Monday, September 9, 2013

Character Building Run: 9 Miler

Saturday morning I had my nine miler on the agenda, my longest distance to run since last March. I definitely didn't feel intimidated by the distance, I felt prepared with training and in better shape than my first round with the distance. This run was going to be a piece of cake, right? 

I really didn't want to run this distance alone, so I met up with two other runners who were out to run a 14 miler- both are training for the Louisiana Marathon in January. They were starting at 5am so I had to get going a little bit earlier than normal. Before meeting up with them, I drove part of the route they were running in my car and put out a few bottles of water out for myself,  insuring I would reach my distance goal upon returning to the start.Weird things are happening out on the streets at 4:30am on a Saturday morning ya'll. It's the time of day where some people are literally still out from the night before and you see some strange stuff. Anywho, I met up with the girls and we set out on the route. It felt hotter than normal, there was heat lightening going off all around us, and it was tres tres humid. Think running in soup. 

Never easily deterred from a goal we kept running. I was all good until about mile 3.5. A little more than a third of the way into the run, I was feeling very very tired. I was having a really hard time getting in enough air, and I honestly thought I would pass out at one point. No bueno. That's when I noticed my watch hadn't been tracking my run since my first water stop. Awesome sauce. It was dark, the watch does have a light, not that I used it, and apparently I had turned it off while running my yap and being a spaz. As per usual.

I literally pouted and contemplated quitting until I hit mile 6. I have never wanted to quit a run so badly in my life. I took more rests on this run than I ever have since I began running. At one point, I seriously considered throwing in the towel. My pace was in the toilet and I was beating myself up about feeling so fatigued and moving so slow. It was unseasonably warm and nearing 100% humidity, I was literally drenched in sweat. At one point I went to wipe sweat off my face with my shirt, and quite literally rung my shirt out. Audible drip drip drop onto the pavement went my DNA. Disgusting. 

I never felt emotional on this run but I did feel mad. Mad at the weather, mad at my pace, mad at my watch, and highly annoyed with the situation in general.I knew my husband would come pick me up if I called him, and I really really wanted to call him. I would pick a point in the distance and think, I'll run there and if I still feel like trash, then I'll call him. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, my everything hurt. I kept picking points further and further out, putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. One step at a time. Take your time. Take your time. This is not race day. Log the miles. You can do this. You will do this. Do not quit!

Eventually, the run started to feel good again. When I realized I'd made it more than half way, quitting was no longer an option. I had to finish what I started. I really don't know how I pushed through this run, but I did it. One step at a time. At 7.5 I left the girls I was out running with and began making the loop back to my car. The sun was finally coming up, and that helped burn up a little bit of the humidity. There's a magical 30 minute window when the weather feels great, and I had found it. More people were out and about, the city was finally waking up and I felt like I was too. 

I looked down at my watch, and I was back moving in a 9 minute mile. Hallelujah, I was finally getting somewhere! I guess I was at about 8 miles, the end was in sight, and I saw a man standing on the side of the road clapping his hands with this huge smile on his face. My husband was standing on the side of the road in his Bruce Jenner track suit cheering for me. I like to think we're so close we can communicate telepathically, and he knew I was having a horrible run and needed an extra boost this day, as he has literally NEVER done this. In reality, we went to bed at 8pm the night before and he was bored and wondering what was for breakfast. 

Regardless, it was such a sweet gesture and I was elated to see him at that point. Time to finish strong. My last mile was easily my fastest of the day. I was so excited to be going home, taking a shower, and getting off the road. Rounding the last corner I saw my car and hauled butt to get there. I had finished this awful run and I was so happy.This run was the hardest I have ever had, and finishing it felt like a real accomplishment. Sometimes, when I'm out running, I imagine what the finish line will look like at the marathon. I imagine all the work paying off, and the crazy high that will come with that accomplishment. On this run, I kept thinking, How will I ever run an entire Marathon when this 9 miler nearly got the best of me? 
I know I will be able to run the marathon, and I know how I'll get there. It's pretty simple, just run. Just keep doing it. Keep moving forward. Keep logging the miles,eventually, I will get where I want to go.


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26 comments:

  1. Aww that is so sweet that your husband was cheering you on!! I bet your runs will start feeling a lot better once the weather cools off ;) (luckily for us Canadians, it is already cooling off, haha)

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  2. My Saturday run was the hardest run I've ever had. I' had to walk, couldn'tove my heavy legs and for a moment I really think I was in another loopy world. I finished my 7 miles and took a long walk after so I could get myself together! Ugh. Hard run. But yes, character building.

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  3. That brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful husband! I am so proud of you for pushing through!

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  4. You have such a sweet husband!! Yay for finishing!

