**Please excuse what I'm sure will be an excessively verbose post written in a haze of
post-run euphoria. Read at your own risk.**
I really needed today's run! I felt a little guilty leaving the last bit of heavy furniture moving to Ross and my cousins to go run for 2 hours, but I really wanted to run, felt good enough to run, had perfect running weather, and needed to catch up on my training plan.
I only ran 12 miles total last week and ran that same amount all at once today. However, I am realistic enough to suspect that last week's unplanned "taper" certainly attributed to my mental and physical ability to run today. (And 5 days of Prednisone to calm my asthma back down certainly didn't hurt).
My legs were not extremely fond of me when I woke up this morning, thanks to all the stairs we did while moving yesterday, but I took it as a good sign that I was still chomping at the bit to run. Actually wanting to run has been a struggle for me lately.
I decided to run from the apartment to the Plaza. I knew the route and wouldn't have to second-guess trails ending, unknown elevation, etc. There were definitely rolling hills (my Garmin says about 1200 feet of total elevation change each way) and traffic, but I got out early enough to beat most of the traffic, at least.
The first 1.5 miles flew by (I don't know if I've ever said that in my life) and it felt so good to run without wheezing! I was just focused on getting to 4 miles (to take my Cliff Shot) and not thinking beyond that, lest I get overwhelmed. I had a great playlist of songs from high school, which helped a lot. I walked 1 minute for every 5 minutes of running, per usual, although it seems like every other 'walk' break actually involved me standing still and stretching my legs out.
I took that first Shot and was loving the sunshine and beautiful weather by mile 4. My hands were numb from cold, but that was my only complaint. I made it to the Plaza and did get a little overwhelmed when I turned around, realizing that was the farthest away I could possibly be and if I had to quit or walk, it'd be a LONG morning from there. Miles 6-8 were kind of rough, especially because traffic was getting worse and I was on a stretch with no shoulder or sidewalk (really, Kansas City? Be more pedestrian friendly.) I kept changing my stride to keep my legs warm and chugging along.
I took my second Shot right after mile 8 and definitely needed it. My legs were getting tired. I also wanted some more water then, too, but had to ration. (I was carrying a water bottle as I ran. I'm so glad I had it and it's an easy bottle to carry, but now my arms are sore. Lame!)
Shortly after that, I was cruising into familiar territory again and I knew I had a nice neighborhood and a downhill to end with. But first I had to climb back up into the neighborhood. Mile 11 was definitely the hardest. My legs were getting really stiff and heavy, and oddly getting cold which didn't help the stiffness. I got a pain behind my right knee and started to get worried.
Thankfully, John Mellencamp's "Your Life is Now" came on and energized me.
...This is your time, to do what you will do
Your life is now
Your life is now
Your life is now
In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how
Your life is now...
I have been getting overwhelmed thinking about marathon mileage and training, and doubting weather I want to do it anymore. But this song reminded me, "if not now, when?!" It's something I've wanted to do for so long, and I'm slowly starting to think I CAN actually do it. (At least, a half seems totally attainable. Even doable in 2 hours and 30 minutes which is my goal!)
That song was just what I needed to dig deep, speed up a little, and finish strong! I'm so thankful that my breathing was pretty comfortable during today's run. That allowed me to just focus on my form and avoid further injury. I know I'm cutting it close with a busy week of work coming up and a few more long runs before I taper my half marathon, which is in *GULP* twenty-one days! I'm hoping today's run was a good step in the right direction!