Thursday, June 26, 2008

Uh oh...

The big one is just about here and my stomach is already doing flips in anticipation. And the funny thing is that this isn't even THE big one. 10 miles on Saturday. TEN miles. Have I mentioned that I really am not the best runner around and I have to run T-E-N miles on in the day after tomorrow?! Yeah, I'm kinda freaking out.

I had an awesome run last weekend though - awesome as in it was insanely hard but I didn't die. We ran a six mile loop in Placitas, NM, a small town a little north of Albuquerque. It was amazing. The first two miles were completely uphill and killer...I walked most of those. I managed to run the next two miles straight (ok, it was downhill so that helped a lot) and then took it really easy on the last two. My leg had been bothering me for a couple of weeks by that point...not really shin splints, but not really calf pain either. It's hard to describe and my coaches couldn't even figure out what I was trying to say. Needless to say, I took it pretty easy the week leading up to the Placitas run with the idea that I'd take Placitas super easy in order to make it to this week's long run. Which leads me back to the fact that I have a 10 miler on Saturday.

I have an amazing coach in my running group though and I think a lot of my success, however small it's been, is due a lot to her. She's only a year or two older than me, so I can really relate to her and she's easy to talk to...which is great when you're out together for over two hours and the only other thing there is to do is try not to die. Anyway, she was nice enough to meet me last night for a 3 mile run and I ran my best mile ever because of it. It was so hard, but I did it.

Anyway, I shouldn't be complaining about a hard 3 mile run. Not when I have 10 to get out of the way first thing Saturday morning. :-S

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The "Never Again" Moment

I have a lot of moments where I think to myself "No way in the world am I doing this again." And oftentimes I follow through on that silent promise to myself. Last Saturday (6/7) I had the "Never Again" experience of a lifetime. After lots and lots of confusion - my running group managed to make plans to interfere with TWO other events going on in Albuquerque, so we had to change locations at the last minute twice - we got started on our 8 miler a little late. I was worried about it from the second I got friend, Tracey, had text messaged me at 6 AM my time to tell me she'd just finished her 8 miler in Florida (in the disgusting heat and humidity) and was wondering how mine went. The text woke me up, I saw it and shook my head in disbelief...WTF was she doing, being DONE at 8 AM when I wasn't even going to start until 8.30?! I suddenly realized that 8.30 was going to be waaaay too late. Oh well, not much else I can do at that point (besides crawl back into bed for another hour...which I did).

The first 5 miles were okay...and I say that with hesitation. Around the third mile I realized that the 21 oz of water and 8 oz of Gatoraide I brought was not going to cut it and I sent a quick prayer of thanks to the coaches for leaving a cooler full of water out at our 4 mile turn-around. Right before the cooler, the coach I was running with and I dumped the rest of our (now warm) water on our backs and heads before re-filling and taking off again, happy to have found some shade. This was also my first experiement with gels...I have to say, it really did taste like apple toothpaste form. Not pleasent, but it worked. Before I knew it, our new-found shade was gone and we were baking again. My coach got further and further ahead of me, but there was nothing I could do. My legs refused to move any more than they already were...which was not much. After walking/running/sliding through some soft sand we finally made our way back onto the original trail and the only thing that got me from the trail to where we stopped was my plan to call Mike as soon as I got to the car, and telling him to start a cold bath for me, complete with a glass of wine and two bottles of water (please note, this request went un-fulfilled as he thought looking presentable for a wedding the same night was more important and he'd left the house to go get a haircut).

So yeah, I finished. Horribly. And as soon as I got to the parking lot, where very, very few people remained (most of them had gone home already) the first thing that came out of my mouth was "NEVER AGAIN!" In all, an embarassing 2 hours and 6 minutes in the unbearable heat.

But, for the first time in a loooong time, that "never again" doesn't mean a thing. Lets see how I survive the 9 miler this Saturday. At least we're starting at 7.00 AM this time!