17 Mile Struggle and Love

I hobbled over to my car as quick as possible. As soon as I got myself in the car, I took a deep breath and called P. I glanced at the stack of clothing lying on the passenger seat. My nephew’s last basketball game of the season started in 15 minutes. There was no way I was going to make it. 

‘IT WAS AWFUL. Really, really difficult. It was so hilly' I said when he picked up. And then the tears came. I was so disappointed in myself. This was the worst run that I can remember. I didn’t enjoy very much of it and finished with a less than admirable attitude.

Today I ran 17 miles with my training group. It was a ridiculously hilly course with an elevation gain of 646 feet, but I wouldn’t say it was the hilliest route I’ve ever run in my life.

  • DISTANCE: 17.06 miles
  • TIME: 2:40:43
  • AVG PACE: 9:25 min/mi
  • ELEVATION GAIN: 646 feet
All of It - 17 Mile Run Elevation Map

There were several times that I asked myself if I really could do it. Maybe I should just stick with half-marathons.

My muscles felt tight pretty early in the course, maybe as early as mile 5 or 7, and definitely on the hills during miles 2 and 3. 

I considered stopping a couple of times. Sneaking off the course into the woods, so no one would know that I was in pain, sounded quite appealing to me. So far, my marathon training has been going super well! I've felt great during and after the long runs, and have been thoroughly enjoying running during the week. 

  • 13 miles last weekend: I felt GREAT after our run last weekend, in fact, I cleaned and did chores for about 8 hours after I ran!!
  •  15 miles the weekend before that: I woke up late (6:55 for 7:00 am start time) caught up with everyone at 1.5 miles, thanks to my husband who got up with me so I could tumble out of the car clandestinely….  At mile 10, I tripped on the sidewalk and gashed up my knee, elbows, hands, and shins pretty badly. My pants were stuck on my leg. I made up the missed mileage after our group run was complete. Went to a GOTR Board of Directors Retreat, then to the Antique and Garden show to support my beautiful friend, and then went on to participate in the most fun game night EVER.
All of It - 17 Mile Run

In the past, my muscles have been tight, and I am actually pretty good at pushing through. In fact, I excel at pushing it during the last few miles. Usually during half marathons, my mile times get faster as the race goes on.  

But today, it was REALLY hard to push through. My constant mind set on repeat starting at about mile 14 was; almost done, almost done, almost done. That’s just not like me.

So I start indexing and analyzing workouts, sleep, fluid, and nutrition from the week before. And then it hit me, DUH, you did a TERRIBLE job with nutrition this week. Horrible. Awful. Terrible. I skipped lunch on Thursday and Friday, ate a healthy but on-the-go dinner on Thursday before an 8 mile run, and then had homemade pizza for dinner last night. Not enough food. The most frustrating part is that I know better than that!! Not only from experience, but also because this is what I went to school for!! I read really nerdy BUT CAPTIVATING research articles as often as possible. I still pull out my books and research papers from school to freshen up on facts! Thats why the tears came. Because I know better. 

P and I sat down for a late lunch. I was still pretty bummed. ‘Hon, it was so hard’, I said. He said, ‘But you did it. You did it, and I don’t know why you’re being so hard on yourself. You ran 17 miles!! And it was a challenge! You keep saying half marathons are easy for you; you needed something else to reach for. This wasn’t easy, thats great! Challenges are hard; they’re supposed to be. Here’s your challenge!’ All of this was said in the most loving and encouraging tone.

I was fine after I got home. And even better than night, I had a nice little dance party while I cooked dinner for us. 

Also, I found this in my pocket around mile 9.

17 miles - Love Note

Olive and sinclair chocolate > Flowers 

All of It - Olive and Sinclair Chocolate > Flowers

Happy Valentine’s Day to me. I love you P!