Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thank Goodness For Husbands (Project Pretty Week 9)

(Project pretty is a personal commitment to share my weekly journey of keeping my non-New-Year's-Resolution: staying fit to improve quality of life while inspiring others to do the same. Let's all jump on the endorphin wagon!)

It's getting down to the nitty-gritty before the up coming half marathon, and since my training schedule has been neither ideal nor consistent (skimpy is more like it), I knew I had to get in one more long run before the big day. The problem with this is, life always has a way of throwing me a wrench to dodge.
I knew I wouldn't have a hot minute to squeeze in a run the entire weekend, so I had to wake up early on Friday afternoon, after working 3 nights in a row, to complete my long run. Not only is forcing my body to change it's rhythm while asking it to have enough energy to run 10 miles difficult, but I was also cutting my recovery time short by 2 days due to conflicts, AND it looked like I' d be having to do it all by my lonesome (since my planned running buddy had something come up, and my husband was working).
Queen of risky experimentation, I thought I'd change up a few things for this run by eating some cinnamon toast with peanut butter and strawberries, wear some calf compression sleeves, test out my new Experia Thor-Lo socks, and fill my water bottle with Cytomax......all at the same time, in efforts to avoid issues I had the prior week (I even went as far as considering changing shoes to my Pure Cadences instead of the Pure Connects, but concluded against it). To stay consistent with my inconsistencies, I decided to explore a trail I'd never been to that was both close to my house and extra long, Chisholm Trail.
Only .16 miles into it, I had to stop. Not only were my calf muscles ridiculously tight and sore, but I had to go back for a potty break. Wow, this was starting out great........ A solid stretch later, I began again with a fresh start, but my legs were a far cry from feeling fresh. Tight. Tired. Sore. From the very first step despite all my efforts at yoga. This was going to be tough, mentally and physically. Not the ideal time to be alone with my thoughts was this. Negativity started to creep into the realm of my brain, sifting down through my legs. 
The only things that kept me going was the anticipation of my husband catching up with me on his bike after he got off work (he couldn't stand the thought of me trying to conquer that feat solo), and knowing despite my body's defiance, I was capable. A few Y's in the sidewalk later, and I figured I'd better call Patrick to communicate which concrete path I'd chosen, or he'd never find me. I LOVE my Yurbuds earphones already, but when I get to use the hands free call feature I fall in love with them a little more. 
Patrick found me just after mile 4 and I needed him more than ever. Just having him by my side gave me the burst of energy I needed to keep on keeping on, and an outlet for conversation is always a nice distraction from my inner demons. 
Leave it to me to get lost on a marked sidewalk, but somehow I managed to make a couple of wrong turns and ended up having to back track to get my distance in, always a peeve. The good news is the trail follows a long creek, tunneling under all the major roads, so stopping for traffic is completely avoided......of course this feature creates some hills, which normally wouldn't be considered a bad thing.......if I needed more of a challenge, which I didn't. At mile 9 I started to loose my steam again but looked at Patrick and said, "Well, I've gone this far. Might as well keep going." (A quote I stole from Forest, Forest Gump.)
Long story short, I did it (slowly: 1hr 57min), but owed to the support of my wonderful husband. Then an even more sore, but side stitch free and blister free me, drove straight home to partake in my first ever recovery formula.
The logs are officially chopped and in the barn.  Time to let them rest a little bit before the big day.

Would you be scared to make so many changes before the longest run in your training? Do you prefer to run solo or with company?


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