|Rarin’ to go!|
Boo and YAH. I. Did. IT. And not just the planned twenty either. I sprung for 21.14 miles, a little more than five shy of what I need to do in three weeks. Go ahead, ask me how I feel.
All year long I have been settin’ up goals and knockin’ the suckers down, one by one. And another one just bit the dust. My confidence level for the race skyrocketed. Not only do I know I could have pulled out that extra 5.1 miles this weekend, I know I can do it faster come race weekend. All those hills I’ve been training on? Ain’t gonna be there. In their place will be smaller, more gradual inclines and then a steady decline to finish out. Add in that race day adrenaline, and I think I’m looking pretty good for my goal of five hours. (Listen, I’m perfectly fine admitting that I am less than speedy. For me, five hours is golden.) But I bet you want to know more details other than “I’m awesome…again.” Read on, friends.
My plan of leaving the house at 6 am was shot down by the babe and general morning grogginess. I managed a 6:30 leave time and Mother Nature was kind enough to give me plenty of sunshine without the slightest bit of warmth. (Here is where I praise Hubby for his genius idea of lopping the feet off my knee high socks so I could wear them with my more padded ankle socks, thus leaving just my thighs exposed to the chill.) I left with a full fuel belt and a bottle of E&E Formula already coursing through my muscles.
And guess what? It was great. I ran my Big Loop – the one that takes me past the church, the lake, and through the national park – stopping every 45 minutes to Gu up and stretch. The cool air became a blessing (to every body part other than my exposed thighs, but they became incredibly numb and thus forgotten). Even though I was in the mood for a little fartlek action, I forced myself to maintain my prescribed 3:1 intervals and it paid off. At fifteen miles, I was on my front porch for all of two seconds before Hubs came busting out the door to refill my water, stock me up on more Gu, and reward me with Gatorade. The monkeys helped out by bringing the needed supplies, and I was off again to finish up. (Note: Crazy Train came on just as I hustled back onto the road. Perfection in timing.)
|21.14 miles ain’t nothin’.|
Around mile 17, I felt a slight tuckering out. Apparently, this was sensed by the enormous turkey vulture that crossed my path at that exact moment. I decided to take that as a sign to move my booty into gear (which was again aided by a feathered creature – I accidentally ran into the path of a mama goose and her goslings. She also “encouraged” me to run faster). I boosted my intervals to 4:1’s and felt my energy surge back. And I finished, feeling just as I feel after nearly every run – a tad tired and incredibly exhilirated. (Hubby says I’m chatty when I get back from runs. I think this is his loving way of telling me I am annoyingly close to excited Werewolf levels.)
I followed all the steps recommended to me: I continued walking about the front yard and inside the house for another fifteen to twenty minutes, stretched my fabulous legs, drank Gatorade, and ate my Clif bar, extolling my ever-so-interesting interval times and thoughts on pace. And then…it was time…
…the ice bath.
I knew it was coming. I knew it must be done. I did not know it would HURT. I ran 21.14 miles. I have given birth three times. I didn’t cry then. I wanted to cry the moment my ever-so-hesitant big toe grazed that icy water.
|I swear, the stopper is colored by bathtime crayons…|
So I whimpered and tried to justify myself to Hubby. I probably didn’t actually need to do an ice bath. Probably I could just ice my knees and quads with frozen peas. Probably I could just stretch a bit more. Probably I could do anything else but this. Because this, suddenly, seemed incredibly idiotic.
Being the wonderfully supportive Hubby that he is, he said no. I pouted. I fussed some more. I even whined. He reminded me that I was supposedly tougher than a bath tub of cold water. Plus, I could not say I had done it if I didn’t actually do it. So, fine. Whatever. I did it.
It sucked balls.
(It does get slightly better after the first five minutes, but at no point does it actually feel good. What does feel good are your muscles and your joints for the rest of the day and all of the subsequent days. Seriously – minimal soreness. I will be torturing myself again after the Big Race, as I feel ten minutes of extreme suckiness beats days of shuffling and whimpering as I descend the stairs.)
And now, I have all this calm and confidence regarding Race Day. I am pumped for the exhibition the day before, where I can claim all sorts of swag and perhaps purchase more running gear. I am even more pumped for that starting line. I can really do this. How f!#$kin’ INCREDIBLE is that?!? I ran 21.14 miles, and it didn’t feel huge. It felt like a run. Which is always great, but just something I do.
So bring it, 26.2. I ain’t skerred…
|I got this.|