Saturday, February 22, 2014

Today I ran farther than I ever have

I ran 7 miles today and it felt good! I was going back and forth in my head about whether I wanted to run 6 miles today or 7.  I was leaning towards 7 for several reasons, though.  1) I had a run earlier this week that really challenged me and made me wonder for a brief second how I was going to do a half marathon in a few weeks, so I figured getting in a higher mileage run would be good for me. 2) I have been nervous about this distance since before I began training.  I knew I could run 6 since I did my 10K in October, but anything above and beyond 6 miles was a huge question mark.  I was tired of this lingering doubt I had about whether or not I could run more so I wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could.

It took a little persuading to get myself outside to run today, though.  It wasn't because of the weather, as you might expect.  The weather was gorgeous, but I am feeling very out of sorts and wanted nothing more than to lay in bed all day.  I took a long nap, but then decided I had better get outside to run before the sun set and I am really glad I did.

I need this run on so many levels.  It was a huge boost to my confidence and it was good for my soul.  There is so much going on in my life right now and while I have much to be thankful for, I am also incredibly stressed, overwhelmed, etc.  To be able to go outside today, put in my headphones, turn on a great audio book I am listening to (Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; just superb), and start running was glorious.  For about 90 minutes, I didn't think about anything other than putting one foot in front of the other and the great book I was listening to.  When I got to my car, I realized I hadn't given a second thought to any of the stresses in my life and I really needed that "me" time.

My pace was slower than planned, but I knew I would need to conserve energy to get in 7 miles and when I started out, my calves were very stiff and crampy.  I loosened up eventually and settled into a good groove.  Near the halfway point of my run, a woman ran by me in the opposite direction, made eye contact with me, and raised both hands up in the air in a celebratory way.  It made me smile and I did the same back to her.  It was a nice little boost at the midway point.  We ran by each other a little while later when we both turned around to head back and did the same celebratory motions.  I should have asked her name, because I think she would be a fun running pal.

The farthest I have ever run in my life!

My MapMyRun app is a little off on my total mileage and the only reason I know this is because I started at the .0 mile marker on the trail, ran to the 3.5 mile marker, and then turned around and ran back.  I did have a weird side effect happen to me today that I have noticed before, but never really looked into.  Sometimes when I run, I notice that my right foot falls asleep, however, today both of my feet seemed to fall asleep.  I read on another post that sometimes loosening your shoestrings helps, but I wonder if anyone else has experienced the falling asleep sensation in your feet while running and what you do to remedy the situation.

All in all, it was a really great run today and so I say "half marathon, here I come!"

"It always seems impossible until it is done."