Another Motivational Mondays that doubles as a run recap.
I wanted everything to go for Sunday's 22-mile run - my longest run ever - as it would at Surf City, from my attire to how I felt before the run to the run itself. This was as close as I would get to a marathon without actually running one so it was my chance to fine-tune things before Surf City. I took five packets of Gu, my phone, the headphones/hands-free kit, my pocketless shorts, my sunglasses and I resurrected an old friend, which I'll get to in a bit.
For breakfast I ate a bagel, an energy bar and drank half a bottle of Gatorade. It's the most I've eaten before a run but I wanted to simulate what I'd planned to eat before Surf City as well. I wanted to load up on carbs this morning but didn't want to overdo it.
I was nervous, yeah, but I was also anxious to get this done and over with. We've got 12 and 10 miles on the dockett the next two weeks respectively, so this was basically it as far as training goes.
The first part of the run flew by. Before I knew it, it was Mile 4 and I was eating my first Gu. Then, I felt my arm buzzing. It was actually the third or fourth time I felt my phone as I was apparently getting e-mails, but this time it kept buzzing. It was Mrs. LB! I'd asked her to call me and she did, and it worked great. I was able to talk to her just fine on the headphones/hands-free kit, and we might have to repeat that for Surf City.
For the next several miles, I got into a conversation with Angie of Angie Eats Peace about Harry Potter. She polished off the series over Christmas break and I'd listened to six of the seven books in the first stage of my weight-loss journey. At about mile 8, Angie split off to complete her own mileage. She was going for 12-15 she'd said and she wound up running about 13. She's training for the LA Marathon in March and is running the half at Surf City.
After that, I spent time talking with a couple of other Lopers, but since it was a dress rehearsal I figured I might as well try taking a few pictures. It took me a few tries but I managed to take a (bad) picture of yours truly.
I actually took a few more but they were not that great. The quality is fine but I kept moving the phone too soon and the pictures are of scenery and not much else.
We came across a gate as I was fumbling with the phone, trying to put it back on my arm sling or whatever that thing is called that holds iPods and MP3 players. So I took one last picture before tucking it away.
I also did something I don't usually do and started listening to music. I listened to two songs before getting back into a conversation with a fellow Loper.
Before we knew it, we were at Mile 14, then mile 15 and Mile 16. I felt great. The carbo-loading helped and my breakfast helped. At least, that's what I gave the credit to. I felt better at Mile 15 this week than I'd felt at the end of last week's 15-miler.
I did have one minor setback, which I eventually corrected. Since I took my pocket-less running shorts, I needed to find a place for my extra Gu. So I pinned two packets on my fuel belt. I barely felt them, and I'm definitely doing that again for Surf City. But when I went for the first one, I tried to undo the pin, got it undone and then tried to tear it off but it wouldn't budge. I fastened it back up and had no further issues, but that took some time.
When I went for the other Gu a few miles later, I simply tore it off and left the top still fastened to the safety pin. That worked much better.
Around Mile 17 we had a tough stretch. The route was mostly at an incline for about an entire mile, and when we finally came out to a straightaway and took a walk break, the whole lot of us seemed spent. There were about nine of us at this point, a solid group, and I can't speak for the rest of them but my heart was definitely working overtime at this point.
I called my body back into action and off we went. Before we knew it, we were at Mile 20, then 20.5. I'd been listening to music for the last few miles and it was working great, taking my mind off of the pounding my body was taking. I think it was around this point, I started to get a little emotional. This has been happening a lot lately, to be honest. I had to choke back tears, and it wasn't because I was in pain because I really wasn't, no more than usual anyway. I guess because the marathon is so close, I can feel it and everything, and I just keep thinking to how I was my whole life before, how big I was (300-plus pounds for eff's sake) and the journey that I've taken to get healthy and take on running and all that, and here I am about to tackle the biggest physical challenge for us lay people, something that I never could have foreseen myself doing, and I got choked up. I tried to keep from really getting overly emotional and kept clearing my throat, so I think nobody noticed, but it was hard.
Eventually, that subsided and soon we were closing in on Mile 21. I felt it at that point of course. This wasn't a stroll in the park after all. My feet felt hammered and my legs were two slabs of concrete attached to my increasingly-aching torso. But I pushed forward, got to 21.50, 21.58, 21.66, 21.75, 21.88, 21.95, 21.98, 21.99 and finally 22.0... but who was keeping track anyway?
I gave a fellow Loper a celebratary high-five as I slowed to a stop. Several of us were heaving, trying to collect ourselves before going in for a stretch.
I had to take another picture. Remember when I said I resurrected something? Check out my hat.
If I'm going to wear a hat for Surf City, I might as well sport my initials.
Surf City is near, and I for one can't wait for it.
My name is LB, and I'm ready for a marathon.