasn't tired or hot or sore, I was just running. I had to pause my runtastic for a minute because I started to panic, cause I kept circling the same street, over and over, at least 4 times and I really didn't want to take on a lot of mileage, my legs were in a enough trouble. I had google maps take me home. But I ran until it said 13.1 and then walked the rest to my car, about a good 1.5 mile away, I will never do that again.

Hitting that 13 miles is still emotional moment for me. I cant believe I am on this journey and getting it done and getting better and better each time. Tears always seem to well up and I am just overcome with emotion, all kinds, happy and then sad. Sad mainly because no one in my family has seen me accomplish this except through pictures on Facebook. I would love it if just one time, they flew down when I was running to witness it. My boyfriend is always there for me at the finish line, but having my mom or Poppy there, god what a sight it would be. And of course I am overcome with emotion that my dad isn't even here to hear about my journey. You do not know how many times I wish I could just call him to tell him about my run or that I did it. I can still hear his voice at times, but it is slow starting to fade away.

I do believe he was running with me today because I accomplished this run 5 minutes faster than when I did IronGirl in April. Five minutes doesn't seem like a lot but to me, it really is everything. Walking back to my car was a bit rough, my feet and legs with heavy and super tired but I made it back and then the parking lot was full and I could see a lot of people starting or coming back from their runs, they decided to not start as early as me. I mean 2 hours of running is a lot of time, I like it early so I can enjoy the rest of my day. I stretched it out and god does that feel phenomenal and then I headed home. I cried a bit on the way home, I tell ya, I am one emotional girl when it comes to these things haha.

My freaking runtastic app and the gps didn't link up, but I did do the 13.1 haha!

I know now I am ready for this Women's Half Marathon and I also know that I am ready to take on more challenges with running from here on out. I will continue to challenge myself to be stronger, faster and better, if I can shave 5 minutes, next time I would shoot for 6 and then so on so forth. My long runs now tend to taper off a bit. I wont run the 13 miles again, but I think the next long run I do will be 8 miles, then I will do 10 or 11 then I taper off, after the first week in November, then just smaller runs.

Thanks for being apart of my journey also!!!