Monday, June 6, 2016
It's Supposed To Be Hard.
Utter exhaustion. Mentally. Physically.
Put a fork in me. I was done.
I had nothing left. It was a rough run.
It's been such a long time since I've linked up. To tell you the truth, I'm exhausted. I haven't had a ton of writing inspiration. With my injury side-lining my marathon training for 6 weeks there just wasn't much pep in my step. And now, at night once the kids are in bed, I want to sit and turn my brain off.
I am fortunate that my marathon goal is still in sight. I was cleared to run about 4 weeks ago, so the last 4 weeks I've been concentrating on getting my pace back up and my stamina for long runs. I missed a ton of training.
Instead of dwelling on the runs I missed, I re-evaluated my goals and my training plan. Fortunately, I had a great endurance base built up, but getting injured in the middle of your very first training cycle for your very first marathon is a hard pill to swallow. Anyhoo - enough of that. I'm back and I plan on crossing that finish line in LESS than 2 weeks! I haven't felt like throwing up just yet, but I'm sure marathon week I'll have butterflies stirring.
So back to that first paragraph. Utter exhaustion.
I had my first and ONLY 20 miler last weekend. Because it was Memorial Day Weekend, as a group my girls and I decided that it would be best to knock out the 20 miler before leaving for the weekend, so we decided on 3:45AM on Friday morning head out.
Yes, yes... I know what you're thinking.... a FASTED 20 miler. May not have been my best decision, but I really wanted the company for 20 miles. I knew that for most of the run I would be running solo. The other girls hadn't skipped a beat in training so they would definately be faster. It was important for me to keep them in sight, but I also knew that I needed to run for me and at my own pace.
I will spare you all the details for the run because that's not really the point of this blog post. Other than it felt like I was running up and down Mt. Everest. My small town is extremely hilly and somehow we seemed to find the worst of the hills the entire time!
Clearly, I need to work on my mental training. By mile 15 I had completely lost my girls. I mean, I knew where they were, but couldn't see them anymore. I of course knew how to get home and also how far it was to home. By mile 16, I was literally willing my legs to move. I wanted to quit. I wanted to cry. Make it stop. Don't run anymore. Who's going to know if you stop?
At mile 18.75 I was close to home. I knew I only had just a little over one mile. But, I couldn't do it. I turned the corner to my street, dragged my legs the last 1/4 mile, stopped my Garmin and sobbed uncontrollably. The tears came from out of nowhere! I had just run 19 miles! 19 MILES! I should be happy. I was. I was sad. I was disappointed. I didn't know WHAT I was.
Within about a minute of finishing, my girls rounded the corner - they had completed 20 miles. Remember, I had lost them at mile 15. They were screaming at me to keep going. "You can do this!" "Get out of your head!" " Don't be so hard on yourself." It was a strange feeling. I'm normally in control.
This past week I have thought about those 19 miles so many times I can barely count. What I will take away from that run is the mental toughness it takes to finish a run like that. I grew stronger during those 3 hours, even though it didn't feel like it. It's hard to run. In this picture I was faking a smile, but if you look close my eyes are watery and bloodshot. I will treasure this picture.
I posted on Facebook later that morning about my 19 miles. Cue crying on and off ALL DAMN DAY! I want to thank ALL of you that commented and gave me words of encouragement. You have NO idea what that did for me. Every single comment made me cry. The support from all of the virtual running friends has been amazing. I feel like I'm running this race with you, so THANK YOU!
26.2 is no joke. In less than 2 weeks I'll be a marathoner! Little old me! A marathoner? Who would have thought?!?!