Sweet 16

Remember how I said I wasn’t even thinking about my run, not psyching out about it or anything? Well I wasn’t, but I am pretty sure my subconscious was. Friday night I was in bed at 10pm, and decided I needed to finish Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. I’m glad I did, it made me laugh, it inspired me and by 11pm I was ready to be up at 5:30. Ish.

I wasn’t however, prepared to be awake at 1am, 2am, 3:30am because I did a miraculous job pre-hydrating.

Despite my interrupted sleep, I woke up at 5:20am, proceeded to get dressed and ready for my run…and fall back asleep. It happens! Nonetheless, I was out and running by 6:45am.

This run I did a few things different.

  • I ran without a watch for the first time in my running life. I refused to stress pre, during or post-run so I ditched the watch altogether and ran solely on how I was feeling. It was my first attempt at anything similar to zen running and I loved it. I don’t plan on wearing a watch for my next two long runs of 18 and 20 miles; it made the run much better for me
  • The CamelBak! It was wonderful! Of course I could hear the water moving with each stride, which I got a kick out of. I was making jokes to myself while passing people because the sloshing was so loud. I was impressed because it didn’t make me chafe, wasn’t heavy, wasn’t uncomfortable, and it held plenty of water and water/Powerade Zero mix…it was perfect! It even has a pouch to keep my phone and ShotBloks in so I can text my mom and let  her know I’m still alive…ha!
  • ShotBloks; I have been somewhat uncertain as to how many I want/need during runs, but this time around I ate 2 at mile 10 and another at mile 13 and it seemed to give me that extra pep I needed to keep on trucking.
What I would have changed:
  • It would have been nice for it to not be 80 degrees when I started running. I’m ready for fall, Kansas!
  • I need to find a long run course that doesn’t have so many hills. I love running where I do, but I have read that it’s best to do long runs on flatter courses because it’s a little easier on your body. And I’m training for a flat race…duhhhh.
  • New running shoes. I’m embarrassed to admit how many miles mine have on them. I’m hoping that I have time to get some this week.
  • I NEED to invest in either long running compression shorts or capris. By mile 14-15 I was literally ringing sweat out of my shorts. Seriously…it was gross. I felt so lame because I sweat so much but then I was passed by a guy with equally drippy sweaty shorts and it reminded me that I had earned those drippy sweaty shorts. I was running 16 miles, ya’ll!
By the end of the run I was feeling like a kid who just walked into a surprise birthday party; “Is this really happening?! Did this REALLY happen?!?!?” Here’s a visual:
This 16 miles was a PDR (personal distance record) and I am feeling it today, it’s nice to be sore from a run again.
On a final note, I want to tell you something from my run that really had an impact on me.
As many of you know, I don’t want to run to just run or to be a runner for myself. I have mentioned how I want to use it to give back, and I realize that where I am in my life right now is preparing me for whatever is in store for my running future. I give back in the opportunities I currently have, and am staying faithful and humble in that my current persistence will help me prevail in the future.
I also believe that everything happens for a reason. I bought the CamelBak on Friday and there was a purpose for it, I took the route I took at the time I took it this morning for a reason, I took a stop to refill  my water supply and grab ShotBloks for a reason. Around mile 12, an older man from the Runner’s Edge, a local running group came up and was running alongside me. We were chatting and he is training for his 10th Chicago Marathon, yesterday was his 18 mile day. Since the Runner’s Edge group had only done 14 miles today, they had picked up and taken the water stations and this man was on mile 14 and hadn’t had water for about 40 minutes. Without  thinking I stopped and pulled out the straw for the CamelBak and gave him as much as he needed. He was shocked that I was offering him water from my supply, and replied with a “Bless you, you may have just saved my life, I had gotten dry mouth and wasn’t sure how I would make it…” This man is also a pastor I had learned. We reached the fork in the trail and we would go our separate ways, though I didn’t see him again, I said prayers that he would be effortlessly carried on his last 4 miles.
Maybe this was just the start of what my giving back in running will entail, but as I sit here typing, I am reminded that all we have isn’t ours and everything we do in life has a purpose. Even when it seems like you’re just getting along in your day to day life and can’t see the big picture, just know that there is a purpose.
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