Saturday, April 8, 2006

Loving the Long Runs

I was at a baby shower this afternoon, and left a little early, telling the mother to be that I had a date with my running shoes. She told everyone that I was running the Indy Mini and the Chicago Marathon. People started asking how far those races were, and when I told them 13.1 and 26.2 miles, the hostess looked at me and asked what is wrong with me. I just laughed and shrugged. As hard as I try, it is impossible to explain to someone why I do this. If you don't do it, you don't get it. It's just that simple.

I had decided that I needed to run 8 or 9 miles, but I didn't how well it was going to go. I was feeling tired from working all morning and then rushing to the shower, and sluggish from all the cake and m&m's that I ate. Yes, the m&m's strike again!

My plan was to run my 4 mile loop, and stop back at my house for water and Gu, and then repeat the loop for another 4 miles. My boyfriend said that he would run the first 4 with me, but he didn't think he could make it the whole 8. I told him that running the 8 miles was simply a mental decision and before we left he needed to decide that he was doing it. If he gave himself the option, he would stop after 4. He must have taken it to heart, because he made it the whole 8 miles. I am so proud of him! But, I also think I hate him a little bit. I struggled so hard with my first 8 mile run. He ran it right next to me like he'd been the one training for the past four months! If he was officially training for the races, I'd be eating his dust by now!

We got going and it took a while for everything to loosen up. My shins were starting to act up for the first 3 miles, but after that it felt good. It made a world of difference stopping in the middle to refuel. I decided that I didn't want to repeat the same loop for the second half, so we we wandered up and down the streets of a new addition next to mine. We were closing in on the 8 mile mark and I was feeling incredible. I told my boyfriend that I was going to keep going for a while, so he turned back to the house and I went on for another 2 miles. That makes my first 10 mile run. Ever! Woo Hoo! It took me 1 hour 52 minutes and 26 seconds.

It felt amazing. The more long runs I complete, the more I like them. Your body just seems to get into this mechanical rhythm and you continue to be propelled forward without thinking about it. It takes me quite a while to find this rhythm, so it doesn't often happen on the shorter runs. But it's an incredible feeling when it happens. Today was the first time that I felt like I was ready to complete the half marathon. I could have kept going today. It would have hurt, but I could have done it. With just under a month left, I am confident that I will be able to complete the run. I may not be breaking any speed records, but I will finish!!


  1. Look out she comes!!!!!!!!

    You've come so far and we are very proud of you!!

    Nancy and Matthew

  2. Michele, you motivate me in ways I never thought possible. I never believed for a moment I would be able to run 8.25 miles without stopping. Every time I run with you I am reminded of how incredible and challenging this training must be for you, both mentally and physically. I am so proud of you! Training with you has made me a better person and I am honored you have shown me that my body can overcome my mind and that I can do this if I think I can, as long as I just try before saying "I can't do this."

    Now, if I could just overcome the "I have to pee, I'm going back now!" after 8.25 miles and finish the last two, I'd be an even better person. :)