Monday, March 3, 2008

Survived 20 miles! – Heidi

I take making it through 20 miles up and back the heartbreak hills (and then up and back one more time to make 20 miles) was a major blow for freedom in terms of my mental state about April 21. Everything has been more of a challenge this year and that has definitely made me have a nagging feeling of worry about being prepared for the actual event. I was so surprised and excited to get another number from the Hospital this year. My first training runs were fueled by feeling so lucky to participate in this event again. Then the reality of juggling training with work and family set in and I had lost some of my positive outlook.

I got a good pep talk from one of my patients this week when she was in the office to see me. I'm obviously supposed to be the one helping my patients but I constantly learn from and am inspired by the people I meet at work. This particular woman has trained for 11 marathons and completed nine and is training for Boston as well. Her words of wisdom definitely gave me a boost.

I had been worried about fitting a 20-mile run into my week, which was already unusually busy with call on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. However, having missed more than a week of training, I felt like I had to somehow get a long run accomplished. When I left the Hospital Saturday morning it was snowing heavily and the roads weren't very clear. I had emailed my friend Carol about possibly running together and we had tentatively planned that she'd try to run 10 with me. We spoke and decided to re-evaluate the weather and the roads later in the morning. Around 11:00 am we met and drove to Comm. Ave. as we figured the carriage path would be the safest surface given the snow. It was raining lightly when we started up the hills (we began a little bit up the street from the fire station). Another solo runner on the course commented on the fact that we were certainly having lousy weather for training this year. But once we started the rain stopped and it was great to catch up with Carol. We ran 5.25 miles up and then returned to our cars for a total of a little over 10. I was feeling a little weary after the 10 but when Carol asked me what I was going to do I knew I had to try to get the rest of the mileage in. By dumb luck I had an extra pair of shoes, socks and gloves in my car as I was really wet and cold from the slushy conditions. We'd also had about 10 cars spray us at Centre Street when they drove by.

I said goodbye to Carol, got into my warm/dry stuff and headed back up the hills to repeat what we had just done. About 14 miles into the run, I had a burst of euphoria due to the fact that I felt that I'd be able to finish the 20 miles. Knowing I felt like I could do 20 gave me the confidence that I'd be able to be ready for the Marathon. By mile 15 I had lost the euphoria and energy and had emptied my pockets of stale clif shot blocks and energy beans to keep me going. Fortunately, the end of my run had more downhills than uphills. I was absolutely thrilled to see my car and be able to stop. I got home and took a nap after a long hot shower and high-protein lunch, which felt divine. Mentally it was a huge step to get that run accomplished!

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