18 Miles of Therapy
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I spent most of my teenage years in therapy and I bet my parents could have saved a lot of money if they'd just sent me running instead. There's nothing like a long run to clear your thoughts and spend some quality time with yourself. I am one hurting unit right now though! Today was my long run and I ran the farthest I've run yet, 18 miles! I've been doing my long runs on Tuesdays, but the weather wasn't cooperating yesterday so I had to put it off until today. My MIL takes my daughter once a week now which is such a help. It's so nice to get some time to myself and get stuff done. With DH gone it's been tough being the only parent. It's great to channel all my frustrations into running. I always feel so much better afterwards and the end result is so much prettier than the alternative, which is me sitting on the couch stuffing my face with crackers.
It's not all rosy though. Each week is an internal battle. I psych myself up the night before my run and get all excited to run really far the next day. Then the morning comes and I think how nice it would be to use that time just to read a book or go shopping. Then I put my running clothes on and I have to go. I have never once put on my running clothes and not gone. It would be like the act of getting dressed was a huge waste of time if I didn't go and then I would just feel super guilty. Whatever works! It's like there is a little devil on my shoulder and he says things like "Why don't you just quit? No one will care." Maybe no one else will care, but I will. There is something in me that feels like I need to do this. I'm not sure why, but I want to prove to myself that I can conquer those 26.2 miles. So today like most days, I silenced the devil on my shoulder and headed down the road. I live out in the country now where I grew up so gone are the days of pavement and sidewalks. It's pure gravel roads and trails. I run down the old rail road tracks. The actual tracks were ripped out years ago so it's just a gravel trail that goes for miles and miles. The scenery is gorgeous and I run by creeks, rivers, and through a huge valley. If I wasn't already carrying five million things on me and loaded up like a pack horse I'd bring my camera and take pictures. The terrain is sometimes rough to run on, but it's nice not to have to worry about cars and just get lost in my thoughts. Today the only sign of life I encountered on my route were two deer, a doe and her fawn. They were running down the tracks toward me and I stopped running and stood really still and they got probably 15 feet away from me before the mother noticed me. She started stomping her hooves at me and snorting, I guess to try and get me to move. Finally she decided I was scary and turned and ran away with her baby following her. Pretty cool!
Overall it was a great run. Even though I've had my Garmin for over six months now I only figured out last week that I could have it keep track of pace for each mile. All I need is something else to analyze :) It's kind of neat being able to look at the data. The last 3 miles were rough and I seriously wanted to call a cab. If I'd had a cell phone with me I just might have :) Okay maybe not. I'm too stubborn to quit like that. I did have to keep repeating to myself over and over "Only 3 more miles. Only 3 more miles" and then "Only 2 more miles. Only 2 more miles". You get the point! My newest and favourite mantra that I've been using is "If Katie Holmes can do this so can you!" Nothing against her, but when I am conjuring up images of runners she is not someone who comes to mind. I read somewhere that she had never really ran before and only trained for 2 months for the NYC marathon. I'm feeling more confident and at this point I know I can finish the race. I just hope that this last month of training enables me to finish upright and smiling. Right now I'm exhausted, my hips flexors are aching, my legs are stiff and my back is killing me where my water bottle kept hitting me as I ran, but I couldn't be happier right and that's all that counts in my books!