I hate to sound like a crazed running fanatic who views running as something akin to religion or somethin’ but… Hallelujah I have seen the Light! I have been saved. Amen.
This past week was really up there with one of the most stressful weeks in my entire life. Without going into too much of the nitty gritty it included the biggest parenting challenges I have ever faced (thus far… O running gods help me…) Bank/mortgage/help we’re living in a crack house woes, parent woes (looking after aging parents) and, well, just the everyday craziness of raising 6 kids on no sleep and, Oh yeah! I have a good idea, why don’t you throw in training for a marathon into the mix- because God know you have plenty of time and energy to burn and it will be, well, FUN!
I made a promise to myself that I would get the runs in, no matter what, and this week was the ultimate challenge because not only was I feeling extremely guilty for taking the time to get out there while I had so many things I really should have been dealing with it turns out my 3 “short” runs 4, 9, and 5 were nothing short of disasters. The phrase “just didn’t have the legs for it” is the only way I could describe it- I truly just did not have the legs. My IT band injury thingy was not bothering me too much, nor my knee, hips or feet, but on all three runs I just did not have any gas, my legs were like lead. On the 4 I got through it on the treadmill. The 9 was cut short to a 7 and the 5 was cut short to a 3 because I was called home because of a “situation” I had to deal with, but I could not see myself making it the 5 anyhow. Not even brand new shoes could get me out of my slump.
Thursday was a rest day and Thursday night, after a very difficult day I had convinced myself that the running was selfish, and it was insane for me to be doing this and that I certainly did not have 3 hours to devote to a 16 mile run, and I was behind in my training so really, why go on. I was not going to use my “free” day to run. I just couldn’t.
Friday morning after drop off at school and babysitters I came home and without stopping to think I put on my running gear. I had no real plan. I drank a Gatorade, ate a piece of toast with peanut butter, strapped on my Garmin and thought I am going to run for 3 hours or 16 miles, whichever comes first, and feeling very spaced out but almost feeling like I was on auto pilot, out the door I went, and ran 16 miles in 3:06:28. I started and maintained a slow shuffle but somehow, my legs were working, they were back. I walked a minute for each mile, I ate 2 packages of GU (by mile 6 I was feeling pretty hungry and realized I should have eaten more), I drank one of my hydration pack containers of Gatorade and one of water, I stopped to pee in the bathrooms at Dunbar park, my hips felt really really tight at mile 12 but by mile 14 they were fine again. I ran to 16th and Sasamat, and still had 1/2 a mile to do to reach 1/2 way (8 miles) so I ran on 16th on the way to UBC and got excited at the idea of soon being able to run 18 miles on the same route.
I just ran, and ran and ran. And at the risk of sounding like the complete flake I am, I felt “saved” I felt like I could not only deal with all the challenges that were thrown at me this week but that it would all be alright.
If I could run 16 miles…. maybe one day I could run 26.2.
Amen to that.