Monday, August 19, 2013

What started with a stupid decision brings back my racing mojo

I had a phenomenal weekend.

Among other things, I surprised myself today and now am confident that I can own the Wine Glass marathon Oct. 6.

After falling off for a couple days, I was determined to follow my training schedule through the weekend, a one hour run Saturday, and a one hour and 15 minute run Sunday.

But due to standing plans and some ickiness of varying natures, the Saturday run never happened, and I ran 18 miles Sunday in 3:34.

(Sorry for not listening to you, wonderful person who has helped me out considerably with my training, I will will will follow my schedule from now on. Oh and congrats on IMMT!)

My plan was to meet up with a couple girls from the Fleet Feet Facebook page to get that hour and 15 done. They were running 18 miles. As the plans were being finalized, someone confirmed: "and Jessica, you can only do an hour 15 right?"

That's when I made a split second and potentially epically stupid decision.

"No, I'm in for the full 18."

My longest run since Musselman? Six.

Could someone remind me about the ten percent rule?

So now that I committed myself to 18 miles, perhaps I'd spend the night hydrating and carbing up? Try two angry orchards, a rice cake with nut butter and two eggs, home fries and bacon (all within a night out with a wonderfully awesome person!)

I wake up and start chugging water, and cross my fingers. It ends up being just two of us, so I meet Tara at Schoen Place. We leave my car in the Towpath lot and drive 18 miles away to the Auburn Trail in Farmington.

So lets review this situation so far: Woefully unprepared, unfueled and untrained I jump into a minivan with a complete stranger and drive 18 miles to a town I do not know well with no choice but to run back to my car. All while I've been doubting myself and my training, with someone who was much more prepared and would no doubt be a bit disappointed if I pooped out.

Leap of faith, much?

We get to the trail and start running. Tara turns out to be the perfect running partner, willing to run at my pace (though I think she secretly wanted to be going faster) and was really chatty. It's hard to keep a conversation going for three and a half hours, and we found plenty to talk about which made the miles melt by.

The first two miles I'm feeling dehydrated and my calf is hurting. I'm feeling discouraged and guilty about what would inevitably happen, me burning out halfway through, but I put on a brave face and plugged away. At about Mile 3 we stopped and I took a gel, an S-cap and put some Gatorade in my pack during the quick break. We're running again, and I slowly start to feel better, and by Mile 6 I feel strong.

Tara mapped out the course so there was no doubt where we were going. For ten miles we're on the Auburn Trail, which is flat except for one hill that we walked. We stopped at a gas station at Mile 10 where I got more Gatorade. From there we got on the canal.

By Mile 14 I'm tired but able to keep going. Knee is bugging me a bit but I feel strong.

We pass my car at Mile 15. Exhausted, but we weren't stopping. No way.

We continue on the canal, turn around, and finished the run with negative splits. We get some ice cream, watch the sun set over the canal, and agree to run together again. I ended the night with some friends,

I took a major risk, and completing this run showed me that I did not bite off more than I can chew. I can finish the Wine Glass. The adrenaline of this accomplishment has kept me up past my bedtime.

Post-Musselman funk: Good riddance!

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