Monday, August 3, 2009

Running All Over Addiction

A few months ago, my husband I agreed to run as a team in the Running All Over Addiction event held this last Saturday. The run was created and hosted by a friend of ours to raise awareness and money for organizations that help people along the path to beat addictions. This is such a great cause that we didn't hesitate to commit ourselves to it. In the spirit of the cause, the run was 28 miles. The 28 signifies the number of days in many recovery programs.

Yes, 28 miles. Yes, that is farther than a marathon. Since we signed up as a team, each of us committed to running 14 miles. At least I had enough sense to know that I could never run 28 miles. When I agreed to run 14 miles, it was right after my last marathon and, frankly, 14 miles just didn't sound that far. 14 miles? Hey, I can crank that out any old time. No big whup. Oooh... I deserved something bad for getting cocky about my running.

As I've been lamenting all summer, my running since the marathon hasn't been the best. Only in the last few weeks have I been able to put together some 6-7 mile runs at a reasonable pace. I was starting to panic that about the 14 miles. Since the event was a run and not a race, I knew I could walk a lot of it, but that was just not appealing. I'm getting ready for my next triathlon in just two weeks and I was counting on this week to get some good training in. Hobbling around for several days recovering from the run just wouldn't work for me.

As any good mother of a 14 year old son would do, I talked him into running 7 of the miles for me. See, teenage boys are good for a lot of things: mowing the grass, reaching things on tall shelves, and running for their old lady. I was off the hook. I could stay in my comfort zone and our team would still get their 28 miles. Problem solved. Until... his best friend invited him over for a birthday party/sleep over. No matter how desperate I was to avoid running the whole way, I just couldn't ask him to miss that. Now I was on my own.

Did I jump into the run committed to running the whole way? No, are you crazy? I asked our friend/run organizer if I could drop after 7 miles and catch a ride to the finish. Seriously. She very nicely said yes. Now, keep in mind that many of the other people running were doing the whole 28 miles and some were even tacking on more mileage as training for marathons and ultras. This was an impressive group. Was I embarrassed that I was going to be the only quitter? No. I was committed to not overdoing it and doing what was best for my body.

It was a beautiful, cool morning with a breeze. It was a point to point run on a flat trail, the Luce Line, so the wind was at our backs the whole way. I ran the first 6 miles with a great group and we went at a leisurely pace, even for me. None of us was in a hurry and we were just enjoying the day. The rest of the way I ran with my friend and she very nicely ran my pokey pace with me and we chatted non stop. We reached 8 miles and I totally forgot that I was going to drop. Now I would have to wait until the next stop around 10 miles to catch a ride. I got to mile 10 and I felt really good. On to mile 12. At mile 12, I was tired but doing surprisingly well. Heck, now we are only 2 miles from the finish. Might as well go the whole way.

Despite all my worrying and planning for the worst, I made it! I had been in this funk lately, and I had it in my mind that I just couldn't run more than 7 or 8 miles right now. This run showed me that, if I take it slow, that I can still run long. I felt fine yesterday and did an easy bike ride. Today was the official start of my TC 10 Mile training and I did a tempo run. I hit my time goals and got the training off on the right foot. I really feel like the 14 mile run has gotten me over a mental block. On Thursday I'll do my first long run for the training cycle, 7 miles. I'm looking forward to it now and know that I can do it if I just do it at my own pace. I'm even more excited about the TC 10 Mile and am even thinking about signing up for a half marathon for the late winter or early spring. I hope that is the last I see of this running funk for a while... it was stinky.


Thomas Bussiere said...

Great job Beth with sticking it out! A few days before a race I often have self doubt creeping into my thoughts and challenge my confidence. Then I have to remind myself I did the long demanding training, and I’m stronger then I realize. When toeing the line and I hear 3 2 1 Go, only then do I relax and everything falls into place.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and providing encouraging words. It really helps to keep me motivated after having a disappointing race. I will be checking back soon to see how things are going for you.

Mark said...

Yay! It is really cool to see how everything fell into place to show you what you can do! Great pic!

Londell said...

Nice job. I have read and heard many times that doing the first few miles easy and casual makes the rest of the race much easier. I would look back at regret if I quit a race even if I knew before it started. So finishing just eliminated second guesses.

Congrats again on finishing when you really were not mentally ready to do so.

I Run for Fun said...

You did it, girl! See, you underestimated yourself. You rock! Way to go the whole way.

Porkchopwi said...

Ha. Fantastic job!

Why to stick it out and reduce your carbon footprint at the race (Ok, I donl't really mean that, but it sounds sorta hip, right?).

Nice job, glad you got out of that stinky funk -- which, if I recall correctly, teenage boys are also good for.

Velma said...

Great work - 14 miles is a big hurdle and you did great.

Love the comments about teenage boys - I can't wait for mine to start cutting the lawn :)

Nitmos said...

Sounds like you have more of a mental hurdle than a physical one to overcome. Knock down that wall! (Maybe you just did?!)

Or, next time, make the hubby run 21 while you do 7.

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Sunshine said...

Enjoyed your report.. good job. And on to the 10 mile training. Hope it goes well.
I'm hoping the heat rolling in doesn't last long.
Thanks for your encouragement.