from mile to marathon

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

Sunday, July 15, 2007

change of plans

Since the marathon, I never ran more than twice each week during work days, but I put in "big runs."

Just before the 8K freedom run I did a 16-miler. Although I started early, toward the end the sun had become an almost palpable menace, and I walked half or most of the last 2-3 miles.

Last weekend I took off even earlier. At 5 am the darkness was a bit scary. I could discern the track in the moonlight, but a man on a bike, without cyclist gear, passed me TWICE and spoke to me both times, and that creeped me out. I got in 7-8 miles while the sun was still rising on the other side of the mountains, and afterward a slim layer of mist filtered out the worst of the heat. By the time the sun shook it off and started burning unencumbered I was done with my 19 miles.

Today I planned for 22. I was so stressed by my dilemma between darkness early and heat later, I dreamt during the night that by 4 am we had broad daylight and fine rain. I waited until some pink was weaving itself through the gray of dawn. When I got out of the car I noticed I had forgotten to put on my sports bra.

I do not have much to speak of there, so running was still a doable thing. But would a knight forget to put on his armor when getting ready for battle? I felt stupid, vulnerable, and... unprofessional.

I decided, on the spot, to do 13 miles only. I do not know if this, under the circumstances, was common sense, or if I chickened out because of the distance or the oncoming heat, or if it just occurred to me that 22 miles 7 weeks before my next marathon might be overkill.

I still walked a lot. My pace improved only slightly over last week's. But 13 miles left me remarkably fresh. And I realized something I might have not noticed if trudging on. The amount of miles I can do now drama-free (not effortlessly, but without feeling overwhelmed) is not 10 miles anymore. It's 13.

14 Comments:

At 1:03 PM, Blogger JustRun said...

Lucky 13. :) What a good feeling.

One day, I should just drive on down to NM and run with you.

Re: The lack of sportsbra- wow. I am in constant fear of forgetting it.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger JustRun said...

We just commented each other at the same time. :)
(Just had to point it out.)

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

That 13 thing is pretty cool. Non runners would find that crazy.

You do still have plenty of time for another 20 or 22 miler if you choose.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Great - 13 miles in the summer in the southwest is always an achievement.

I hate forgetting stuff as well - in fact, for me it can be something not even critical and it will bug me the whole run.

 
At 6:12 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I have a long way to go to be comfortable with 13miles. You've gone a long way!!

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Isn't that new comfort level a great feeling? Way to go!

As for the sports bra...I am amazed you could go 13 without!

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Bre said...

Man, I couldn't run 50 feet without a sports bra!

Hurray for 13!! :)

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger Steve said...

What marathon will you be doing in 7 weeks??

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger robtherunner said...

What a great realization to come to at the end of the run. A comfortable 13. Congratulations!

 
At 10:08 PM, Blogger RunBubbaRun said...

Drama free running is always good. That means your comfort zone is far greater now. I think running a marathon is in your comfort zone now to.

Great job..

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger a life uncommon said...

I could go without the sports bra but I certainly couldn't do the running part. ;)

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Annette said...

13 miles without a sports bra? You are a die-hard! I would've turned around and gone back for it (and cut the run even shorter!)

Good luck training!

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Deene said...

the cyclist would have creeped me out too, hopefully you care some mace or something. doing 13 consistently is very good in the heat.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Joe said...

> I could discern the track in
> the moonlight, but a man on
> a bike, without cyclist gear,
> passed me TWICE and spoke to
> me both times, and that
> creeped me out.

Yikes, that is creepy.

> When I got out of the car I
> noticed I had forgotten to
> put on my sports bra

I hate it when I do that.

 

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