The bad news: I got in zero runs in two weeks.
That made run numero 7 that much scarier.
We were getting to practice earlier than usual, and we'd be running our longest distance thus far - 8 miles. I had missed hill practice the week before and sent a mildly panicked email to Coach Dee Dee expressing my worry about this 8 miler. She kindly reminded me that I did the right thing (sleeping instead of running after a crazy week of work) and to basically STOP WORRYING. One of these days I will actually listen to that advice.
|Look at all of those smiles at 6:30 a.m.! That's dedication.|
I am beyond thankful that we started as early as we did. By 7:30 it was getting warm, and the lack of shade at Balboa Park was felt the entire time. Since my mileage is only getting longer, I thought I'd spend this week giving fuel gels a try, just to see if I liked them better than the Honey Stingers or Gu Chomps. I brought a pack of margarita flavored Clif Shots juuuust in case. Better safe than sorry, right?
I should've known this wasn't my bag when it took me 5 minutes to actually open the gel pack. Even with my teeth it was a struggle. I'm not sure what I was actually expecting the consistency to be like - Jello, maybe? - but it was AWFUL. Green apple (not even the sour kind, just the boring regular fake flavored green apple) and it was HOT. I have tried, for over a week now, to come up with what to compare the texture to, and the only thing I can think of is gravy. Disgusting, right? Gravy is amazing when its gravy and made with turkey fat and flour, not when its green apple flavored and yet also the temperature of your body. Gross, gross, gross. Glad I figured this out now and not on race day! #trusttheprocess
I'm not going to lie - I was feeling every one of those days I hadn't run. I usually hit my stride and don't need a lot of motivation to cover the miles, but this day I was slacking. My feet felt like bricks, I had completely forgotten about my walk form, and I was tempted to stop and take photos every few minutes to give myself something to distract me from feeling so heavy.
|"Don't wait for me!" - Me.|
I ended up running with Nancy and another Disneyland participant, Julie, who was in my pace group. We talked race outfits and Disney course support and the Sad bus, and both agreed that we would run together on race day and take photos with every character we saw. It made the last few miles fly by, and we even stopped to take at least one photo.
Julie and I sprinted towards the team tunnel at the finish and I had never been more excited to actually finish a run. When Nancy checked her watch, and I checked my RunKeeper, we realized we went a wee bit further than the 8 miles we were supposed to run:
Almost 9 miles? I'll take that! RunKeeper also gave me this nice boost of confidence:
Even though I'm really just competing with myself, it was a great feeling knowing I had reached a goal that seemed so far away just mere weeks ago. I also had to recognize that I did have the option of getting out and running 5 miles, and I'm so glad I didn't. I didn't hurt that bad afterwards (nothing some foam rolling couldn't fix!) and Julie came through with some chocolate milk at the end which was exactly what I needed.
If I can run 9 miles, I can run this half marathon. Bring it on, Disney!