Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Final Week Push- And Then Some!!

Final week! 
I have been striving to run/walk 100 miles in the month of August, and I only have a few days left!

86 miles!!!
I can hardly believe that I have gotten that many in!
It has been an interesting month. I have gone from excitement about my goal, to feeling more like I 'have to' keep up with the miles, to feeling like I finally get that fact that I need to make my 'me time' a priority!
Of course, being a mom, it's not always JUST 'me time'...

I've had some company along the way : )

My Gannon- sometimes he acts as my pace car! lol
 We have seen some pretty cool things, too. In this picture, you can see the 2 baby fawns that were hanging out along the trail the other evening.

Okay, so here is where shit gets real. I have a confession to make. 
In all of these miles I have done, I have not been running much. I know I have admitted that before, but I REALLY need to stress the fact that I have walked most of it. Mostly I have been doing 4- 6 miles each time I have gone out, and I have only ran a full mile (straight through) a handful of times. I have mostly been running a little, then walking A LOT, running a little, walking A LOT, etc. I totally know that the problem is NOT my muscles, nor is it my lack of endurance.
Well, I did not fully know that until today :-) I have known for awhile, that on some level, I have been sabotaging myself. I will get just a little way into a running interval, and then I will start to come up with reasons why I should just walk. 'It's too humid out', 'My ankle has a twinge in it- I don't want to injure myself', ' I worked all day and I shouldn't expect my body to be able to do this now'.....I have TONS of reasons why I should not be running at that point. 
Anyway- I was off work today. I had plans to run/walk 8 miles because I have to try to get the rest in by Thursday. I decided on my way out, that since I had no kid to distract me with his bike antics, and the trail is fairly deserted in the mornings, I was going to run- yes RUN- at LEAST a mile before I let myself walk. I know I could do at least that, but I have not pushed myself out of my comfort zone in quite some time. I started running and within a few minutes, the excuses started popping into my head. Ankle twinge, couldn't get set on my breathing, my hip was feeling sluggish, etc. It amazes me sometimes, just how wimpy I am!
I kept having to tell myself- Not today. You are NOT going to quit today. You are going to get to that mile!
 The first 3/4 of it was a definite struggle, but then my breathing finally settled in, and I think my Advil 800 started kicking in, too! lol I started telling myself that I really didn't feel that bad and I could try for 2 miles! Once I got past 1, I was just counting the 1/4 mile hash marks, just chugging along until I got the 2 in, so I could walk. Funny thing is- by the time I got to the 2 mile mark, I was feeling good, so I kept jogging! I had finally pushed myself out of my comfort zone and was feeling fine! I used to be a distance runner when I was younger- like Jr. high younger. I know what if feels like to settle into that groove where you don't have to concentrate on your breathing any longer because it just comes naturally, and the point where you no longer feel every little discomfort in your legs- you can hardly feel them anymore because they are just doing their job- pumping back and forth, propelling you along. I hit that point around the 2 mile mark, so I figured I would jog out 3 if I could. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I was wondering if it would be impossible to go for 4? Aaannnnndddd.....
then I did. I hit the 4 mile marker with a smile on my face. And I kept going :-) I jogged along to the 5 mile marker and I was remembering the Biggest Loser episode that the really heavy Italian guy, Michael, was on the treadmill and he was going to stop at 3, but Bob told him to keep going. Michael kept going, and when he got to the 5 mile point, they all cheered him and he broke down and cried because he never would have dreamed that he could run that far at the weight he was.
That was totally me at the moment I got to 5 miles. I had the biggest smile on my face and a tear came to my eye. And still, I kept going!
I almost didn't want to stop at the 6, because I had gotten that far, there was no reason why I couldn't just jog the whole 8? As soon as I stopped, I knew the reason why- I dang near fell on my face!
Ahhh, yes. I remembered THAT feeling, also! The feeling that you get when you run your race as fast as you can, and kick it in as hard as you can for the last bit to cross that finish line and then pretty much almost fall down due to sheer muscle exhaustion? I had that! It was not from running fast, but from running further than I ever had in my life-so far :-) Did you read that??
At that point, I wasn't sure I would even be able to walk the last 2 miles back to the car, but I stood there for a few minutes, stretched a little, and then was able to get back fine. It gave me plenty of time to revel in the feeling of accomplishment that I had, and also time to wonder if I should have just went for jogging the whole 8 miles. I know it was smart to stop at that point- I am feeling it deeply tonight! lol The worst ache I have is right along the lower outsides of my knees. And I don't blame them!
I also had the complete realization that my failure to run further than a mile on previous attempts was absolutely due to the fact that I was unwilling to get uncomfortable and push myself. Yes, I have had to be concerned about injury, because of my size and because I did not want anything to get in the way of accomplishing my goal this month. I fully know that there is no reason that I could not have pushed myself harder. My failure was in my brain- not in my body. 
I doubt that I will be running anything CLOSE to 6 miles tomorrow, but I have it on schedule to do 7 both days so I can be done on Thursday!!
Stay tuned!

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