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Monday, January 20, 2014

This weekend I ran for Meg, and for me.

It's been all over the web, the story of the Runner, Meg Menzies, who was killed by a drunk driver. This weekend I dedicated my runs to #megsmiles. I had wanted to do the runs outside, but weather and a sick husband made me change my plans.

Saturday, I had been planning on running with a local running group outside for my miles, as they were dedicating the run to #megsmiles, however when I woke up to get ready, my poor husband could barely open his eyes, let alone put together a coherent sentence. There was no way I could leave him
home alone with a toddler, so my run had to wait until later. Luckily he started feeling well enough to watch the toddler by the afternoon, so I was able to go upstairs and do my run on the treadmill.

I had 4 miles on the schedule, and I was feeling good. I considered making it five, but I had a long run coming up on Sunday, so I decided not to push it. I started out feeling comfortable, I was watching Arrow, and I was able to just kinda watch the show and not really pay attention to the fact that I was running. With about a half mile left, I started really concentrating on my running, not because I had to, but because this was a run for meg, and I wanted to really feel everything about it. I let myself concentrate on how my legs felt, how my lungs felt, everything. When I finished I took a quick shower and then hugged my husband and daughter really tight.

Sunday, I found out that everyone was extending the dedication to cover the entire weekend. I had 8 miles on the schedule, which was further than I have ever run before. Of course from here on out that's going to be every long run for a while. I wasn't feeling well in the morning, I was worried I was catching what had sidelined my husband on Saturday, but I was determined to get the run in, especially considering i needed a few more miles to make my goal for the Winter Miles Challenge. I wasn't able to get time for a run until around 5:30, and I had to peel myself away from the AFC championship game to do it, but I did it. I set myself up with two water bottles with sport tops, a Salted Caramel Gu, a packet of Shot blocks to try and a strawberry flavored Honey Stinger Waffle to try as well. I plugged into netflix to watch Arrow and set my pace a little slower than normal.

Surprisingly most of the run felt good. I remember that I didn't really even check my milage until halfway through mile 4. I remember thinking that I was halfway done at that point, and being really happy about it. Miles five and six went by really quickly, and I didn't really start to feel it until the last mile. For some reason after mile 7 I really had to push to finish it out. Every time I wanted to quit, I thought about meg again. I thought about how lucky I was to be running, how lucky I was to be able to feel the way my legs were starting to ache, and my hips were starting to complain.

After I finished I did some foam rolling and stretching, and had a glass of chocolate milk to help with the recovery. Today, I'm tired, and a little sore, but nothing near where I would have expected to be after an eight mile run.

I don't know if I've talked about this before, but when I started running, the first time, running even a mile seemed like a daunting task. My goal was a 5k, which I did, but even that distance seemed really long when I ran it. I never really trained past that point until recently. When I picked up running again last year, it was to loose weight, and to, again, train for a 5k. I had a trainer and I ended up running up to five miles (I think) during my training plan, and even ran the Firecracker Five Miler (which just about killed me.) Even then, I think the distances seems really long. I remember thinking I would never run further than five miles, and when I thought about marathons, even half marathons, the distances seemed crazy. I'm not sure when that changed. I can't pinpoint the moment when going out to run four miles was suddenly a "short" run, and when going out to run 13 miles stopped sounding crazy. It was recent, I do know that. I remember reading a blog and the writer was talking about they're recent long run (I can't remember which blog, but I think the run was around 16 miles,) and it struck me that I no longer saw that number and thought "Wow, that's incredible, and crazy. I would never do that." It still sounded long, but all of a sudden it sounded attainable.

My husband pointed out to me, while I was a sweaty mess stretching on our living room floor, that I was on the other side of halfway to my half-marathon goal. That I was closer to my goal than to the start. The fact that I had done it with enough energy left in my body to be present for my daughter for the next two hours before she went to bed (and not a collapsed mess on the floor,) was icing on the cake. Yes, it'll be different running outside, with hills and wind and everything, but I have a long time before the half marathon (a little over 13 weeks,) and depending on how I double up the weeks, up to 9 weeks left on the training schedule before I surpass the half marathon distance. Today is one of the days where I look at my goal, and think, I am actually going to do this.

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