Today was a glorious day. The sun was shining, or at 6:30 this morning, rising, and I was hopeful that the run I was about to take on would be forgiving.
It is also a wonderful day because I am writing a blog with photos from my run! Yipee!!!
Right now my MacBook’s power cord is at the end of the road, but some how, I have managed to shimmy a few bits of life left in its wiry insides out. I can’t move my computer, breath on the cord, or make any sort of sudden movements. I have threatened my cats that if they dare jump or walk across my computer cord, it won’t end well. So I am rushing to complete this before something bad happens.
I wanted to participate in wordpress’s competition entries about 5ks, but I wanted to achieve something big. Something I have not done since October. Something that could make or break my week. I had a goal of running 6 miles today. I told myself, just shoot for 3, but if I can make it to 6, that would be the holy grail.
It was 6.2 miles that broke my half training and I half(half, get it?!) to say, I was pretty worried that I was pushing my luck with this. It’s just that my runs have seemed progressively better. I felt like I could do it. I had 6 miles in these legs. I had gotten up to 5 miles when my legs just decided to have a hissy fit and put me off training for two weeks… So with my new shoes tightly laced up on my feet and my Atlantic City Marathon shirt under my Philly Marathon Shirt, and a pair of lululemon’s Wunder Unders on, I went out and met my new running buddy/great friend, Kelly.
I set off to her family’s farm at 6:30 this morning. An early one, but I like early runs. I enjoy running as the sun gets higher in the sky and all the crazy people haven’t woken up yet. Makes me feel blissful.
When I was stopped at the light, only a few cars drove down the road. Ah. I love it. It is so serene I could almost cry for joy. It’s like active meditation to be up so early before anything is happening. The soft cast of the early morn just sets the mood.
My rear view. Hello Lululemon symbol!
Ok, so not all the crazies are asleep… Those big white geese over there mean business and they will mess you up. God forbid you drive across the road, they will walk right into the street without looking both ways, kinda like some humans I know.
When I got to my friend’s farm, she was taking her horse out to her paddock. I am a huge horse freak and I find it kind of full circle like that a few of my best friends are horse people. It’s kinda meant to be, I think.
We’ve done photoshoots together before, so this was no first time for Ms. Schugg being in front of my lens. This is just a regular start to her morning. I was then greeted by this fuzzy face. Tatter and Tot, the farm cats.
I know you are jealous of how my running day starts. I feel so lucky to have as great of a friend as mine is. I asked her if we could run at 7 am, and she responds with “whenever!” Not many would be so keen on that early. Next week we are planning for 6:30 and I have my fingers crossed that I can make the time. But it is so nice to have a running buddy and a flexible one at that.
I also have this amazing scenery to look at as the sun rises and a beautiful road to run on right by the farm. It’ makes me feel very elated.
Ok, so I think you get the idea at the type of morning we had. It was beautiful, but a bit on the chilly side. I was very pumped up for this run that I had no idea how it was going to go. It kept coming up in my head that I may not be able to run this at all. I may just fall flat at mile 2. I really wanted to run 6 miles though. I just wasn’t going to get my hopes high.
Now here comes the unfortunate part. I would love to have taken photos as we ran, but the only camera available to me is my professional one. And I can tell you right now that there is no way in hell I am taking that thing running. So I snapped some shots at the farm and then drove my car down the road we took and snapped some photos.
We started off our run and I felt nervous as my feet fell into their left, right, left, right rhythm. I kept checking in for pain, but felt just early morning muscle issues. We ran and I felt as if I was slowly falling into a comfortable spot. I looked at my watch at 15 minutes and wondered if we should take a 1 minute walking break just to be safe. My legs were feeling good and so were my toes. I gave myself another 5 minutes, then another, and then one more, and the first half of our run was done. 30 minutes of straight running without issue. It sounded crazy to me. I felt so happy. I felt I really had broken through that wall I had been originally hitting for the past few weeks.
