Are you sick of me posting about running yet? Well… I’m sorry, but I probably will have at least a few more posts about it. It’s just such a new experience that has been teaching me so much lately, and frankly I am pretty dang proud of myself so I want to share my thoughts! :) The good news for you, and for me too, is that I am halfway to race day! So we are the downhill end of this whole thing (mostly figuratively though, because my miles only keep increasing!)
This weekend was the 7 miles weekend. After the first 4 mile day, every mile more was a new best for me because prior to signing up for a half marathon the most I had ever run was 4 miles. So 5 miles was big. Then I sorrrt of skipped 6 miles because my friend got married and there just wasn’t time that weekend, so this past weekend was 7 miles and I was NERVOUS! It would be the furthers I had ever run in my life by 2 whole miles. I was fairly certain I wouldn’t make it.
Saturday I ran a quick, easy 3 miles and planned for my 7 on Sunday morning. On Saturday afternoon my friend Maria (one of the 3 other girls running the race with me) tweeted that she had finished her 7… I was super proud of her, and SUPER flippin’ jealous that she was done with it.
I was dreadddding 6am Sunday morning because it was my turn, and I knew I was just going to probably die. But, as much as I wanted it never to arrive, the morning came anyway and as the sun came up I laced up my (new!) running shoes and plugged in my iPod and grabbed my music and out the door I went.
And you know what? I ran 7 whole miles. Without stopping. Without dying. And without even hating it. In fact, by about 5.5 miles when I realized I was going to make it with no problem, I was so proud of myself that the last mile and a half were kind of even fun! And I may or may not have dance-ran the last few blocks home! Maybe it was just that I set myself up to hate it so much, that, when it wasn’t so bad after all, it seemed way better, or maybe I am just more capable and prepared to run long distanced than I thought.
Either way, I made it, and I enjoyed it and that 1 hour and 12 minutes of running made me realize something about myself. My whole life I had no problem pushing myself to the limit in physical activity when it came to sports. And I was always a thousand times better at sprinting than long distance running. Because, as I realized during those 7 miles, I could find it in me to push myself SO hard when there was an immediate reward such as finishing a sprint or scoring a try in rugby. But running long distances is a whole different way of pushing yourself. I had to push myself to run further than I ever had, and in order to do that I needed to keep my pace slower than I was used to when running a few miles. But learning the patience of keeping my slower pace overall led to a much better finish than I had ever had with a long distance run!
Maybe I’ll be a distance runner yet!! Or maybe not. We’ll have to see after the race! At this point I would still rather run my butt all over a rugby pitch during an 80 minute game, but I don’t think that will ever change. I do think, however, that I am slowly but surely learning to love spending time alone just hitting the pavement for miles and miles with the sole satisfaction of proving to myself that I can do it. Annnnd it helps that I get to buy pretty new running shoes now that I am running so much! :)
Whether you like it or not, I will keep your posted on my progress until race day! ::KD::