Yesterday I crossed a mental finish line – I ran 13.1 miles.
I had told myself that working up to that goal would be something for the fall. Don’t push it. Don’t get injured. Well, the Dutch are notoriously stubborn and I am no genetic anomaly. This past Wednesday I had ran 10 miles and that was a huge milestone for me as it was the furthest I had pushed myself. After the 10 I felt great and just had some expected muscle soreness that I rolled out with my handy stick! (www.thestick.com) So yesterday when I hit the pavement I told myself, “…you’re doing 13.1, unless you feel like physical damage is being done, you’re doing it!”
OK, go! I started. The first 5k actually wasn’t all that inspiring if I’m being quite honest. I chalked it up to wearing my more minimalist model of shoe (Altra Impulse rather than my Altra Provision 2.5) and that my legs probably hadn’t fully recovered from my Wednesday run. I slowed my pace, focused on form… Just. Keep. Going. At the 7mi more I was feeling a bit better, worked out some of the kinks, hit my stride. Ten miles in: my calves started to cramp and feel tight, my feet ached, my upper traps and rhomboids burned – focus on form, focus on posture, shake out the arms. Just. Keep. Going.
The last 3.1 miles were tough. I made it to 11 miles and then only a mere 2.1 miles left! My brain somehow told my body this was great news and I – Just. Kept. Going. I peeked at my GPS and saw that I was at 12.97 miles and decided the time was at 2:26 and some seconds. I decided to sprint. What this sprint may have looked like I’m not quite sure, but I muscled through to finish my first 13.1 miles in 2:28:06!
The longest walk –
Slowing down to a quiet walk, I was by myself. No music in my ears, no cheering crowds, no proud family. Just me. My muscles burned. My feet ached. But I had a crazy sense of pride that I had done it. It was possible! Who the heck am I?! I was the fat kid in high school who would be lapped on the track by my classmates whilst they snickered, sometimes under their breath and sometimes with the cruelest of laughs and jokes. This time was mine! I walked up the gravel, wooded path to the parking lot of this area. Stretched for a while after getting to my car. It’s time to go home. Be proud. Know that this is just the beginning.
13.1? What about 26.2? Maybe one day that will be another entry. In the meantime I will –
Just. Keep. Going.