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Exhausted, But Good

on April 28, 2014

Wow….what a week.  It was crazy busy and this upcoming week is going to be even worse.  There are a lot of great things going on, but the schedule is completely packed.  Stress level high, hours of sleep low….but this too shall pass.

As far as last week’s training….went well.  I was happy with my mid week runs and workouts.  But mostly, I was elated with my long run.   I had a 20 miler on tap for the long run this week.  Honestly, I had no idea how it would go.  Because of our intensely busy schedule, I had to juggle my long runs quite a bit.  The 20 miler HAD to happen this weekend.  There was no juggling allowed.  And because of the juggling, I was quite nervous.  I knew I would finish the 20, or at least I figured I would finish.  However, I had no idea how I would actually feel.  

Looking ahead to the weekend, I knew that I had to get out and run Saturday morning, and here’s why.  Saturday was our son’s senior prom and pictures were to start with his group at 1pm.  My husband is the junior class advisor at school and so that means we chaperone the dance.  We had to be at school for last minute stuff at 5pm and be ready for parents by 7, grand march at 8, and then the dance.  Sunday morning was Mass, then drive an hour to return the tux, drive an hour back, have about an hour to relax, then back to school for prom tear down and set up the gym for our spring band concert tomorrow.  I had a window of Saturday morning to run 20 miles.  So that’s what I did.

I got started a little later than I had wanted.  I headed out on a local highway that I run on quite a bit.  I had a plan to go out 10 miles, turn around and come back.  Perfect.  But here’s an odd thing about me….I am sometimes very fickle mentally.  What I mean by that is sometimes it’s difficult for me to think of runs in certain ways.  For example, sometimes I really CANNOT approach a run thinking I have to turn around and run back.  I literally NEED to have a “point A to point B” route.  Sometimes it’s the other way around.  I can’t wrap my mind around a “point A to point B” and I NEED to have a turnaround route.  There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to my thinking.  It seems to very random.  Case in point, Saturday.

I had planned to run 10 miles out, turn around and run back home…..I had planned that all week.  Mentally I was prepared for that and I told my husband about my plans.  I started out and everything was feeling great.  I got to the 5 mile mark and I was under the time it usually takes me.  I felt extremely happy.  And then, everything changed mentally.  I could no longer do what I had planned.  I could NOT get to 10 miles and turn around.  I have no idea what really switched in my brain, but there was no way I was going to turn around after 10 miles.  So my plan changed.

I decided at 5 miles that I was going to run the length of this highway.  The highway I was on ends after about 18 miles at a T intersection of another highway.  Actually, it has been a goal of mine for quite some time to run from my driveway to that other highway T intersection.  In that instant at the 5 mile mark, I made the decision I was going to keep going.  I sent a text message to my husband telling him my plans.  I would text him when I got there and he could leave and come pick me up.  Since that route is 18 miles, I had no problem turning around then and running back a couple of miles until he got there.  

The route is hilly, but the sun was shining and everything felt so good.  As I got closer to the next highway and could see the signs for it, I started to feel emotional.  I don’t know how long it has been a goal of mine to run the entire highway, but here I was nearly done and I didn’t even set out to do it that day.  I got there, and looked to make sure no cars were coming as it’s a very busy highway, and then ran out onto it to actually STEP on it.  Probably silly, but it was meaningful to me.  My husband was on his way, and I turned around and started running back.  That turnaround didn’t bother me at all, because I knew I was so close to being done and that my husband would be there soon.  

I got in the 20 and felt so great.  As my husband was approaching me on the highway, he started honking the horn as he knew how long I have wanted to run the whole highway.  I was so happy with how I felt the entire run.  It gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel happy with how I am coming along in training. I did a 3.5 mile recovery run today and legs are in good shape.

When we got home Saturday, I got out the foam roller again.  I haven’t talked a lot about foam rolling, but I love and hate it, but I did put in a good session of it and then ice.  And for that matter, I feel the same way about ice baths.  Love and hate ’em. But they both are essential parts of my training.

Coming up this week, as I said, it’s crazy busy.  Probably the busiest week of our year at school for my husband, our son, and me.  My main goal, other than getting in my miles, is trying to keep my head clear.  

One thing that made me smile about my Saturday run….this morning after Mass, I started running to the car as it was cold and starting to rain.  I passed a woman who has a daughter in our son’s grade.  I said “good morning” as I was running past her and I heard my husband say the same thing.  When he got in the car he told me of their brief conversation:

Woman:  Was she out running yesterday? (They live on a farm along the highway I was running on)

Hubby:  Yes, she ran 20 miles yesterday.

Woman:  Wow!  Well we saw her and our daughter said, ‘There goes Mrs. Powell again’.  We see her running a lot out there!

I couldn’t help but smile.  Have a great week everybody!

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