We stopped and stretched before we ran the 3 miles back to the farm. The fun part of this stop were the deer bones left by hunters.
And by fun, I really mean not fun at all to look at. But of course my camera is drawn to that kinda freaky stuff and made me snap some photos. Oh, and now you can see how pretty it is around here.
My friend and I kept pace and just enjoyed chatting about everything. We had a great laugh when she tried to save me from stepping on an enormous worm that had wiggled its way out into the middle of the road after the rain on Friday. She literally screamed and grabbed me. It had to be the funniest thing ever. It made our run that more fun. I wish every run could start with a belly laugh.
I felt amazing. I really have come a long way. The run back was a tad difficult. First, we had run past a dog that had no electric fence to keep it from running into the road, coming after us. We decided it would be best to walk past him. How can you let your dog outside, not supervising, without an electric fence, and on a road that’s supposedly “25” but everyone goes 59043854893. Really? I mean, we run by and that dog was right in the road. If he gets hit, is it our fault??? I would never want that to happen. We walked by him and he ran into the road, but ran back onto his property pretty quickly.
The next stop had to do with cramping in my foot. For some reason my big toes and the padded part right under my big toe, always begin to ache at some point. I’m not sure what the problem is. I’ve never had it before. I feel as if I need to take my shoe off and stretch my toes to loosen them up. Normally is happens pretty quick, but this time it didn’t happen until mile 5. Improvement, yes, but still occurring, so not cool.
Most of the cars moved onto the opposite side of the road for us. I do that for runners and bikers all the time. I feel it is a sign of respect. I feel it says “I am athletic too, and I understand the importance of safety and your time.” So I am always happy when people move over, if possible. Unlike this one time when this nasty woman actually stopped to tell me to get out of the road. I think she just wanted to speed and not worry about killing me. I mean, her conscience was involved somehow. In those few seconds it took her to slow down and yell at me to “get the hell out of the road” she could have easily passed me and been on her gloomy way. But then I wouldn’t have had a good laugh and a fun story to tell people later.
So thank you grumpy woman, where ever ye shall be.
As we got closer to the turn that led back to the farm, I felt a need to go faster, I was getting tired, I just wanted it to be done, but not really. When we finally stopped, I felt energetic, but I knew soreness would be invading my muscles. I came home and iced my calves for a bit. I tested them for stress fractures which is now a normal part of my after run list. I’ll get up tomorrow and test them again. I’m sure you want to know what that means, and it isn’t anything fancy, I jump on one foot a few times. If it doesn’t hurt, I jump again because I’m just so excited.
I’m anxious because I am not sure if I am pushing too hard or if my leg is still weak. I feel I can run those miles. I know I have it in me. I’m so afraid of injury. I keep telling myself that I have time to increase my miles, and it isn’t about speed. I just dream of crossing the finish line. My time will only mean something to me once I finish, and it isn’t about how fast I finish. I’ve negotiated with myself that speed comes later. Right now it is a matter of getting to that long run point. Once I get to ten miles, I want to go beyond, and I want to stay there. Little by little. I do not want fear to hold me back. I want my body to understand that I mean it not harm when I go out for my runs. I want peace. It is always at the end of my runs that I feel my most inspired. The world seems to me as if it is open and accepting of anything I want to try. Running brightens my soul. I feel it is apart of me. I have always enjoyed running since I was young. I got chubby and lazy, but running was meant for me. I knew it. If I just tried, I could be a good runner. I may never be “great”, but these legs were suppose to go for the distance.
I keep praying for no injury. I keep hoping that every moment my feet turn over, they do it again pain free. I hope as I go along they do it faster. I just want to be able to smile when I run and feel as if the wind is running with me and not against me.
Running those 6 miles as made me feel as if I really can achieve those 13.1 at the end of May. I have 7 more weeks. Now that my long run has hit 6 miles, I only need to increase by 5 more and I’ll be ready, which means, I have time. I will get there.
This is a break through for me and I feel like I’m on a cloud.