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This run.  This long run.  It slays me.  All week long, I’m doing negative splits on every run.  Running around 11:00 miles, and really nailing them.

And then.  The long run.

I missed 2.5 weeks due to the flu, so I’m slightly behind, but honestly, long runs are just the most difficult for me.  This run today called for 16 miles, and I started out so great:  Exactly where I wanted.  12:30.  For about 10 miles.  I ran from my house to a place in another town, and I just ticked off the miles one by one.

And then, Mile 11.  My watch alerted me to something, and I couldn’t read because I didn’t have my glasses, and well, I was then running on sidewalks.  And let me tell you something about city sidewalks.  They are like little hills.  For miles.  Driveways.  Cracks.  Up and down and up and down for 2 more miles, when my IT band started screaming.  For the record, I used to think the IT band was a made up muscle.  Until I started having trouble with mine.  I actually stopped my watch at one point and spent several minutes stretching, which helped.

I tackled 4 more miles of this and lots of little stoplights, and running across streets when the light was red, and by mile 15, I just decided I had to finish the thing.  And I was listening to an AA tape, and tons of good music, and then got a little sad, and I hadn’t been in a long time.

Then it became Primal.  A friend on Twitter got it:

i understand that. when i started running last year it destroyed me emotionally. it is so primal, chasing the road

Yes.  Primal.  Chasing the Road.  The rest of the miles were a death march to the end.  All I could really do was move my arms, because of all the good coaching I got over the years, I remember one who said, “Just move your arms and your legs will follow.”

I was trying to grab fire.  Looking everywhere for it on this run.  Battling my head that said, “What are you thinking, you’re going to be 55!”  What’s funny is that the first 10 miles, I was writing this blog about what a great life I have now that I’m 55. It’s amazing when your body just sucker punches you.  I mean, really.  How much KT Tape can I wrap around my legs and back?

I don’t know if my glass is half empty or half full, but I have a glass.  I’m running.  Maybe next week, the long run will be mine.  Meanwhile, if you’re counting, that’s 50+ miles in January already.

Week 8.  Halfway to the LA Marathon.

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