Sunday, October 10, 2010

12 Miles

Running 12 miles is:
-longer than most people walk
-kinda dumb when you think about it
-time enough to talk yourself out of every goal you've ever set
-eventually numbing

But after you're FINISHED, running 12 miles is:
-a great excuse to eat WHATEVER you want the next day
- a reason to walk around town tooting your own horn for the next two days
-totally something a goddess like you can do--YOU, my dear, are the queen of the world
-and last but not least---OVER!!!  (it bears repeating)

So I ran 12 miles last night. It wasn't my best run ever, and it wasn't my best time ever. (Although it certainly wasn't my worst time, either, considering) It was HARD. I've been staring at this run in my training schedule ever since I signed up for this race. It's literally been looming over me for the past 3 1/2 months and I have been DREADING it. Even as my long runs started to increase in distance, even after I ran 10 miles, nothing ever made me feel better about this damn 12 miles. It was everything I could do to get dressed and make myself do it, and every damn positive thought that I've been holding onto lately flew right out of my head. I was Pissy.
I started off a little bit too fast and that affected me the rest of the run. Pacing is SO SO important, I will never be able to emphasize that enough.
The first couple of miles were okay, and then on about mile 4, I started to despair. Are you kidding me, I've only gone a THIRD of the distance I have to go tonight? Who does this??
After my body numbed out around mile 5, I had a good next few miles. At mile 8 I started to feel woozy, so I took a Gatorade prime and that really helped me. I've never refueled my calories in the middle of a run before, and I didn't realize how much effect that can have on performance.
By mile 10 I was spent. All the body parts that had gone numb were now fully awake again, screaming at me. Ironically, at this point, it hurts more to walk than it does to run. Hell if I know, but I ran as much as I could and took as few walking breaks as possible.
The last mile I wanted to lay down and die. I couldn't even think straight anymore, and I hurt so bad everywhere. All I knew was that I was almost home and if I could just get there, I could lay down. Somehow I gathered up the energy to finish the last quarter mile at a good, strong pace...
I started to get cocky and think things like "Hell, I may as well have just gone the other 1.1 miles and then I'd have my race done."
"That wasn't as damn far as I thought it would be".
"I may be the most awesome person alive".
"I am going to kick this race's ass".

I just find it all so funny. Running is the sport that OTHER sports have to do as a punishment for when they screw up. Running is hell!! I don't really think that anyone actually likes to do it, and yet we do. Even somebody like me, who has never stuck to anything very long that has ever caused me a little discomfort, is absolutely ADDICTED to running. I have a permanent scar at my sports bra line from the chafing. My feet are so blistered and callused that they barely resemble human feet anymore. I am juggling four children, a husband, and a full time school schedule and on top of that setting aside several hours every week to just kick my own ass. And for what?
We do it for the feeling AFTER we're done. Nothing compares to that. Nothing feels better or more empowering. Nothing is as satisfying as knowing that we've just done something that most people can't even think about doing without getting tired. Nothing feels as good as that surge of energy we get after we're done, I swear its like a high.  And nothing is as addictive. I want it again already.
TWO WEEKS until the race. I am so my hotel booked and everything.
I wonder how long I'll be able to ride THAT high???


  1. Oh WOW! Good job!! I think I would have collapsed around the 7 mile mark. Perhaps would have crawled to a lemonade stand..... You rock! Keep it up!

  2. You did it, you did it, you did it!!!!!!

    OH MY GOSH you are awesome!!! :)

  3. Girl, you are freakin' AWESOME!!! You are my hero! You ran 12 miles!!!! You rock!! I've decided on my first half ~ it's not til June but I can't WAIT to start training! You are right ~ it's that feeling afterwards that we're all addicted to. We're like junkies chasing our high!
    Hey, btw ~ what training plan are you using? I'm looking for a few options before I chose mine :)

  4. Great job!! That is awesome! Two things that will help: body glide for chaffing and GU for energy during your run. I usually eat one before I start and every three miles while running. Mint chocolate GU and chocolate outrage are the best in my opinion.

  5. Lord in heaven the CHAFING. Ugh. That was what I used to hate most about running when I was training-that and the fact that its RUNNING. Double ugh.

    HOWEVER, soooo super proud of you-that is impressive, and something I never ever want to do again-and you are chomping at the bit-your a better lass than I Miss J!

    Polar's Mom

  6. Way to go!! That 1.1 miles will be nothing on race day. You can totally do it! I've also tried Aquaphor by Eucerin for chaffing (I use it on my feet too). Bring it on!!

  7. Great post! I know what you mean about how it feels when you are done! My longest run was only 5 miles. I would love to go further and may set my goals there eventually. You are doing a great job! Keep it up. You will do great at your race. Oh...and I bet you can "ride that high" for weeks :)


  8. Once again...I'm in awe!

  9. Wow, wow, wow, I LOVE this post!! It just captures the feeling of running so perfectly. I remember as I was running my half thinking "This is sooo stupid...why the hell am I doing this to myself?". I wanted to give up so many times but I pushed through and finished. As soon as you finish it is like you forget about all the pain before and you feel so alive and accomplished. THAT is why I run :o)