20 MILER #5 DONE…..AND I DIDN’T EVEN HATE IT
Hello! Yes, I’m alive. I’ve had a super busy 10 days both personally and professionally so the blog suffers. It’s weird, I probably have the time to sneak in a post here and there more frequently than I have been but I just don’t have the mental/creative energy.
BTW, when did Craig Monroe start to do color in the studio for Fox Sports Detroit? Yes, I just finished watching the Tigers beat the Twins – whoo hoo – 2 wins back to back. – I know, random.
So, today was a big day. Today I ran my 5th 20 mile run in this training cycle. Originally, I was going to run yesterday morning with Kristi but that ended up falling apart. I was just too busy at work to
limp roll in at noon. This change of events meant that she ran her final 20 miles solo and so did I.
While I knew I would miss her company, I also was looking forward to accomplishing the task alone.
I’m not much into signs (very much unlike my good friend Sue B) but I couldn’t help but be motivated by this ironic event: As I’ve mentioned before, I am dedicating my first ever marathon to my father who died from complications of Multiple Sclerosis 14 years ago. The Ann Arbor Marathon happens to be on Father’s day (sign #1 if you’re keeping track) Today would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday and I was scheduled to complete a very big physical goal (sign #2 if you’re keeping track) and it turns out I had to get through this 5th and final 20 mile run solo. (sign #3.)
What I think it all means is that I was meant to be alone on my Dad’s 80th birthday training for a race I never thought I would be attempting on Father’s Day.
I think about my Dad a lot! We were very close and one of the things we shared was a love of sports. By the time I was 4 he was wheelchair bound so he couldn’t physically teach me but his verbal skills were amazing. He taught me how to ride a bike, shoot a basketball, swing a bat, field a ground ball and pitch a softball. During the run I spent a lot of time thinking about his coaching.
Spoiler Alert: This was the very first training run that I did not hit goal pace or better. Normally, my little competitive self would have been really pissed off and let it ruin
all most of my day. Instead I think that all of those signs allowed me to truly live in the moment and enjoy the run, think about my Dad and allow myself to feel like a bad ass because I was running 20 miles @ 6:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend.
THE FAILED RUN THAT I’M REALLY PROUD OF:
1. Wake up at 5:00 a.m. to eat, drink and properly use the bathroom before heading out (TMI? Too bad.)
2. Write down my route because Tom asked me to. Then realize that I created this route in MapMyRun so I can just pull the damn thing up on the laptop for him. Duh!
3. Chose outfit: Compression shorts, tank top (yay), buff (to keep my long hair out of my eyes. Ha!), short socks (not compression socks)
4. Pack fuel belt: with water, 2 Gu, 2 Swedish Fish (just in case I hate the Vanilla Bean Gu or I get lonely), iPhone, money, chap stick, and electrolyte pills.
Side note – I used to feel sorry for myself thinking that my fuel belt must really weigh a lot. I weighed it last week all packed up – a whopping 2 lbs – Suck it up little girl.
5. Head out the door at 6:00 on the dot. I was ready to go at 5:54 but I told myself my run started at 6 so I started at 6. Weirdo.
My plan was to keep my pace between 9:45 and 10:00 the entire time. Goal pace was 9:59. Based on our 15 miler last weekend that resulted in an average pace of 9:25, I thought I was being reasonable. The first 7 miles of my run thought so too.
I took at GU, and a pic – drank some water and was off again. Someone forgot to tell or at least remind The Stubs of my plan. My pace started to increase. I attempted to adjust. As I thought I was running faster, my Garmin disagreed. Other than The Stubs feeling a little lead-like I felt pretty good so I just decided to give in to their desire to go slow and reassess in a few miles. As I hit miles 9 and 10, I could tell that my very calculated plan to run at goal pace was dying a slow death.
I thought about my Dad and wondered what he would advise. I never really answered the question. Instead my brain started playing songs that my Dad loved: Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver), Come on Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), and Dancing the Night Away (Leo Sayer.) – now you know I come by my weirdness genetically. Well just thinking about his random taste in music made me laugh. That’s when I decided to just have fun with the run.
Here I am at 12.5 – I don’t look too miserable or disappointed do I?
And here I am at 15 – still don’t look too bad.
Then the rain came. It rained early – during miles 3 and 4 but it was a light rain. It was fun. I enjoy running in the rain. (as long as it’s above 60 degrees.) At mile 15 I was in a full-blown downpour. 15-20 was full of lots and lots of water: coming from the sky, puddling on the ground, splashing up from cars that were driving fast out to M-14 and yes from my body. I was still sweating like a hog.
At 17 I decided to text Tom. I was going to finish this run come hell or high water but I didn’t want to have to run any more that 20 miles. I knew I would finish the run about 1 mile from home. I also knew that I wouldn’t want to walk much of that mile because I would just get super chilled. I stopped at an overpass, sent my text and was off to ENJOY the next 3 miles. And you know what, I did! When I hit 20 I began to walk and Tom showed up about 5 minutes later……with lots of towels!
I was very happy to be done but even happier to have enjoyed it. Normally, I would have come up with a good long list as to why I didn’t meet my goal but this morning I didn’t care. I truly didn’t care. I had just run 20 miles beginning at 6:00 a.m. on what would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday. I was dang proud of myself and I know my Dad would have been too.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY-O!