Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blue Sky For Miles

[Insert cliche about "the journey" here.]

Eleven Down

Another great run today. We’ve been very lucky this season with the weather. We had a beautiful, breezy morning on the lakefront path, about 70 or so degrees. The weather gods have been smiling – here’s to hoping they will cooperate for the half marathon.

Eleven miles. Wow. The first seven miles flew by, Meg and I chatted most of the way. It still amazes me when we say things like, “Only four miles to go.” Only? Huh? That’s pretty incredible considering we were well over an hour into the run.

We finished at 2 hours 22 minutes, according to my watch, which included a couple extended water/Gatorade/Gu breaks. We stopped four times, and my guess is each of those breaks was approximately (at least) 2-3 minutes, which puts us either just over or just under a 12 minute pace. Not bad. I will say, I ate two Gu packets (for some reason they didn’t taste so bad this week, nor did they mess with my stomach), but still, when we hit that two-hour mark, I was starving again, which of course effected my energy. I wouldn’t say I struggled through the last two miles – I think I was still pretty solid and did manage to pick up the pace a bit the last mile – but I definitely would have benefited from one more Gu.

I’m feeling good post-run. Knees are a little sore, but my mental clarity is good (this was a problem last year… after the particularly hot and long runs last year I would be completely disoriented for hours) and my stomach isn’t bothering me at all.

Not too much more to go! Next week we run 8 miles, then 12, another cutback week, and then Hello half marathon!

Shifted
I experienced a long-overdue shift in perception and priority in the midst of my Tuesday Spin class as I was watching droplets of sweat hit the floor below me during a particularly rough seated climb. I kept turning the resistance on my bike up, imagining that I riding up some massive hill in the Outdoors. I pushed myself harder and harder when I realized, Oh my God. I'm pushing myself. Completely moronic, right?

But seriously... I'm wasn't just half assing it so I could say I got a work out in; I wanted to be stronger, to be faster, to build my endurance, and sweat like I came to SWEAT. No one was there to turn up the resistance up for me, no one was telling me what to do or how hard to work, it was all me and I wanted it. Moreover, this workout -- and all other workouts -- was not just a means to an end of losing weight. Sure, I have weight loss goals, but suddenly, it occurred to me that this was no longer about being skinny like it had been for as far back as I can remember. Now, this is about being strong... and then being even stronger. This is about seeing how far I can push myself... and then pushing myself even farther.

Wow.

I always just assumed myself a product of too many fashion magazines and fad diets and I would never be able to separate the idea of being healthy from the desire to be thin. When did this happened? When did these goals -- that have nothing to do with a dress size or a number on the scale -- take over my life and suddenly give me a much more balanced outlook on dieting and weight and fitness?

It's about time.

Makes Me Wonder
Final note (not to mention... speaking of...): One thinks that she is ready to run is ready to run farther. And (AND!) one keeps wondering if it’s possible to get her hands on a bright and shiny black market Chicago Marathon bib…

We shall see...

1 comment:

L Sass said...

Hey, I jumped here from Heidi's blog. I've run 1 marathon (running my second in October) and running races has had the exact same effect on me--it helps me view my body as functional rather than decorative... I work out / run to be more FIT (honestly, more fit), not just to lose weight!

It's a great feeling, right?

Also, I love Trader Joe's more than my own family... you may be my soul mate. :)