Oh, just typing in those words puts joy in my heart! Yes, it's true....I ran 14.4 miles last Saturday! And lived to tell about it....LOL
I had taken about 10 days off and had only run a few short runs because of the dog bite. I was worried I'd missed so much time and had fallen off the schedule a bit. I had run 11 miles 14 days before and did very well, so I decided I'd try the 14.4. If I couldn't do it, then I'd have to rethink the marathon.
I worked the night before and didn't get to bed until after 1am. I woke up about 8am and immediately wanted to stay in bed. I woke my husband and told him that. He told me I'd be very unhappy with myself if I didn't give it a shot. He said he'd come out and meet me here and there to give me drinks and encouragement and if I wanted to give up he'd drive me back home. Which he knew I wouldn't like either. He knows me too well...lol.
Jim told me to try to keep to a 12 minute per mile pace. It seemed like a very slow pace but he explained that it was the best way to conserve enough energy to finish such a long distance. When you're running a long distance, he said by running too fast in the beginning, trying to "bank" some time would only make me "bankrupt". There is no banking time because time is energy used. Use too much too fast, you won't have any near the end when you'll need it the most. His words of wisdom stayed in my head. Jim has given me so much valuable information, it's because of him I've gotten this far, so how could I ignore his advice now?? I couldn't!! I listened and went sooooo slowwww in my first 3 miles at about 31 minutes. After that I was just tired enough to be able to stay on pace without too much effort. I watched my time only to do the 30 second power walks every 10-12 minutes.
At about 6.5 miles I saw my husband's car up ahead. I ran up and he gave me some gatorade. He said he saw me running and I looked like an athlete!!! LOL I was glad to know I didn't look like I was about to fall over. He couldn't get over that I wasn't out of breath. I hadn't even noticed that! I felt great. Not too tired either. I got back into it and looked down Salford. UGH....it was such a long road. I kept picking out spots up ahead to run to so I wouldn't pay so much attention to the distance. It seemed like within moments I was at the end and taking a right toward the turn around point. And then I heard it. A dog. Oh no. I stopped short and waited but it stayed on his porch. I walked slowly by and it didn't bother me. I got out of it's sight and ran to my turn around spot. I called Bobby to let him know where I was. I still had my gatorade so I was good, but he got worried when I told him about the dog. We stayed on the phone as I passed by it again, then off I went.
The run back seemed easier than the run out. I felt very tired but overall I felt great. I was walking about every 8 minutes for about 1.5 minutes by about mile 10. Then my left calf started cramping up. I could hear Jim's voice telling me to walk it out. So I walked until it didn't hurt as much, then ran until it hurt again. I probably walked the entire last mile but in a power walk.
I was SOAKED and very salty. I had salt chrystals all over my arms and face. It was so weird. Bobby met me in the driveway. It was surreal. I had run 14.4 miles. I felt like I was in a dream. He said he was so proud of me, that he felt a degree of awe. That means so much to me. He hugged me even though I was soaked (that's true love)...When I got in the house I looked at the stop watch and I'd finish in 2:43. That worked out to a 11:24 minute mile. Just 30 seconds faster than Jim said to go for! I started to cry. I was so completely overjoyed. It seemed like I had walked so much, I really didn't think my time would be good. I wanted to come in at 2:30, but I'm happy with 2:43. Even 5 months ago I couldn't have run one mile.
First thing I did was shoot an email to Jim. I hadn't run into him lately so he didn't know I was running 14.4 that weekend, I knew he'd be surprised. He was very happy too, and in the same sentence told me when to run my 20 miler....LOL...oh, he's such a TRAINER!!!!! LOL
Feb 9th, I'll be running 20 miles. my husband and kids are going to set up water stations along the way and yell out words of encouragement. I'll have my own little mini marathon....LOL...I'm shooting for 4 hours, wish me luck!!!