Sunday, August 28, 2016

If You Dare Wear Short Shorts

Today was supposed to be my longest run to date. 14 miles. My runs really took a hit when I got sick - not to mention the brutal, relentless heat this summer. Long runs had been skipped, and then they were very, very slow.

I decided to run at the American Tobacco Trail because it is crushed gravel, fairly flat and quite shaded. I also decided to wear a new pair of shorts I just purchased because I am an idiot. I ran around in my kitchen this morning and they seemed fine - supported my gut, supported my butt.

Anyway, when the alarm went off at 5AM this morning, I was still feeling the heat from yesterday's ride. While we took it easy on the pace and stopped to hydrate/fuel a few times, DANG. It was just so hot and muggy, and 70 miles + a 10-minute "run" took its toll on me. I felt gross the rest of the day - not deathy, but not good. Anyway, my body protested greatly when I rolled out of bed, "are you INSANE? You need sleep. SLEEP. Go back to bed and run on the treadmill later." Nope. I need to do this.

Then I remembered I needed to submit my time and nightly report from working yesterday (I'm a working mama now, and I have weekend hours on a project). Quickly did that, then read something on the internet and ...

Blergh. Got mad. Upset. Felt sorry for myself. The usual. (Why do we use Facebook?)

I finally headed out the door around 7:40AM, realized I forgot my purse and called Derek to see if he'd bring it toward the end of my run, then we could all get lunch. The kids could run on the trail, too. Of course, I missed my turn and then took a 15-minute detour.

FINALLY, around 8:25 I start out on my run.

At around 8:27, I realize these shorts are not good.

Around 8:30, I realize I am totally screwed. I text Derek and say, "nevermind the lunch, I need you to come now and please bring my tri shorts that I use for running." He replied alright. I ran a bit more, trying desperately to make it work, (run-run-run, walk-tug-walk-tug, run-run-run, tug, curse, tug) but headed back to the car and arrived there around 8:50.

Derek made great time and I changed into my glorious tri shorts. The kids ran a little with me on the trail, I told Derek where he could turn around, I blew kisses and continued on my run.

The shorts felt SO good compared to the shorties. I've never been able to wear short shorts. Never. Not ever. Even when I was a bean pole, short-shorts always ride up my inner thighs. This is why I don't try to wear running skirts - the shorts underneath will inevitably ride up. Then I look like someone with a reverse wedgie, which is fun for no one. Not for me, not for spectators.

I ran. I kept running, and running, and I just felt great! Nothing hurt, no wedgies anywhere. I ran for thirty minutes and came upon the New Hope (?) trailhead where I topped off my water bottle. Saw a friend and offered a delayed greeting (I was in a "must-not-walk" headspace at the time, heh.). Headed back to my trailhead, where I refilled water from my cooler and replenished gels, made a quick potty stop. Headed back out again to finish off the run. One more out and back to New Hope.

"Sweet-smelling toilets" they say...

I ask someone how far it is to New Hope (I wasn't totally sure) and he replied, "about one mile." Hmm. I thought it was farther, but I knew there was water there and I could always go past that trailhead and come back. I was at 8.78 miles and trying to figure out my turn-around point.

I saw someone I knew from Inside Out Tri Club and considered saying hello (we don't really know each other) when my sock was pinching my calf for some reason. "Well, sh1t, this really hurts. How'd that happen? I haven't pulled my socks down-"

I glance at my calf to see a FREAKING HORSE FLY EATING ME. Ugh. I swipe it away and it promptly lands on my other calf and bites. DAMN IT. I swipe it off that leg. It's circling around me, and I finally squirt it with my water bottle. THERE! TAKE THAT, YOU JERK FLY! *SQUIRT* It finally flies away.

My Mensa application should come soon, don't you think?


Sigh. But since it was just "about one mile" to the water station, I knew I would be ok.

"About one mile" later, I see people heading in the opposite direction and I ask them how far is the trailhead. Their reply? You guessed it. "About one mile." (Except these folks were right, at least).

I make it to the trailhead, refill my water bottle, listen to someone humblebrag about their workout from yesterday (it was a deserved brag, actually - they rode something like 108 miles and ran 6). I did an out and back until I reached 12 miles on my watch. Topped off water and it was time for the last two miles.

I started to feel a little woozy as the temperature climbed, so I just walked a little. I feel like I had great nutrition on this run. Plain water, Base salt and Huma gels. No belly upset. I will definitely experiment with this again. I love Rocket Fuel, but for some reason - the longer I workout, I can't seem to tolerate it. But it was perfect for shorter workouts, so it's something I will keep using.

Now, I realize that I took basically 30 minutes off at the beginning of the run, and I also made as-fast-as-possible pit stops to refill water and use the bathroom a few times - but I cannot stress how GOOD I felt during this run. I ran a lot. And even with the first two miles being closer to a 16:00/mi pace because of the short mishap, I finished with a 13:33/mi pace.

That's not getting me into the Olympics or Kona - but that's pretty good for me. Period.

After I finished and took a picture of my "record" on my watch, I burst into happy, thankful tears. I texted my friend, "I did it!" (she'd been texting me throughout the run and checking on me).

And I did do it. A few Facebook friends said some really sweet things this morning, and their words stuck with me. I need to remember those friends, their words, and kindness. I need to remember that there really are people who want me to finish this race. There really are people who believe in me, and aren't just saying, "you can do it" to my face, and turning around behind my back and saying ... things.

The truth is - I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, or five minutes from now, or October 22. But I know I have been working hard - as hard as I am capable of right now - and today felt good. I am thankful for that.