I had blisters. I was sore. I hadn't worked out all week.
But, I also knew that I wanted to do this run in the city, instead of in Hayward, WI where I'll be heading after work and spending the weekend -- in theory, running at the cabin SOUNDS like a good idea, but the reality is, there's nowhere good to run. One of the beautiful things about Minneapolis is the ease with which you can ping from lake to lake to parkway to beautiful waterfalls to paths and trails, and barely ever come in contact with a car or intersection. In Hayward, it's open road and county highway as far as the eye can see.
I set my alarm for 5 AM and hit snoozer until about 5:30 -- a little longer than I intended, but I also didn't go to bed QUITE as early as I wanted to last night. I'd had pasta for dinner, and copious amounts of water throughout the day. I was excited to give my new running shoes a 2nd chance, now that the blisters were mostly dried up and I had gone through all my pre-run rituals.
I got up and had coffee and breakfast right away -- something light, but with the right protein/carb mix to get me through the run (english muffin w/ pb & j).
I had water, advil, pepcid (I get heartburn sometimes when I run), and stretched.
And then I was off!
Last Sunday I felt like I could barely move -- today, I felt like I could have kept going forever. And I was pretty fast today, too -- 10 miles in 2 hours, almost on the nose. That means I kept a pretty nice 5 MPH pace the whole time. It was GORGEOUS outside -- and quiet, since it was 6 AM. There were barely any cars around, let alone people, and as I drank in the solitude, I remembered, "THIS is what I love about this sport."
On mornings like this, I'm reminded that sometimes one sucky run is just ONE sucky run, and not an indicator that I'm ready to quit or retire from the sport. Not a sign that I'm too old, fat, or incapable of going the distance. I'm not sure how much distance running is in my future, the last 4 miles of today were still pretty tough and my blisters started acting up by the end, but at least I remembered how to get up, bang out 5 miles before 8 AM, and love it.
I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes, that has been true for me over and over again throughout the years -- it ran through my brain over and over today, along with the positive messages I've heard from various supportive people over the past few days*:
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're always right."
Like the Little Engine That Could, I kept going today, and enjoyed it. I "got out of my own way," so to speak, and took in the beauty of my surroundings: lakes and rivers and waterfalls and golf courses and woods and footbridges. I didn't listen to ENERGIZING music, but calming, peaceful music -- David Gray, Diana Krall, Norah Jones -- things that soothed me into forgetting about my heart rate and my footstrike and reminded me to live in the moment, and just enjoy the run.
That concludes Training: Week 8.
And now it's time for the taper.
Off and running,
*Molly J and Annika S... thank you for your words. I thought of you both a lot today! And Annika, on the week of your graduation, I dedicate today --10 miles -- to YOU! Congratulations, girl!