So, this morning I woke up, pooped, put on my running gear, and headed out the door for a 17 mile run. (Actually, we ran 17 miles then walked 2 at the end as a cool down...so I went a total of 19 miles today.) That's right, running 17 miles is humanly possible, and, for me, it was absolutely WONDERFUL! So, you are probably asking yourself Why on earth would anyone run 17 miles on purpose? Well, as you know, I'm training for Tokyo Marathon and that was the distance for my long run this weekend. Then, you might ask yourself How can running 17 miles be wonderful? Well, when you surround yourself with positive running buddies that chat with you the whole time and encourage you when you get tired, that makes it wonderful. When you know that your buddies will push you when you need it, and carry you the way, either with their words, jokes or stories, running 17 miles is neither grueling, hard, painful, or a daunting task. Instead, it's a beautiful process that pushes you to your outer limits, both physically and mentally.
Here is my running process: I start off tight and then loosen up as my body and mind warm up and get into the groove of my feet hitting the pavement. As I settle into my comfortable running pace, my running buddies start discussing this and that. Before you know it, we've just ran 10 miles...then 12...then 15...then 17. It's not a long, boring task filled with sighs of discontent. Instead, it's a therapeutic chat with my best of friends...it becomes therapy for my body as it is worked to its full potential. My legs carry me the way through hills, switch backs and long straight-a-ways. My breathe becomes patterned and easy. Everything falls into place, as it should, and 17 miles becomes fun and wonderful.
We ran our 17 miles in just under 3 hours. For a midget Mexican momma with asthma, that's pretty good. Remember, I'm just a normal person with no actual running talent. In fact, I don't even call myself a runner. Even though I've already ran a marathon, I still don't feel like a real marathoner. I'm simply a social jogger. I like to be outside, smell the air, feel the cool breeze on my face and bask in the sun's glory. Running long distance allows me to do those things.
So, this morning's run was my best run yet. With each long run, I'm getting stronger mentally and physically. My body can bounce back from a long run in about 2 hours time. I feel no residual soreness or pain. I'm not sure why I don't get sore, but I consider it a blessing. Not getting sore allows me to run further than most...for that I feel blessed. I make sure to run smart. I drink every 15 minutes and eat every 45 minutes. I walk at least one mile at the end and stretch afterwards for about 30 minutes. Then, I spend the rest of the day drinking tons of fluids. I also make sure to hydrate the day before a long run and the morning of a long run. I also make sure to eat breakfast the morning of a long run. With proper stretching, food, hydration, and cool down, my body can handle the long distances well.
So, next Saturday I will run 20 miles. I think my schedule calls for 18 or 19, but I know I've got 20 in me. So, I'll shoot for 20 and see how I feel. I'm pretty sure I'm ready for 20 miles. So, that's my goal for next week. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Just another day in Weenie's World!