Thursday, May 22, 2014

running against the wind

You know what? I ran 18 miles yesterday and I have felt worse after half marathons than I do today. I'm just blown away by what my body can do. Sometimes I think back to the early runs, when 1 or 2 miles was such a victory. Today as I went out for a short run, I thought about that. I ran 18 miles. Eighteen. For perspective, think about a city 18 miles away from you. I ran there.

Yesterday's run was hard from the beginning. My breathing was off. I guess it was windy the whole time, but honestly, only the last part of the run was tough because of wind. Both my friend and I were having a hard time. It just wasn't clicking with our bodies. I moaned and groaned more than I ever do. She kept telling me I was doing great. I told her she was lying. But, of course, I don't know too many people who ran 18 miles yesterday without stopping, so I'd say she was right.

So much was wrong physically. Sleep was primary. Some people do okay for a few days on little sleep; I am not one of them. Two days of 4 a.m. affected me, probably my breathing most of all. Add two flights to that and it was a recipe for a hard run (airplanes both swell you and dehydrate you more quickly--that's why you should never fly in the day before a major race). But really, when it comes down to it, I ran. Eighteen miles.

Last night was tough. I was physically sore, but just plain wiped out from the past two days. I fell asleep for a bit around 6:30. Later, I conked out without warning. I slept hard and sound, albeit with some nightmares, until almost 9. I expected to wake up in tons of pain and strain. I definitely knew I did something physically demanding yesterday, but amazingly, nothing really hurt beyond some minor strains. Huh? So I went for a late run. I could feel that I had run a lot yesterday, but my body was doing so well I was faster than usual--most especially since it was 91 degrees out. I didn't push it and stuck to the usual post-long run mile, but I was pretty amazed this little body accomplished a major feat on those miles of trails.

Next week is the infamous 20-miler. Without a doubt, there is no more important run before a marathon. After that comes the taper, and then three weeks after the 20-miler comes the moment of truth. No matter what happens, the fact remains that this formerly fat body, this sedentary Suz, ran 18 solid miles with her own two feet. And what's amazing to me is that today I feel like I feel most days. My body may very well be made for this. Next up is my mind. That's where real marathon training kicks in.

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