It started as the desire to complete just one 10K to say I did it. A few weeks into my training, a relationship came to an end and I lost my job. Those training runs quickly became my best friends as I sorted through the losses and uncertainty. Now, more than 4 years, training for 5 half marathons, and one knee surgery later, the challenges I have taken on in running have helped me understand that I can take on, and conquer, whatever lies in my path ahead.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Days that Count

Sunday, August 19

Today was a long run scheduled. I decided to do a route that would let me do 7, but be easy to cut to 6 if needed.

It was muggy but 75 instead of 80 at 7:30. A little aside here - I wouldn't wish a hurricane on anyone, but it's gonna take a tropical system blowing through to break the drought and heat around here. Can't remember the last time a drop of rain fell on my house.

Anyway, this was one of those runs that was a struggle from the first steps, and never let up. You just knew that the only thing that was going to be easy about is was stopping at the end. By the 2nd mile, I couldn't wait for it to be over and planned to cut it to 6. In the middle of mile 3 I decided that since there was very little hope of this being an enjoyable run, I might as well give myself the satisfaction of getting 7 in. So I hung a left to add the extra mile. See I think it's the runs you do when nothing in your head or your body wants to do it that count the most. Or the mile that you want to lay off on, but you push yourself instead.

And a nod to my own hypocrisy. During the last 2 miles, I came out of a park, just as a guy cut across to my side of the street ahead of me. He was struggling (like I wasn't), and was handling his run by going faster than he should have, and having to stop often to walk. These miles included 2 hills of close to a half mile each. Even at my plodding 10:30 pace, I was going to over take him. Except that whenever I'd get 5-6 yards behind him, he would take off running again and get 20-30 yards ahead, then stop to walk. The last time it happened I laughed out loud at his pride in not wanting to get passed by some old chick huffing and puffing along. Finally, I caught him and he must have had nothing left cause he let me by. I got ahead a bit and I heard him start running again behind me. Now I've made fun of him on other boards, but the truth is, deep inside my own pride rose up and I really didn't want him to pass me back. While he was trying to stay ahead, I was thinking about how I wasn't doing anything but running my miles. How it wasn't important if I was behind or ahead.

Thankfully, he really was dying cause I stayed ahead without having to be a total hypocrite and speed up to do it. And in the end it gave me something else to focus on at the end of difficult run. Who knows? I may have helped his training while I was at it.

Hopefully this was a day that counts.


Viv said...

Karen, Great job on keeping with the mileage even though you were not feeling em at first. Love that you passed him up and lead him on the race of pride..hehehe!

Noelle said...

Who cares what color your motivation is when it pushes you finish your 7? And i wouldn't color you a hypocrite at all. He started the competition. You just finished it. Heh. You're awesome! WTG!

Teresa said...

Hey Karen! Sounds like a challenging run, but you did it! This new job and my schedule is not really allowing me much computer time, so I haven't been able to keep up with reading in blogland. Just wanted to stop by and say hi since I had a few extra minutes this morning! Btw, your weather sounds horrible! Hope you get a break soon.

monica said...

may we all be blessed with testosterone pumped men to serve as "jackrabbits" for us all to finish our long runs. whatever gets us through and whatever - in the end - makes us win. you did awesome!