Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stepping into the 20s

Six weeks ago I wasn't sure if this marathon was going to happen. I'm happy to say that on Saturday I survived my 20-miler, and felt strong in doing so.

The 20-miler came after yet another rough week. For a number of reasons I was feeling under the weather, sick and fatigued. Last Monday I ran one mile, went to spin, and couldn't run after. Last Tuesday I came home from work with full intentions of running, instead I collapsed on my couch and it took every ounce of energy I had even to walk the dog. Wednesday was worse, but by the time I got home from work Thursday I was feeling strong again, so I went out for an 8 mile run/walk in addition to spin.

Friday I was feeling good again, but I took the day off from running and just did spin.

After all this, I wasn't looking forward to Saturday's run. At all. I lined up with the 12s, and grouchily slugged through my first couple miles, Matt & Kim blaring in my ears. I'll admit to being kind of mad that I wasn't with my old group, I had no idea how I was going to survive 20 miles, so I kept to myself for awhile.

About three miles in, I thought the woman running next to me was texting while running (she was just using the GPS on her phone) so I pulled out the earplugs and said something like "how on earth do you do that?" That was enough to spur some conversation, with her then others in the group, and before I knew it we were closing in on 10 miles. We're approaching Antrim on the return trip and tiny barefoot Michele H. is coming in our direction. The coaches split the run for us so the two of us running 20 would have company.

Those training for Cap City ran 10 on Saturday. The group I was running with was so upbeat and so inspiring, and it ended up being a cool run to do because this was the first time many of them stepped into double digits.

Michele had two others with her that slept in a bit before doing their 10. So Kate and I, the sole two in the 12-minute group, had even more company for the remainder of our run.

We waved goodbye to the rest of the group, and our five-pack went past the school and north toward the gazebo. I'm feeling strong at the halfway point, but by the time we got to the water stop at the gazebo at Mile 13 I'm starting to fade. It's a horrible feeling at that point -- you've gone so far yet you're nowhere near done.

I slugged it through the next four miles. At some point in this trek we lost Michele in her quest for a port-a-john, and when we got to Antrim we said goodbye to the two girls who got a late start on their 10. It's just myself and Kate now, and we have three miles to go. I can't feel my legs anymore. I'm exhausted, starving, and my bad mood is coming back.  This is when I'd benefit from the chatter of a big group, but instead this is the quietest part of the run.

We keep on slugging, then someone comes storming up behind us. It's Michele, cheery and energetic as always! We turn around by the bridge, and she gets us through the rest of the run, going a total of five miles over her prescribed eight. Superwoman!

My watch made the glorious beeping sound for Mile 20 and we promptly stopped. It took us 4:00:38. Normally I'd bemoan those 38 seconds, kicking myself for not picking it up just a tiny bit to beat four hours, but on Saturday I didn't care... because I ran 20 miles!

1 comment:

  1. Great run, Jessica!!! We miss you in the 10:30s, but you have to do what is best for your body - you are being smart! I have no doubt that you will rock this marathon!