Tuesday, April 03, 2012
I did my 18 mile run on Sunday, and it was tough. I chose a route that was probably 75% uphill. After my initial 3 miles of hills, I was in the zone and ready to go. It was a pretty run, past a lot of farms. The weather was cool but dry - no rain or snow, yay! I climbed a steep hill that went right past a farm that had 4 peacocks. They are gorgeous birds, but I had never heard them make noise. One of them was completely fanned out and screaming at me. It was a strange sound that definitely pushed me up the hill a little faster.
That was the beginning of State Park Rd. A road that I used to like. It's pretty. Lots of farms and a great view of the lake. It was peaceful with very few cars. It would have been perfect - except that it climbs up hill for 6 miles.
Some sections were steep, and some were long, steady climbs. At the time, I didn't really mind them. I feel stronger climbing hills. I'm getting faster at them, and I find that I dread them less than the downhills now. Downhills are hard on my knees, and one of them was acting up badly.
I stopped a couple times to put my legs up and drink some Gatorade (which I carried the whole time - bad idea). I walked one huge downhill and a little bit at the end when my husband and kids met me on the trail, but I did it. I completed 18 miles, and though I was sore and tired, I felt pretty confident that I could do the whole marathon. It will be painful, but I can do it. I think I could have run the whole thing if I had chosen a route will less hills. The marathon route has one big hill in it, but the rest looks pretty mild. I think I will definitely be ready by May 27th.
Last week, I barely exercised. I had overtrained the week before, which made me nervous. I don't want to get hurt this far into training. I also had stitches in my shoulder and upper back and needed to limit my arm movements. This turned into me taking it way too easy. I only taught 2 Zumba classes (which I did at 1/2 effort) and did nothing else. I really need to work on my "all or nothing" attitude.
Honestly, it was probably good for my body. I was rested and ready to go for my run, but it definitely took a toll on my mental state. I need my daily endorphin rush, and when I don't get it, I get cranky. I also felt like a slacker in front of my classes, but I knew I couldn't tear my stitches. I felt awful all week. Luckily, I kept my diet in check. That's an accomplishment. I've been having a hard time with my eating lately, but I was determined this time to stick to my healthy eating even though I felt terrible.
I spent most of my run thinking about the past week. It felt like a battle between the old me and the new me. And, since I was out running 18 miles, I'd say new Em wins :) I thought a lot about when I was my most unhealthy and could barely waddle a 1/4 of a mile. When 15 minutes of exercise was a lot - almost too much. I ran for 4 hours on Sunday and felt pretty amazing afterward (except for the knee pain). I thought about my plans for the future and how amazed I am that I actually have a plan and am still on course.
Running is so much more than exercise, and I learn something new each time I go out. It's nice to have a healthy addiction that improves me instead of ruins me. Completing this run made me proud. I usually have a hard time with being proud of anything I do, and there were several things I could have been hard on myself about. But, not this time. I am proud of myself, and I am confident in my abilities - for the marathon and the future.