Woke up at 4 am feeling chipper ( I know, its disgusting). Hope was in the air, baby. There is something magical about this little race and the people who make it happen. At some point during our drive out I mentioned that today is going to be my turnaround day, a new beginning or something like that. Nicole replied by saying I make that statement every Sunday during our long runs. Here is a re-cap...
MILE 1: Nicole is always on track of how far we've gone and how fast we are going on account of of the little B___TCH she wears on her wrist. Mostly it tells us we are going too slow. Wonder of wonders it tells us we are going out too fast. The weather is beautiful and people cheering on the runners make for a great send off. I loved the little house that had Chariots of Fire flowing out its wide open windows. Thank you whoever you are!
MILE 2:Nicole announces this milestone which comes faster than expected. I reply with an enthusiastic " Only 11 more to go!". The B__TCH is telling Nicole that we ran this mile faster than the last. Nicole seems a bit concerned. I'm chasing after hope ( for a new goal I can excited about) and this just feels like the right pace. I didn't bring anything on the run today...not even a camera. The only thing I can't leave behind is a bit of fast sugar, just in case. Today it was dried banana chips stuffed up the wristband.
MILE 3: A big truck passes by kicking up a lot of dust and I think we encounter our first hill around here. The memory of seeing this hill for the first time makes me laugh. At the time I thought it was the only hill. Hahahaha. This is just the warm up hill. The hill knocked us back to our usual Sunday run long slow pace. I never know how I'm going to feel until this point in any run and this was going to be a good day ( woo hoo!). I was going to run every hill. I wasn't in any shape to say I could race this race, but it was going to be a good and steady run.
MILE 4-6: Somewhere during this time I lost Nicole on a hill. A talented runner once told me she finds flat races more difficult because you use the same muscles continously, but with hills you get to mix it up. Some muscles get to relax while others work and she found this less tiring. Remembering her words helped to get up the Mother Hill. You know which one I am talking about.
This song came on somewhere during this time and was a perfect fit to the surroundings and the mood of the day.
MILE 7: I am running off the positive vibes from the above song when a very sad song comes on. All of a sudden my mood changes as I think about this day, the anniversary of 9/11 and start bawling ( WTF?). There is a big lump in my throat and it is becoming hard to breath, cry and run at the same time. Eventually I pull myself together and silently dedicate this run to the victims, heroes, and loved ones left behind.
MILE 8:I am glad to leave the emotions of Mile 7 behind and get back to thinking about running. I am runnng more or less with a group. 2 athletic young women are quite a bit ahead but always within sight, 2 other athletic women are playing leap frog with me. I get the impression this is a training run for them as they are steady runners and chatting the whole way. There is a fellow about my age who probably doesn't have a lot of running history behind him but he generally is keeping up with us. He seems to start in spurts, push it hard, fall back and start the cycle over again. I figure we are going to lose him near the end.
MILE 9-11: Life is good. Everything is flowing nicely except that the bottom of my feet are a bit sore with all of the stones on the road. It is a bit much for my minimalist shoes. I haven't been watching where I was stepping up until this point. I catch up with Bob. He should be finished by now but his feet have taken a beating and he is taking it slow to give them a rest.
MILE 12-13: I pass the two women that were far ahead of me. Not sure why they slowed down because they still look good and strong. Or maybe it was I who sped up? All of a sudden the guy who has been trying to catch up zooms past us. This is clearly a struggle for him but his mind is in control. He is going on sheer determination and he is going to succeed. This is incredibly inspiring and I think to myself, a bit too late, that I would like to try and see if I can catch him! I pass the leap frog girls and wonder why they don't speed up. Don't they know there is food at the end???
My finishing time is 2:17:28 according to my watch. I am feeling happy because the goal of the day was to search for a new running goal and in that sense it was a success. Today is a new begining! Oh right, I say that every Sunday.
The above was written a week ago. I wanted to make sure the positive running vibes didn't slip away before posting it. This week my attitude changed. Instead of just running ( from habit or whatever) I had a goal. For the first time in 3 years I timed my run. This next little bit will be to discover what my baseline is and then step it up from there. I have a goal. It has been nudging me or a long while and there is a long way to go to even have a stab at it, but here it is:
I will run a 2 hour 1/2 marathon at Next year's Police 1/2. Ack! Did I just write that?