Even though I had a GREAT run on Wednesday morning, I managed to start feeling ill again, as in another head cold. GREAT... I started taking Airborne that evening. I must say - those magical seltzer-like tablets prevented the headcold from getting any worse. My friend Melissa told me about it -- thanks, girlfriend! Nonetheless, I did go through the rest of the week feeling under the weather, so I opted out of the end-of-the-week run. I wanted to get as strong as possible for the 15-miler. On Friday the opportunity to do it NOT ALONE came my way, and I was thankful for that. My friend Kathryn (who will do 50 miles on her 50th birthday) needed to do 30... so I was a good candidate to do the last half with her.
Here I am at work on Friday sporting my Friday-before-the-marathon shirt -- just 3 weeks early!
Kathryn sent me a text message at 5:45 AM on Saturday that she wouldn't be able to do the 15 with me. Rats! I decided to sleep a little more since we weren't planning to meet until after 10 AM anyway. Chasen had to go into work, so I really had the whole day to myself. I decided to put off the 15-miler until Sunday when he'd be around. So I spent 3+ hours cleaning the house. Part of that was arranging this "Runner's Bouquet" for the breakfast table. Ha ha ha!
Sunday morning came and, as usual, I was not into the idea of running 15 miles. I really have been struggling lately; this is not news. At 2:21, though, I hit the start button. I intended to run out 7.5 miles and then run home. Once I got going, I felt great. I even called Chasen at the halfway point and told him to write down my time -- I intended to do a negative split!
Well, before I even got to mile 9 it was getting REALLY DARK. I know, I know... I run in the darkness of the morning all the time. But having dusk sneak up on me was NOT fun. I had neither my head lamp or my blinky light with me. I felt like a target out there. I made it to mile 10 and refilled my water bottle at a gas station. The girl said "Are you running out there?" in disbelief. Yes, sadly, I was. It was DARK. And I was 5 miles from home. And Chasen had gone to turn in a homework assignment 45 minutes from our house. Yikes! So I pushed forward to mile 11 where I stopped at a well-lit dairy bar. I filled my water again and decided I HAD to get home. But I really, really felt unsafe. It was so dark and there was little to no shoulder on the road (which isn't nearly as big a deal in daylight when people can see me). I am a tough cookie, but I DO NOT have a death wish! So I called Chasen. He was halfway home. I finally parked it in front of a water tower. Soon he arrived.
Mind you, I was really, really sore by this point. We went home and I got my blinky light and a head lamp and headed out to try to do the last 4 miles. I made it 2.5 more miles and honestly couldn't go any further. I wanted to, but my body would not let me. I did 13.5 miles. I called Chasen from the church parking lot and asked him to come and drive me up the hill to home. He massaged my poor ole legs and exclaimed that they were WAY TIGHT. Woe is me. I felt like a big loser who couldn't do the miles. I wondered how on earth I'd ever do the whole dang marathon. Again.
He encouraged me to go and get a shower and I'd feel much better. While in the shower I had a breakdown; one that eventually led to tears, I am a bit embarrassed to say. I told him (he was standing right outside by the sink) that I felt like I couldn't do anything right. He reassured me that I could, and that -- my goodness -- I had been under the weather all week and had a sore foot (two sore feet, actually, but that's a whole new thing that dear Shirley is helping me cope with). I did FINE, he said, because 13.5 is nothing to scoff at. I told him it was not 26.2 and how on earth would I do it? He reassured me that I had all of the same feelings before the LR Marathon and that I would do JUST FINE. I'd just like to say that it is AMAZING to have such a strong supporter in my corner! He sure "put me in my place," in a sweet, reassuring way.
Here are some funny/negative thoughts I had while running:
1. If I ever eat another Power Bar, it will be too soon.
2. I hate all types of Gu's.
3. Sharkies are awful.
4. Sport Beans are tolerable.
5. Why on earth am I doing this again?
Here are my splits: (which were very good, in my book - maybe that's why I was so worn out)
Mile 1: 11:28
Mile 2: 12:39
Mile 3: 12:11
Mile 4: 11:31
Mile 5: 11:37
Mile 6: 11:07
Mile 7: 11:40
Mile 8: 12:26
Mile 9: 11:53
Mile 10: 12:30
Mile 11: 11:52
Mile 12: 12:07
Mile 13: 12:11
Mile 13.5: 6:03
Average: 11:57 per mile (wow!)
So - less than three weeks until the big day. Oh my! I am ready. I am so ready. I wish it was here already. I really do. I just want to DO IT ALREADY. Chasen said that I felt the same way before Little Rock. Old habits die hard.