Saturday, June 06, 2009

Small Victories

About 6:00 this morning, I get up, get dressed and peered outside. Rain, but slowly stopping. Next, I drove around my usual running spots to figure out where I was gonna lay down 8 miles.
I checked out the dirt road near the blackhawk heliport. Verdict: too muddy. I need to run today and minimize issues.
Next, I went over to where I had done my off-road runs near the grenade qualifying area. On the way there, I was eyeing Hatch Road. It runs from Andrews, the main road, to the Apache and Chinook heliports. I mark out 4 miles from Andrews to Engineer Road. Going out-and-back twice makes 8 total. This way I'll have access to my car halfway through.
Right away someone stops to ask if I need help. Nice! I guess you know you're a distance (vs sprint) runner when you're running by yourself, in the middle of nowhere, so that any reasoning person would think you're stranded.
I set out in the grass along the road at 6:50 a.m. Within a few steps, I realize, my shoes are getting soaked. Now, I've just mentioned getting wet/dirty twice, so before I start sounding like I can't deal with that I should note that I've run in mud, ice, rain, snow and temps so cold that my hair froze and sweat froze outside my clothing. My real worry is that wet = blisters. Especially if you don't have the right socks and I was wearing a target lycra-cotton mix that I didn't know if I could trust.
Runners, like animals in the wild, are constantly mindful of any and all factors that will take you out. For most, blisters are one of those and they freaking take forever to heal.
After quickly mind scanning alternative locations I decided firstly that my shoes AND socks were already completely soaked. So relocating won't change that circumstance. Secondly, any other location besides the Beaver Lake paved trail would also pose wet feet/sock issues. Short trail loops? Sidewalk? I'm already bored just thinking about it - no way.
I press on, sloshing. For being mostly a country road surrounded in forests, the grass was mostly short to medium length. I got whippings across my legs often, but it wasn't bad. The hills were tolerable - mostly long and I walked when I needed to. After 4 miles I was back at my car and ate an organic fruit roll up in loo of an energy gel. I've never loved gels and now that I have food sensitivities, I want to experiment with other sources of natural sugar/energy. I think it worked with only a little stomach upset right after consuming it, then going away quickly. I also carried my baby gatorade (powerade zero) bottle, drinking all of it over the course of 8 miles. My run ended at 8:20 on the mark for a total of 1 hr 30 min.
I ended with walking a lot of the last mile probably. My legs felt full of lactic acid and soreness was setting in. The energy blast from any stores were running out. But, ending, I felt really good. I couldn't have gone another mile with any decent effort but 8 miles was exactly where I needed to be and took pushing but not too much.
I'm ALMOST back to half-marathon distance!! It also felt like a small victory knowing I can definately knock out a 10k. That is one thing that I do love about running.. it's a series of small victories. A negative thought, pushed through. A twinge of soreness, worked out. Basic necessities felt, like thirst, and satisfied. Fatigue sets in, and then restoration.
I thought of a lot of very other elloquent sounding philosophies about running and how it's life in miniature, but most thoughts were lost among the miles. *sigh*
Next week I will probably drop down to 6 miles again before upping the next week to 8 or 10 miles. I should probably repeat my 8 miler and keep building slowly and patiently.
P.S. I ended up with only one blister; left foot, pinky toe. Popped it and spread antibacterial on to hopefully speed healing!

1 comment:

  1. YAY!!! I am so proud of you and so jealous at the same time! I so wish I was ready for that kind of mileage...but alas..I am not. I also love the pictures you posted changes the whole feel of the post! So proud of you keep up the good work!