Another part of my long-run hesitation was the self-applied pressure to do huuuuuuge routes. A giant loop. Like last weekend. That's a HUGE swath of Seattle that I was covering! That's mentally intimidating.
So I decided to do what I love. My four mile neighborhood route, where I hit the neighborhood retail corridor, a long straighaway, the Locks, Magnolia, and back home. This route afforded me the luxury of using my house as a 'water stop'. I knew I would hit 12 miles, and figured an extra 1.1 wouldn't hurt anything if I was feeling good.
I set up a Nalgene with Nuun & a Nalgene with fresh water, Chomps, gum, iPod, a change of socks & shirt & hat inside my front door, and set off with just my Garmin
Miles 1 - 4:
Look at this sun! It's so nice out! I should have worn a tanktop! I've never run in a tanktop! Holy crap, mile 1 at 10:33? Talking about going out too fast... I thought the Ballard Farmer's Market closed at 3pm...wrong. I walked through the market - too crowded to run. The salmon floes were WIDE open at the Locks - lovely mist to run through, cool off...and make puddles to splash through. Glad I put out a change of socks!
Stop at house, eat some Chomps, nuun, and change shirts into the tanktop.
Miles 5 - 8:
Here I go! Wheeee! Bare shoulders! Oof. I chugged too much water (so delicious!) and was sloshing around a bit. I brought my iPod out with me on this lap, but found the music too distracting. Oh look! The Farmer's Market is packing up! Cars, dogs, people, everywhere. Walked that again. Back to the Locks again, puddles are getting bigger...got shoved into one by an idiot. Foot soaked. Blerch. On my little Magnolia route, a guy on a GIANT Harley rode by, turn around, rode by again. He gave me a shrug of his shoulders when he went by again. What the heck?
Stop at house, drink too much Nuun & water. Try a new gel - an all natural Honey one - delicious - skip the chomps. Change socks. Back out, no rest!
Next time I see the house I'll be a half-marathoner (kind of)! My calves are weak...at least compared to the beginning miles. GPS chimed for mile 9 - OK. I got this. 4 miles! Easy! Cue maniacal laughing. Mile 10 would not end. Charged up hill chanting 'Strong. Powerful'. Yes, I've named my quads. I feel like T. Some sketchy looking teens were sitting at a picnic table. I made up a song about how they were likely smoking marijuana and how I hadn't gone this long without talking since I took the SAT's, and then something about a goose. I dunno. Can you say LOOPY?
Miles 12 - 13.1
I was running, but not sure why I was stopping to walk. I felt like I could go forever, but would then find myself walking. I dunno. I realized that I was going to be somewhat close to my RnR time of 2:34. I realized that wasn't good. I'm not out to hurt myself here. After I crossed 11.5 miles, I ran 100 steps, and walked 100 steps. Ran up the hill, past my house (Yes, I waved), and ran down the block. GPS chimed for mile 13, and I watched the .1 tick by.
And I was done.
13.1 miles. 2:43:27.
Now I know how I feel at mile 5. Mile 10. Mile 12. Mile 13, when everything is kind of numb and doing math problems seems hilarious.
I'm a bit sore, I won't lie. My core is sore, as are the bottoms of my feet. I went to climb up a flight of stairs after sitting down for 30 mins and my calves were straight up LOL WHAT WOMAN. They figured it out. I walked a couple blocks to get takeout from the local cafe & it actually felt good to walk a bit.
So now? Now I know. Now I know when I'll likely need to push through the pain, when I need to chant my strong words (strong. powerful), and that in order to focus I need to leave the music at home.
(Also? ROCKIN shorts tanline on my thighs. awesomesauce)
I feel renewed. I feel like a runner again. This race is MINE.