from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Monday, March 05, 2007

mile 19

Okay, I know, so I went a bit too fast too far.

I had not planned for 19. I had no plans for Sunday’s big run. I was too scared to plan. I did not know whether I’d be able to do 10, or 13, or 16 miles, or more. I doubted I had enough core strength. I dreaded the big run for the length of the week, and that morning I definitely, definitely did not want to get out of the house. Especially at 26 degrees, with the windshield “feels like 15.” Especially after having one cocktail too many the night before. I wanted to go back to bed.

But after getting out of the house and doing five loops around the Academy track – my perfect 16 miles from the week before – I was so numb that another loop looked like a doable business. Just another loop. Only one more loop, I said. 3.2 miles. By now I can do 3.2 miles on any day. This was just another day. So I did – one more loop.

Hello, mile 19. Four hours less a minute.

I stretched conscientiously afterwards. I sat down in the bathtub filled with cold water. No ice, which in a way is worse than icing, because the ice numbs you faster. But the muscles, I hoped, appreciated the intent nonetheless.

My mind was blank for the rest of the day. Running wipes my mind clean. You’d think after all that time spent on my own, unwired for sound, I could come up with one novel intelligible thought. I did not. I lost myself in the hours of running.

Actually I walked a lot. Perhaps four miles altogether. Don’t know. It doesn’t matter, since I probably owe it to the walking that I am still in one piece.

It’s surprising, but I feel better after 19 miles than I felt a week ago after 16. I guess I’ll stay here for a little while, build a home base, explore the neighborhood.

I am three quarters there. Only seven more miles to go.


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

You are so inspiring. Run, Lia, run like the wind!!! YOU ROCK!!!

I've never run enough to need ice. Then again, I've never run more than 8 miles. Ha! I guess I'm not a real runner (YET!!). Good for you for getting out there and doing it.

For what it's worth, if/when I post about my experience running on the hotel treadmill in the exercise closet (okay, they call it a room), you'll REALLY appreciate outside running in our lovely Albuqueque weather that I was complaining about a few days ago. Go figure. It's all a matter of perspective. :)

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

You are there! You are so there. If you can do 19, you can do 26.2. My longest run for my first marathon was one and only one 20 miler. Every thing that you do now is gravy - better preparing you for the big day. Next stop marathon. Whoo-hoo!

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Wow - 19 miles. You can definitely do a marathon.

Be very careful about taking care of your body after running so long - 4 hours is a long time and hydration and recovery are important when you have such exertions.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Steve said...

19 big ones? You're there! The hardest part is over. Inspiration will carry you the rest of way.

What marathon did you decide on?

At 8:46 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

Wow, 19! Very good. And the fact that you feel better than the last long one just means your training is doing it's job!

By the way, my mind is generally slower, calmer and "blanker" after a long run, too.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger egan said...

This is great work. Are you planning on running a marathon in a race or just on your own? How do you measure your distance accurately?

Anyways, great stuff. Keep up the great work even if it's cold out.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Bre said...

My gosh you are doing so well! You're so close!

At 5:00 AM, Blogger R2B said...

Thats Awesome Lia!

Your body is already there you mind just is catching up!

I am very very pleased for you 26.2 is becoming your new reality woohoo!

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Emil said...

You are making impressive progress! 19 miles is a good distance! The longest I've run before my first marathon was 30 km (~19mi) and I've done great in the marathon!
I'm glad you're staying healthy and are enthusiastic about all this running deal!
Way to go!

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Journey to a Centum said...

I think R2B has it right! It's all about mental preparation of knowing you can do it now. YOU CAN DO IT!

Great idea taking the cold bath to soak your legs. Makes the recovery much faster so you don't have to go down stairs backwards two days after the long run.

So you are getting close... which marathon are you considering?


At 11:54 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

Great job! I am sure that the muscles do appreciate the intent.

As for the walking, whatever it takes to up the mileage! Next time you will be walking 3 out of 21 :)

Keep up the good work!

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Kicking some butt and taking names...nice job squeezing out a few more miles! It's a great feeling after a succesful long run..enjoy!

At 6:11 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I was excited to read the distance you covered. You are so close to that magic number.


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