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  5. Amazing post! Awesome job pushing through and sticking with it. You are so right that it's a character building run. Go Mr. Noel - he is seriously the sweetest.

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  6. great post! I got goosebumps reading it and glad a bad run turned into a great one with Mr. Noel for the win! I love the Bruce Jenner tracksuit, my hubby will only wear Adidas "superstar" shoes, the flat white ones with three stripes on the side, since '98 baby!

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  7. Wow I know those runs! We all have them! and they always SUCK! Way to go on pushing through that, I'm not sure with 9miles in front of me I would have been about to! Way to punch that 9 miles in the face!!! Awesome work girlfriend! Your husband just added icing to that sweeeet cupcake!!!!
    XOXO
    Elisha Run Run Run

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  8. How encouraging that your hubby found you to cheer you on:-) That run was all mind over legs!! Great work.

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  9. What an inspiring post! I love your use of the term "character building" and I love that Mr. Jenner was there to cheer you on! So sweet! Running in soup is right - again, I don't know how you do it! Way to go!!!!

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  10. Great job finishing your run! I know first hand how hard it is to mentally push thru the wall. It's very encouraging to read about your struggles because it helps me push thru mine. Your husband gets a gold star for that move! Way to go!!

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  11. That was the best part that he was there clapping for you! Love that! And since my training started for the marathon EVERY long run I picture the finish line and my family waiting there. I nearly tear up and always get chills. It is the best motivation!

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  12. whew, i swear i had the same exact run saturday morning! way to push thru!!! I almost quit 4 miles in, but made it 8.25 :)

    Happy Running!

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  13. this is awesome & you are doubly awesome.

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  14. Ugh! I had a bad long run this weekend, too. But it's just one bad long run and doesn't count for a hill of beans! Glad you muscled through it and got some much needed support from your hubs!

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  15. That is so sweet that the hubs came out to cheer you on! My 10 miler on Saturday was pretty rough. I too had to stop several times to walk, refuel, etc. It was humid and hot as balls. I only wish my garmin wasn't working, but instead, I have to lovely 11 min avg pace logged in my watch - womp womp! The only thing getting me through some of these runs is knowing that my pace will be soooo much better when it cools off! Keep at it gurl - you got this!

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  16. Hello, I'm a newcomer to your blog!

    This is my worst enemy thought: "How will I ever run an entire Marathon when this 9 miler nearly got the best of me?"

    I'm training for a half marathon (my fourth, but after a long break of sitting around eating Cheetos). It was really refreshing to read this because most of my friends are marathoners, so I feel incredibly unworthy of complaining about how TOUGH my 6-mile run was this weekend, since they are all running like, 22 miles at this point. When I hit 6.0 this weekend, I was mentally, emotionally, physically SPENT and could not even dare think of 6.5, 7. How can I honor those runs without thinking I've "only" done this much compared to others?! Work in progress...

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  17. Great post, I struggled through just FIVE MILES yesterday and had the same thought, how the hell am I going to run 13.1 in 3 weeks...but I will because I am a fighter, just like you my lady :) Great job digging deep!!

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  18. Great post.. way to go! When I was running, there were some real shitty days and some really great days. I'm sure you felt great afterwards :) 9 miles is no joke.

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  19. Thank you so much for your posts! The heat was so hard for my run on Sunday and I was frustrated, but thought of you and decided to keep going. Keep it up!

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  20. Awesome job, pretty lady!! I know it was tough, but you stuck it out and I'm crazy inspired by you everyday! So, so sweet that your hubby was there cheering you on. I love that :)

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  21. Those runs are honestly what I think runners are made of...you hate it, you want to quit, but, for whatever reason, you just can't! Good work!

    And what a nice husband, track suit and all!

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  22. You do a wonderful job describing what goes through your mind while running and I often find myself thinking those same things. Thanks for writing about such a challenging run. IT nice to know that even experienced runners have tough days!

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  23. ...and I just cried. You are so awesome and I love your face!

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  24. I definitely did not have as long or as hard of a run as you, but today I woke up feeling awful (headache, cramps, and definitely a grumpy Gus) and decided to run it out instead of giving up. The weather was gross, I felt gross, but I knew I'd feel better if I did it. Whelp, my husband was standing in our yard with our little one as I finished and it made me feel like a champ (and tear up). I love that your husband did this too! Encouragement makes all the difference for me some days.

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  25. What a great guy you married. Somedays you think it going to be a great run and its not just chalk it up and try again next weekend. Good luck

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  26. Can I just say I needed this!!! I've been busy and haven't been able to read blogs lately and today I was like hell yeah I need to find some inspiration. Girl every time I read your posts it ignites a fire in me and being on the I hate running train the past two weeks I needed this! I needed to find my love again and this post helped. Thank you!!!

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