Tuesday, January 22, 2013

That time I ran really well...

This is a photo of a girl who had a seriously WONDERFUL run on a Sunday.
And I'm sure if felt even better since I had a HORRIBLE run last Sunday.

I've been training for a half marathon in February, and for most of the training period, I've run 3 short runs(3 miles) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and a long run on Sunday, following the basic outline of adding mileage one week, adding mileage the next week, then have a shorter long run the third week.  I had run 7 miles on the 30th(my short long run) and then I ran 10 miles on the 6th of January and felt pretty good.  
The Friday & Saturday before my long run on the 13th, I got no sleep for various reasons{one being my ridiculous neighbors were having a loud domestic dispiture in the parking lot and got the cops called on them until 2:30 am}, and went into the run thinking it would be the hardest thing ever.
Lo and behold, I did terribly, and gave up around mile 6.  I was prepared to walk my little butt 3 miles back to the car, but I ran into some friends of mine, and halfheartedly ran back with them, felt like a failure and called this my "short" long run.

This weekend I was to run 11.5.
The Louisiana Marathon happened to be going on that Sunday as well, and since there aren't many options for running 11.5 miles in Baton Rouge, I knew I would be on their course at least some of the time, so I parked at a place where I knew my car wouldn't be blocked, and began my run a few minutes before their start time of 7:00 am.  I was feeling great for the whole beginning.  I had forgotten how much I liked running at dawn.

When I trained for my full marathon in 2011, I HAD to run that early or else I wouldn't finish my long runs before work.  I hadn't started a run before 8:00 am in almost a year, and getting up at 5:30 in the morning to eat a Luna bar, drink some water, take a few sips of an energy drink{I know...I have a slight caffeine addiction}, pack my Gu's and fill my water bottle, and make sure I knew my course from MapMyRun, suprisingly brought back tons of training memories.  Encouraging ones.  Positive energy abound.

After having the streets of BR to myself for about an hour, I took a gu around mile 3, and I met up with the LA Marathon course around mile 5 when I was running opposite the race participants.  I saw the leading male.  He was wearing neon yellow.
I continued on, police officers asked me if I knew I was going the wrong way{in a nice way}, and I only stopped to pee around mile 8. I had about half a pack of Orange Gu Chomps for the remainder of the race.  I ended up on the same course with the race from miles 8ish until mile 10.5ish.  I was with the 3:25 expected finishers, and they were MOVING.  I'm sure I made some of them think, "wow, this girl must've really hit the wall..." since I was moving like a snail compared to them.
One guy did tell me I was doing a great job, and I told him I was just out training, but thanks anyway.  He said it was great no matter what to be out there, and then sped away.  I deviated from my plan just to keep running with the racers.  It was quite encouraging.

I finally seperated from them for the last time, ran my last mile at the fastest speed of the day, and got to my car feeling fantastic.  I stretched, drank a protein shake and some gatorade, then walked the block from my car to the street where racers were passing.  I think I stayed for about an hour with a small crowd playing music and cheering on the runners.  I happened to see the encouraging guy again and told him to keep up the good work!  

Post run, I still felt great.  My endorphins were in high gear, and even though I was sore and tired, I felt accomplished.  I had even run an extra half mile.

Running.  Never in my younger adult life would I expect to actually like this sport which other sports do as punishment, and never did I expect to find so many positives through training and perserverence.  Sweating, breathing heavily and moving about are some of my favorite things, and I can gaurantee that you will catch a lot fewer STDs if you get that exercise from taking a jog around the block. 

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