So, Sunday I ran 8 miles. I RAN 8 MILES!!! Did you read that?! I RAN E-I-G-H-T MILES!!! And in a few months, I'll be like, "Ahh, 8 miles, that's nothing. Yeah, I remember when I was excited and happy about hitting that new pr" But today, I am excited and happy because I freaking ran 8 miles! Shannon and I are training for the Diva Half Marathon at Myrtle Beach at the end of April, so we're working on building our time and distance and increasing our pace.
Here's how the 8 miles went. I tried to be one of those people that could say, "Well, at mile 1, I blah blah blah, and at mile 3 this and that happened." But it didn't work. While I was running, I was like, "Okay, this is how I feel at this mile" but by the time I finished, I was so focused on getting air in and out of my lungs and getting my legs to carry me to the car before I collapsed, that I don't know what happened at what mile. But here's what I do remember.
I arranged for Shannon and me to run, and Beth and Debbie were going to bring their families and walk. My p-o-s computer and my bigger p-o-s phone wouldn't update to add my new songs to my running playlist. I finally got it to work, but that made me late. We finally got to the trail and the others were waiting on us. We planned our course and started running. Shannon's shoe came untied. She stopped to tie it and her phone (quite possibly a bigger p-o-s than mine) stopped her run and she had to restart it. My phone played the wrong playlist when it started. You know, the one I was late working on that I wanted to hear... yeah, it didn't play that one. I'm not sure what happened there. We keep running anyway. Then, my phone falls out of my running
Then... we got a good sign. We passed a couple walking with their two dogs and the man said, "Y'all aren't training for Myrtle Beach, are ya?" "We sure are!" He said, "She is too!" Now, this race is taking place about 4 hours away from where we live, and there are tons of people that walk and run the course we were on today. For someone random to ask us if that's what we were training for was quite a coincidence. So that pumped us up and we kept going.
We started in the middle of the trail, so we had to run 2.75 miles in one direction, turn around and head back to our starting point (to total 5.5), then run 1.25 more in the opposite direction and back (to add the extra 2.5 that we needed to total 8). Around 2.5 or so, we came up on some construction and a part of the paved trail had been re-routed through the grass (and now mud) for a short section. We kept going. We chatted some of the way, people watched and commented on the songs we were listening to. But we kept going.
After we turned, we passed the same couple that asked about us training and the guy said, "Which one are y'all doing, the 5k or the big one?" "The half marathon!" we answered! "Wow! She's training for the 5k!" I thought to myself, "The BIG one!!! Heck yes! Someone else recognized what we were doing and were impressed by it!" Then we passed Beth and Debbie and their families around 4.5 miles or so. They were letting their kids play on the outside workout structures along the trail. We waved and ran on. I was still doing pretty good and Shannon seemed to be too. I ate a shot block at 4.25 and had a little water (from my fanny pack- and yeah, I need to get a new kind of belt because this one holds the water bottle sideways and it flops up and down as I run. I can't stand it). We passed our starting point, and I knew we only had a "little" bit left. We've ran 6.5 before today, and we hadn't hit that mark yet, so I knew I had to keep going.
My legs got tired around mile 6. I told myself it was only 2 more miles. I knew (thanks to my Nike app) that my pace was slowing, but I felt like it was all I could do. So, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I thought about my blog I just wrote on Mind Over Matter and I knew that I could do it. I just had to get determined. So we kept going. At mile 7, I was sure I was going to die. I thought about quitting. But I knew that wasn't an option. I was counting on myself to do this. And Shannon was counting on me too. And Beth and Debbie knew we were going to run 8 miles today. And for heaven's sake, I wrote in my blog that I was going to do 8! So I kept going. My legs hurt. My feet hurt- I have some sort of unsolved arch issues. My butt muscles started to hurt. We got to 6.75, our turn around point. I had ran this part of the course so many times before. I doubted my abilities before, and I made it then, so I knew I would now too.
My pace wasn't where I wanted it to be, but I was still going. Around 7 or 7.25 Shannon commented that her arms and shoulders were tingling and it was almost like an electric shock (minus the pain) going through them. At 7.5 I felt it too. In my right arm only. My hand went numb but I just shook my arm out and kept moving my fingers and it eventually went away. We're still not sure what it is, but we didn't stop, and that was all that mattered. When I hit 7.75 I keeked a quick video saying that I had .25 left. It took my mind off things for a few minutes, and I gave it all I had. Shannon got a second wind and sprinted to the end. I ran with all that I had left in me, but it wasn't fast! And then, I crossed the line.
I just ran 8 miles! My legs felt like jelly. I thought I might fall. But the high I felt was amazing! I just did something else I never thought I'd do. I proved I can do something else that I'd doubted before. And we will continue to do even more. I believe in myself and I know we can do this.
Here's my thoughts, advice (if I'm qualified to offer any) and concerns about my upcoming half:
- If I can run 8 miles, I can do the half!
- I'm concerned about running the entire half without walking any
- I'm concerned about having to use the bathroom and having to stop. I feel like if I stop, I will lost my momentum
- I'm still trying to figure out "running nutrition." I currently use Cliff Shot Blocks- 2 regular ones before starting, and a margharita one after about 45 minutes, or 4 miles, which ever comes first.
- I want my pace to be faster for the half
- I don't know if my phone battery will make it through the half. Anyone have the iphone 5? How does the battery life compare to the 4 (I don't even have the 4s! Yikes!)
- Get out of your head and believe that you CAN do it.
- I don't carry water unless I'm going over 5 miles. I don't like holding it or keeping up with it, and as you read, my fanny pack sucks
- I chew gum. It helps me with my breathing and not needing water. Some of my friends don't like it.
- Make an awesome playlist. It motivates me when my brain doesn't.
- Wear good shoes. Get fitted at a running store. They know their stuff.
- If you want to run, just run. You can do it. Start out slow and build up. I started with Couch to 5k 3 years ago.
This is "proof" of my run
This is me after finishing
And here's what I found on my windshield after we finished