Monday, August 15, 2011
My day began at 5AM when I woke up and began prepping to head out for my weekly long run. There was no pre race jitters, there was no excitement of a medal at the finish line.
There was just me and my head phones, fuel belt, and of course the rain! Yep this was my second Sunday and long run day in a row that the rain would be my best friend and take me through the miles. I do not mind it, it is better than the heat and humidity, but the soggy sneakers and goosebumps are getting a bit annoying!
I set out right at 6AM and began chipping away at the 17 miles that were looming in front of me. It was very quiet no one is out on the roads that early on a Sunday morning. This is why I love going out at that time! The first few miles were rough. My legs were pounding in pain and I began to wonder why the hell I was out there.
But then the rain started falling. This only made me more frustrated. I got cold and wet and I just kept getting flashbacks of how hard it was last week at Providence and how I over came it.
Then I turned and looked at the sky. It was this beautiful shade of rose and I saw the sun was rising. I thought about it and wondered when the last time was that I actually noticed the sun rising. It has been too long I thought, you need to savor this moment.
I stopped an hour into the run and had a gel. I needed the boost. I started running again and just kept going. I entered into the farm areas and saw some wild turkeys running across the road. It was so peaceful I began to sink into a groove of the run. I finally felt like I was going to finish the 17 miles for the first time!
As I ran down the quiet roads I settled right into the 10 minute per mile pace and it felt so good. It felt like I was at my magic pace and that I was going to be able to keep going. I started enjoying the farm land I was running through and notice things that I never knew existed.
This is how I came to love running. It was beautiful. My only regret was it was raining so I could not take a camera and capture the beauty I found. I watched the rain fall onto the leaves and drip and hang in suspense. I came up to the next farm and saw the horses being led out to pasture for the morning. I thought about those big beautiful animals and watched them trotting out to shake off the night's sleep. I began to realize how very lovely my little town is and how much of it I have been missing since I lived here for the past 3 years.
As I rounded out through the rest of my route the rain started coming down much harder. But by that point I was so engrossed with the beauty of the roads that I barely noticed. I had a smile on my face even to the end!
I conquered the first of many long marathon training runs but I also learned some valuable lessons that I will take with me forever:
-No matter what the distance is have fun
-You do not have to run all of your long runs at race pace and hurt your body
-The neighborhood around you has more to offer when you can up close and personal with it and out of the car ;)