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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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taper

Week 16 – I Don’t Stop When I’m Tired, I Stop When I’m Done

Week 16 – 12 miles.

Today, or I guess really earlier this week, marks the beginning of “Tapering” during the training schedule, which to me means three things:

1. The hardest part is over!

2. It’s all downhill from here!

3. Race day is looming closer

It’s also the last run of 2011. I spent it thinking about what I’ve spent most of 2011 thinking about – babies. Only today I was thinking about how I’m going to make it happen instead of being sad about it not happening, which is a  slight change of pace.  Although I chuckle at my “Running is a mental sport and we are all insane” magnet, once thing I’ve discovered this time around is that running really is as much if not more mental than physical. Two weeks ago my heart wasn’t in it, and my time reflected it. Today, I felt good, and my time reflected it, running a full minute per mile faster than the same distance two weeks ago.  All in all though it doesn’t really matter – what matters is that regardless of how tired I was, how unmotivated I felt, I still finished.

Just try to stop me (courtesy of Facebook)

I think the same holds true for battling infertility. Infertiles are marathon runners, just in a different way. (Though, at least the training schedule for running a marathon has a definite start and end time.)

Interestingly, after the run today I met a friend for breakfast, who asked me a very fair question: Why do I feel the need to have children NOW? What is that feeling like?I couldn’t really give her an answer, except to say that once you have the feeling, you will know. But I’ve been thinking about it since then. It’s hard to explain something that feels almost instinctual.  It’s almost like meeting the person you know you’re going to marry. You just know. I also can’t explain why its so important that I feel I need to have children right now. By all logic, I’m young enough to wait a year or even two years longer and the effect on my body wouldn’t be all that negative, especially since we know where we stand. It isn’t like 2 years from now we’d be starting from scratch trying to figure out if its going to happen. For whatever reason though, it just feels like something is missing. And, I feel happier and more relieved being proactive lately than just waiting.

Watch out 2012. I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.

Week 15 – The Case of the Missing Spatula

Week 15 – 20 miles. (YAY its taper time!)

This week was THE week. The run I’ve been dreading since day 1. The longest run on schedule. The one I complained about last week. And, thankfully, the last one. Until race day of course.

Seriously, I’ve been semi dreading this run for weeks. I knew we were going to be in colder weather and I honestly figured I’d be on my own, so I was picturing myself running 20 miles on sidewalks bundled up like the kid in A Christmas Story while hurdling over snow drifts.

Perhaps my imagination has a mind of its own….just a little.

Luckily, my long time friend and fellow crazy runner (actually, she’s worse) volunteered to run part of the run with me if I met her at the path halfway between our two houses. As it turns out, we also met for dinner the night before at a restaurant within walking distance of the pathway. We arrive at dinner and I get out of the car.

Brr. Its cold. Great.

We talked a bit about the run the night before. Was I nervous? Did I bring food to eat along the way? Did I bring warm clothes? My parents so nicely drove by the entrance before we went home so I’d know where I was going. It looked a bit daunting in the dark. I distinctly remember saying ” I’ll bet we’ll be the only cars here at 7:30am”.

Morning didn’t greet me very warmly. My bed did. But I got up anyway, got dressed, ate a bit and was out the door.

My car greeted me with a smile. (Good morning! Don’t you wish you were still in bed?)

Unfortunately, when I tried to start it, it wouldn’t turn over. Fabulous. After having the semi flu on Thursday and now my car not starting I was beginning to think I wasn’t meant to run this thing. Luckily, though, the car turned over. But, I forgot about the ice and snow. My windshield was iced over. And having lived in SC for the last 5 years, I no longer own an ice scraper. So I went back into the kitchen and grabbed a spatula. There were three of them there so I figured it wouldn’t be missed for a few hours. (it worked pretty well actually….perhaps there is a market for spatula scrapers?)

Finally I was off. Then my low tire pressure light came on. For the love of Pete. Oh well, I’m still off.

I arrived and pulled into the parking lot. And was greeted by half a dozen other cars.

Well I’ll be damned. We ARE all insane.

My goal was to try to keep a 10 minute mile pace on average. I’d tried a 9:15 or so at 17 miles and about died at the end. My 19 miler was a struggle, though I tend to run slower alone, so I figured this one could take me almost 3 and a half hours. I also have a tendency to start out too fast and hurt through the end, so I made sure to say I wanted to try to stay around a 10 minute mile in order to avoid 4 miles of “ow”.

Ironically, for all the dreading, worrying and complaining, this run turned out to be the best of them all. The trail was really nice, the weather was perfect, and overall I felt really good. I dunno if it was the ibproufen I took before I left, the weather, the company or the eating a bigger amount every hour instead of a little at a time that did it (or maybe all of the above). Jenny (bless her) actually stuck around for all 20. (who runs 20 miles for fun? oh wait…) Around mile 14, where I usually hit a wall and start to get sore, I was actually gradually going FASTER. Surprised, but feeling ok, I just went with it, and actually finished the last mile at 8:38 . Overall, I actually finished the 20 mile run faster than the 19. (9:28 min/mile or 3 hours 9 minutes!)

Thanks Jenny. Seriously. She’s about the only girl I know that would run 20 miles with me just because.

We look pretty good for having just run 20 miles. 🙂 Oddly, I feel pretty good, too. And the best part about it? Its all downhill from here.

I got home, showered, and my dad was making breakfast. He starts getting the eggs together.

Dad: Where the HECK is my spatula?!?

Oops.

Me: Uh….that was me. I used it to scrape the ice off my car.

I guess I grabbed the wrong spatula.

Apparently, while he was making eggs earlier, he was looking for this particular spatula. He had my sister searching drawers, and finally my mom, exasperated, states “maybe Bryan stole it”

Poor Bryan.

Moral of the morning? Sometimes when the conditions are right, the hardest trials can feel like the easiest.

Also, don’t steal my dad’s favorite spatula.

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