Saturday, August 10, 2013

Preparing For and Completing a Nine Mile Run

This morning I woke up at a little after 8 am, knowing I had a nine mile run ahead of me.  I couldn't fall to sleep until after 1 am, because I knew I had a nine mile run ahead of me.  This would be the furthest I had run since November 2010.  Nerves, yes.... I had never been nervous before a long run, I don't know why I was last night, but I was.

I had thought about doing the run last evening, just so I could stop thinking about it.  I had been thinking about it all day.  I knew I would think about it most of the night.  The only thing, to be honest, that kept me from doing the nine miles last night, is that I had run five miles the night before.  I needed to give my body some rest.  After all, I am still recovering from the bronchitis.

Before I left the house, I remembered to use my inhaler.  I was proud of myself for that.  I grabbed my Orange Powerade Zero out of the refrigerator.  I grabbed a Snickers with Almonds from the food storage.  Then it was time to get the FuelBelt.  I grabbed my fuel belt that still had the three bottles in it.  None of the lids were with it.  I haven't used the FuelBelt since at least Feb 2011.  I was glad I could find the bottles.  I was really hoping I could find the lids.  It took me a few minutes and then I located the lids in the silverware drawer, toward the back.  I was set.

When I bought my FuelBelt, I bought a little pouch that goes on it as well.  I bought this to keep my car key and some cash when I thought I might need it.  I bought it when I still lived in New York.  Enough people knew me back in my hometown that I knew I didn't need to carry identification.  Not so here.  I wrote my name, phone number, address and that I have asthma and put it in my pouch.  I filled up my bottles with water and put them back in the FuelBelt.  Then I headed out the door.  As I walked out the door, I told my husband where I would be running.

I drove to my starting point.  I took some sips of my Powerade, strapped on my FuelBelt, put the cell phone in my pocket, and then walked to the trail.  I turned on my stopwatch, hit start, and started running.  It was a beautiful morning.  A little overcast, temperature in the mid 70s.  I always have some anxiety about running outside.  I worry about wild animals, not-so-wild animals (dogs and cats), and people that might be thinking about committing a felony.

My fear of cats is that they will pounce and start clawing me.  My fear of dogs is that they will chase me and bite/maul me.  My fear of a pack of dogs is they will eat me.  My fear of wild animals is that I have no chance if they get me, if it is a large one, like a cougar, wolf or coyote.  My fear of smaller wild animals is that they have rabies or they are poisonous.  I think the fear of people wanting to commit a felony is quite self-explanatory.  I don't want to be the object of their felonious desires.

I ran and ran and ran.  There were the crossroads as mentioned in previous posts.  I get to stop sometimes and catch my breath for a little while.  I had never run past the four mile mark, until today.  Today I discovered that there isn't a crossroad at 4.5 miles.  Which made things interesting.  I ended up running 9.25 to 9.5 miles.  Today's run took 1:56:00. 

I have started to recognize some fellow Saturday trail users.  We say hello or wave and share a quick smile.  Some people give me a thumbs up.  Others tell me I'm doing a great job.  It is nice to get encouragement.  I have started to practice positive self-talk.  When I start thinking that I should just start walking, I tell myself that it is psychological.  That my legs are good and they can do this.  I tell myself that I have run much further in the past and this is really nothing compared to that.  I keep on going. 

I sprint the last quarter-mile.  I like to finish as strong as I can.  I like to leave it all out there.  I am mostly excited to get back to my car and go home! 

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