Monday, December 17, 2012
So, About That 15k....
Yep, you are seeing that correctly! I TOTALLY DID IT!!!
On that chilly Saturday morning, my friend Katie was doing her long run of 28k. I had plans Sunday morning and would have to miss my Weekend Run Club, so I asked Katie if she'd like some company for part of that run. I figured it was a win/win situation for us both. Katie gets some company (albeit at a slower pace!) for some of her run, and I get to go out there with an experienced runner who is also super motivating to me.
Katie agreed and ran from her house to meet me at mine. We set out in a straight "out and back" with me setting the pace. Katie was also kind enough to bring me a Gu to try once we hit the 10k mark. I'd never needed any type of fuel on runs, so this was all new to me as well.
I set out with a million thoughts running through my head. I'd run a 10k distance several times and didn't flinch when even considering doing that again. However, I'd only ever run further than that the weekend previous, when I did the 12k! How was I going to add on ANOTHER 3k to a distance that may have been a fluke in the first place? I also didn't want to slow Katie down too much, but didn't want to burn myself out far from home and having to walk the distance back to my door. I was very anxious about aspects of it, but decided just to GO and do my best. I had a backup plan with my husband if I just couldn't cover the ground needed.
I started my Nike app and put it in my pocket. I didn't want to look at pace or distance, I just wanted to "go with" the run and how I was feeling. The app tells me at each mile where I'm at and what my average pace was so I knew it would update me soon enough. When I hit Mile 1, it said my pace was 9:34 for that mile. That was a whole minute faster than my planned "forever pace" I'd set previously. Never the less, I kept on trucking, with Mile 2 stating about the same. Katie and I were chatting away about everything under the sun and I was feeling pretty good until about Mile 3. (5k) I decided to walk for a second to re-adjust my pants that were sort of slipping and to give my shoulders a bit of a shake out, as well as to take off my mitts and to open my jacket at the neck slightly. This was under 30 seconds I'd guess, and away we went once again.
Soon enough it was time for the GU and the turn around point. Since I'd never tried them before, and didn't bring any water, I wasn't sure how it would go. They are kind of like a pudding type thing, and after the first "YUCK" bite, I didn't find it too bad. We walked a minute while we pushed the Gu out of the packet and removed our neck warmers and wiped our noses.
I now knew we had to cover the distance all over again and it felt a little overwhelming. I told myself to just put one foot in front of the other and keep trucking. I also decided to slow my pace a little so that I'd get there and not burn out. I'm pretty (okay, a lot) stubborn, and I had told myself last weekend that I was GOING to get this 15k distance in the next week, and gosh darn it....I wasn't going to settle for anything less. We stayed around a 10:00 pace from then to my home, stopping for traffic lights occasionally, or traffic. I'm not sure if it's when the Gu hit, but all of a sudden I felt much lighter and much better. I KNEW I had this and would make it to my door with the distance not only covered, but at a faster clip than intended and feeling pretty fantastic all in all.
About 2k from home, Katie started my pep talk. She's good like that. She said she really struggled her first 15k, and that "9 miles" was one of those "milestone" run marks, and here I was doing it! She said she was impressed by my focus and my steady pace throughout, and that I didn't seem to be struggling. I was still chatting away and able to talk quite normally. I'd DEFINITELY had moments in there where that wasn't the case, but I honestly did feel like I'd caught my second wind.
We rounded the corner to "home" and I was just ecstatic! (but also happy it was done! LOL) We high-fived and hugged (I'm turning into a hugger now apparently! Who knew?) and Katie continued on her way.
As soon as I opened the door, my husband and my daughter were standing there asking, "Did you do it? Did you make it?" I could barely speak with emotion, so I just showed them my ipod screen, as you see above. My daughter, who is really my best little cheerleader, hugged me tight and said, "I KNEW you'd do it Mummy!" My husband gave a little grin and a "Well, I'll never catch you now! I keep trying and you keep going further! But I like the chase!" He also told me he was very impressed and inspired by all the changes I'd been making-which is pretty motivating all on it's own.
There was no rest for the wicked though, I had to hit the stores after a shower and some food, and surprisingly, my legs felt totally fine. I haven't had any soreness or stiffness at all-except in my upper back and shoulders/neck area. I assume it's from the way I hold myself when I run-which is likely rigid, a stance that's par for the course with me.
I'm doing the distance (hopefully!) again this weekend to support Katie's birthday (and her last long run before her marathon in January)with the fabulous, wonderful women in my little community of awesomeness. The incentive is to help Katie out, but brunch and beer at the end doesn't hurt either.
After riding that high for the day, I went to my sister's yesterday and was asking about borrowing a dress for a fancy dress evening coming up. No, I don't own a dress. I tried on many dresses and fit them all, including the dress that my 20 year old niece wore to her high school graduation a few years back!!! I also fit a few other dresses of hers-granted mostly stretchy ones and a gamut of sizes but I don't even care. I'm feeling on top of the world and I'm ready for 2013 and even bigger, bolder, better, scarier dreams.
My December challenge involved more gym time that made me nervous, and conquering the 15k. I have some January goals already set, several of which aren't fitness related at all.
I'm truly just getting started!!!