Tuesday, January 29, 2013

While on my run today...

Today was a 20 mile training run.  It has been a very intense 3 days, workout wise, leading up to today.  I wasn't entirely sure I was going to be able to complete the run.  I designed the course in a way that would allow me to turn back and cut it short at any point if I needed.

I wasn't going for speed today.  I wasn't aiming to crush any pace goals.  I just wanted to get the miles under my feet and feel more confident about the marathon that is looming in 6.5 weeks.  This training has been so different and less structured and I am feeling more and more nervous about how this race is going to go.  I am trying to relax and just let it be what it will be.  I do still have a time goal, but it is no longer the sub 4:00 time I was originally hoping to achieve.  That is okay.  But that discussion is for a different blog post.

Today, on my run, I spent a lot of time keeping my pace in check.  I knew that once I warmed up I would be tempted to push too hard and that I would pay for it at the end of the run.  I would also pay for it tomorrow and Thursday.  I don't need an injury and, most likely, pushing hard today would be a perfect set up for that situation.  Slow, easy and manageable those were my watch words.  Once I hit 5 miles, it was hard to keep it slow, but I did.  I was particularly thankful for that once I hit mile 17 and my legs, knees and feet were really starting to protest.

At mile 19 I turned on to the street leading into my neighborhood.  Muse's song, Survival, started playing.

The lyrics always inspire me, regardless of where I am on my run.  Today was no exception.  But what happened next was unusual.  I've read about it happening to others, but it doesn't normally happen to me on my runs.  These lyrics jumped out at me:

And I will light the fuse
I’ll never lose
And I choose to survive
Whatever it takes
You won’t ṗull ahead
I’ll keep up the pace
And I’ll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes I’m gonna win

Read more: http://www.lyricspremiere.com/muse-survival-lyrics.html#ixzz2JPEBSFb1

I looked up and saw the clear blue sky and suddenly was overwhelmed with emotion.  I was on my last mile of a run I wasn't sure I could complete.  I can't explain it, but I felt like my Mom was right behind me cheering for me.  I felt someone behind me.  I felt it so strongly I actually turned around to look.  No one was there.  I put a hand on my shoulder and just knew I wasn't alone.  Then I heard my sister's voice in my head, "You can do this kid.  You got it and I'm right here with you."  I was struggling not to cry - it was incredibly intense.  It was amazing.  My pace on that last mile...mile 20?  9:43.

I certainly wasn't alone.  I kept up my pace.  And, yes, I won.