I entered into this training cycle a few months ago believing that I was capable of MORE. More growth. More speed. More strength. More courage. More JOY. More heart. More gratitude. More passion.
But I was scared and unsure just as much as I was confident and excited.
I knew that in order to grow, I would need to attempt to do things that I never had before. I would need to try harder, push further, let go of my fears and hold onto my faith. But that I would also have to keep myself in check. Take myself to the edge, yes, but also be so smart about it.
You guys, it has been so scary for me. But it has also been so amazing. So wonderful. I am a heart-on-my-sleeve type of person. Every little emotion – happy sad angry grateful scared excited passionate – it is all SO right there for me. So big and just impossible to contain. I am not helter-skelter out of control about it (I don’t think…well maybe sometimes I am), but whatever I am feeling if you are around me you probably feel it too. Coming off of my skin like steam, radiating out of me, whatever – I cannot seem to hide my feelings. It is just the way I am built.
So last week as I was in the midst of the biggest week of my training — you can imagine I was sort of pretty much all over the place emotionally. I was excited – I was running more than ever before and feeling GOOD and just amazed, astounded really, by that. And I was scared. What if the wheels just fall off out of the blue? Is this too good to be true? How is my body able to run so many miles and not feel like it is falling apart? But both my mind and my heart told me to relax about it. The reason I was feeling good is because I built myself a super smart training plan and I adapted it all along the way. I worked my way towards this mileage, always listening to my body. Always. On Saturday night as I prepared for my last really long run, I was nervous but told myself I had to let go of that.
Sunday morning arrived and we went on a field trip further west, to a beautiful part of Virginia called Leesburg. My closest running friends were with me, and at the last minute Dorothy decided to join us. The only time I have ever run with Dorothy was when we were both pregnant with our third babies – about two years ago – so this was an extra special treat.
We were all nervous at the start. The weather was cold and it was raining. But we were in it together. And the miles just ticked by…
We talked about anything and everything. We laughed. A lot. We shared. A lot. We vented. A lot. For more than three hours, we ran along the most beautiful path covered in a canopy of trees with a light rain washing over us. I hardly checked my watch to see how fast we were moving, though each time I did look at it I thought to myself “this is a little faster than I planned on running at this point” … but I felt SO good and we all seemed to be in a groove and were happy and comfortable and smiling.
I simply didn’t want the run to end.
But it had to. We logged 23 miles yesterday. The longest training run of my life. If I had kept going for 3.2 more miles, which I know I could have done, I would have set a pretty sweet PR in the marathon.
I know I am capable of something MORE on October 28th.
I just know it.
Splits from our 23 mile run. Average pace, 7:53/mile.
Mile 1 – 8:19
Mile 2 – 8:15
Mile 3 – 8:07
Mile 4 – 7:75
Mile 5 – 8:04
Mile 6 – 8:02
Mile 7 – 7:54
Mile 8 – 8:14
Mile 9 – 7:56
Mile 10 – 7:56
Mile 11 – 7:44
Mile 12 – 7:31
Mile 13 – 7:42
Mile 14 – 7:56
Mile 15 – 7:45
Mile 16 – 8:08
Mile 17 – 7:31
Mile 18 – 7:46
Mile 19 – 7:31
Mile 20 – 7:39
Mile 21 – 7:55
Mile 22 – 7:43
Mile 23 – 7:47
|Me, Dorothy and Maddie. So HAPPY.|
When we got back to our starting place, it was equally exhilarating and peaceful to me to be with my friends, all of us together. Celebrating what was an amazing accomplishment for all of us. I felt so at peace. So grateful. So very happy.
Each one of us has seriously rocked this training cycle. I want to bottle up this feeling – this excitement and joy I have over what I am doing, what my friends are doing. What WE are doing. Together. I am so proud and thankful.
Last week I ran 92.35 miles. More weekly mileage than ever before. And I feel good. I feel strong. I feel hopeful.
I am starting a 3 week taper today. It is time to coast. I am welcoming this taper period with open arms though I know I will have my moments of crazy. The thing is, I feel so good. I don’t feel overspent or like my body is screaming for rest or a break of any kind. But I am going to ease into this taper and take time every day to remind myself of how far I have come. And how far I believe I can go.
20 days until Marine Corps Marathon. It will be #10 for me.
I am so excited. There is no hiding it.