Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Run

This morning was my first run since my race. I know it wasn't that long ago - like four whole days - but it still seemed significant when I set out this morning.

It was raining. Hard. The "lazy me" wanted to stay inside, go back to bed, extend my recovery by another day. But the "beast" wanted to go out and play - rain or no rain - and the "beast" won this round.

It was still relatively warm - 71 - so, once I got moving, the temp felt perfect. And the rain wasn't nearly as drenching as it sounded like from inside my house. It was actually more of a gentle shower, welcoming the day, quenching the thirst of the dry ground and inviting me back to my roots.

This is where I started - running. I've always considered myself a runner, even though when I started years ago, I was painfully slow. I think that label helped get me out the door on mornings like these, when it would have been easier to stay in bed. It helped me push my six month old son in that old jogging stroller over miles and miles in the heat and humidity when it would have been easier to stay in the air conditioning. It helped me to quell the "fat monster" who insisted I was a cow every time I passed a mirror. I was a runner. That was power to me.

This morning helped me to believe that I'm still a runner. I'm a little quicker than I used to be, and that feels good. I'm a lot stronger than I was at the beginning of the season, and that feels awesome. This morning's run was a new route that Tri Hubby discovered a couple of days ago - its an addition to an already hilly route we've been running since we moved to this 'hood. The addition includes three more hills, two of them very steep. We drove it yesterday and it looked pretty intimidating, especially considering the long, slow grind of a hill that finishes mile three of the route. You know what's waiting for you at the top of those hills - more hills! I used to hate hills - they reminded me of my limitations, aggravated my asthma and often forced me to a walk. But today, today the hills seemed to melt underneath my feet. Just like they did on Saturday. I still only averaged 11:00 miles, but I felt like I was flying. And, more importantly, I felt strong, at ease, natural. I felt like a runner.

Sitting here now, I'm a little sore. My legs are certainly voicing their displeasure for putting them through those particular 5 miles. They'll get over it, though. They're gonna have to. We've got a marathon to run, after all. Gulp. A marathon.

So, after yesterday's post, the consensus seems to be that the marathon will be hard. Really Hard. As in: The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done. Except for possibly childbirth - that was a bitch of an endurance race for me: three days culminating in the birth of a bouncing 10 lb. baby boy. Yes, I said three days and yes, he was ten pounds. And no, I didn't have a C-section. Thankfully, the last nine hours were blessed by an epidural. But, I digress.

I hope I don't get injured. I hope I don't DNF. I hope I don't fall over. I'm NOT planning on racing the thing. Its gonna be years before I'm ready to actually RACE 26.2 miles. I'm just hoping to finish. I think I'm partway doing this to talk myself out of wanting to do an Ironman. I figure after the misery of a marathon, I'll be able to quench that little desire burning in the back of my head. Now is not the time for IM. Not in my life. As our friend, Bold says in today's post, Ironman is not the measure of a person, but how you manage life around Ironman is. I cannot manage life around Ironman training right now - that mountain is going to have to wait. As I have come to realize, however, the "beast" is not easily placated. She wants what she wants when she wants it. So, I'm feeding her a little marathon. See how that sits with her. I'm hoping that fills her belly for awhile.


Krista said...

This is a fabulous post and all, but I'm still focused on the TEN POUND BABY part! Good Lord - I think if you've done that, a marathon should be a piece of cake!

Kim said...

ummm right, i think a 10 pounder squeezing it's way through my wooha might be a LITTLE more painful than running a marathon... just think of it as running two half-marys... you CAN and you WILL do it.... and i'll be cheering you on from the bloggerland sidelines!

Vickie said...

Sometimes its hard changing gears--triathlon--running--triathlon--running. But to do either a tri or a marathon, you must run, so its good to get back to that as the main goal again. It will only help in any future tris you do, and I have a feeling it will lead to bigger things. But, one step at a time. Baby steps to an unknown path you are on. Scary and exciting at the same time.