In my world, the weekend starts at 3:00 PM Friday.
It was going to be a long, rainy weekend…and I had 19 miles to complete. Not looking forward to it. Much.
Then, I started running.
Friday had Kim and I doing 4 easy miles. She doesn’t run on Friday, so I was on my own. Funny, when I’m in the dark, I seem to go faster. Maybe I’m not so concerned about how I look. I hit a huge puddle at the top of the overpass, and was soaked for the rest of the run. Had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t…because, um, there is no stopping these days.
4 miles: 41:14, 10:14 pace. I went out to Spring Creek and back.
It was the next day that got me.
10 miles. 1:43:14, a 10:20 pace. I was instructed not to go below 10:20 on any mile. Just didn’t happen. The first five miles were bliss, the last half was HARD. Puke threshold at mile 7, a dog who sprinted into my *slightly* wonky right foot. Soccer field full of people. LONG North Ripon Road.
North Ripon Road. There is a family there who lost their son to suicide about 3 years ago. Every time we run by there, I cross myself. I tell myself that I can endure that bitch of a road…and then I think about how much they have to endure every day. I really hate that road, because it’s like a mirage. That blinking light that is the stop signal? Is it right up here? No. It’s FAR away, but it seems so…close.
At that point, we were on Mile 9. Neither of us were talking. Kim had her head down. I had pulled out my music and started reciting The Fifth Chapter in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, stopping at c). I do this at the end of hard runs. I start saying the whole thing in my mind. I’ve been listening to it for 30 years. You’d think I know it by now. I don’t. I stop and start and mix it all up. My rule is, I can walk if I can say the whole thing. I get to the end, then start Chapter 3, and the 12 Traditions. It helps. Because I can’t listen to music the whole time.
Finished it. Just. It was hard, but it was done.
Tonight: 5 miles, 50:57, a 10:12 pace. It was a tempo run, and my Garmin is on the way, but until then, I try to figure out how hard my body is working. I made some errors. I hit the first mile too fast. I was supposed to do was 10:30 first half mile, 10:10 for 4 miles, 10:30 for last half mile. I was all over the place, but did average a 10:12. I was happy.
Before I conclude the post, I have to talk about my coach, aka Speedy Sasquatch, Josh. I never thought having my own coach would work for me, because essentially, I am not a *rule* girl. I am definitely outside of the box, doing my own thing, and even if it turns out badly, I claim the transgressions, but I’m happy with how I did it…because, well I did it my way.
I will totally butcher his advice, but I’m going to out him on this blog. Here is a picture of him with Megan, aka VeganRunningMom.
He paced her through the last half of the California International Marathon on December 6th, and I simply love this picture of them, especially after listening to her podcast, recorded during CIM. See, because she is smiling, and laughing…and she is so raw on this recording…and he is just…coaching her. It was her day, and he made it happen. With her. The true definition of a coach. (The only thing I saw of them, was at mile 13, when I was waiting for my leg, and he yelled, “Linda”, and that’s it.)
So…why do I take this guy’s advice?
- Already I’m averaging 1:30 off of my average pace of 12:00. He sets the bar, and sets it high, and I keep complaining telling him I cannot do this. And, then I do it.
- Four weeks in, I have 99.25 miles in training.
- I ask him how to get water if I can’t stop (did I mention I can’t stop?) His answer: Water bottle. Squeeze liquid into mouth, you can slow to jog, but keep rhythm. The end.
- I can’t stop. So, during a 2 minute recovery on intervals, I go to the bathroom. In a field. In under 2 minutes. I’m good like that.
- I don’t understand the reason for no Diet Coke. His response: Less sugar in your diet, fewer burn lulls when you train, caffeine is down, it is your body, not the chemicals that is kicking it up. Breathing is improving because less carbonation ingested. All good stuff. Told ya it would help. Okay.
I trust this guy. He was 2 years old when I got sober, but hey. He knows what he is doing. This email he sent me has kept me going for a week:
I will build you into a machine.
There are so many more gems, but this one keeps me going. I started thinking today when I could barely make it up the catwalk: I’m going to Boston sometime in the next decade. And, for the first time…I believe it.