I did it. I ran 14.5 miles this morning.
“Ran” is a fucking stretch of the word. I did not stop; I did not walk. But I wogged at the pace of a lethargic or potentially hobbled zombie turtle. My heart dropped when I saw it took me just over three hours to pass 13 miles and when I looked at my splits online. 13-14 minute miles.
However, I know this was by my own design. This was not my first time stretching distance. The plan is always sloooooooow and steady. Establish the distance once or twice in your body then run harder, push up to the normal pace.
Even at this shameful speed, 14 miles was HARD.
Trisha and I set our sluggish wog and fought against threatening floats tugging at our pace for the first 7ish mile loop. The weather was crisp; the sky was overcast; and we just plodded along babbling about the insanity in our quest at such an ungodly hour.
For this first lap, my body tried to fall into its familiar running rhythm, but I held it back. My brain knew what my body ignored–that this run would be longer and harder, that I needed to ration myself. This grew harder as we approached the turn around where we would usually complete our run. The sprint was welling in me as Trisha slipped behind me and skipped the end cap of the leg.
It took a mile or so of the second lap to calm my pace fully. By this point, Trisha had fallen behind me and eventually turned around and left me. I was alone, floating down the trail in the silence, listening to just my shoes quietly scraping on the dirt. I tried to focus on something besides the pain blossoming in my pelvis, the way my hips joints were crying and the muscles in my ass were tightening. I tried not to count each stop and constantly analyze how much was left.
I should have packed my fucking mp3 player.
I began alternating through waves of feeling good, floating, telling myself I could do this and waves of utterly fucking dying, hating myself for trying, and being convinced my legs would fall off and I couldn’t do it. One and then the other crashing over me. Pushing me along or holding me back.
I just mentally talked myself through it, kept convincing myself to keep going, just finish it.
Left, right, breathe.
Left, right, breathe.
By 11 miles, I was over it. My body was over it.
By 13 miles, I was a ball of pain. Every footstep sent shockwaves up my bones. My newly formed blisters were burning. I just ached.
But I stumbled through. Trisha found me again and chased my clumsy steps to the finish, to 14.5 miles.
I’ve done it. Now I know I can do it. And in two months, the half marathon.
Part of the price…