Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fifteen Miles, Baby!

Yeah, that's right, 15 miles!

This run had me really nervous.  If you follow me on FB, then you know that I started to freak out when I woke up yesterday.  You all came through with so many kind words of encouragement and advice.  Thank you!

One of my worries, was how I would stay hydrated and fueled on my long run.  Remember, I am running almost 3 hours.  I knew I couldn't carry enough with me nor did I really want to.  I also didn't want to spend that much time running alone.

My first goal was to ask a friend to meet me at various spots with water, gatorade and gels.  I asked my friend Lori because she doesn't live that far from where I would be running.  Yesterday, I packed a bag with everything I wanted and dropped it off to her. This was huge to me.  Now I could just carry my fuel belt and refill it when I saw her.  First worry solved!

Next, running alone.  I put it out there on FB that I was looking for someone to run with me. Any distance, but my pace.  I got two takers.

My friend Jenn said she would meet me and run about 3 miles with me.  My friend Kathy was heading to the beach for her first surfing lesson and was going to meet me after for a few miles.  I felt so good about this.

By the time I went to bed, I was feeling very confident. I slept well and woke up ready to go, but first, I had to get the kids off to school.

Once they were on the bus, I grabbed my stuff and hit the road.

It was a beautiful morning.  Mid 60's and sunny.  I decided to save my music and podcast's for later, so I just ran and took in all the sights and sounds.  I was meeting Jenn 2.5 miles from my house.

When I saw her, I was so happy.  We started running right away.  She is just getting back to running after a foot injury and said she would be good for 2, maybe 3 miles.  I was good with whatever she wanted.

Conversation was great and we were running a pretty good pace.  I felt good and so did Jenn. In fact, when we hit 1.5 miles and I suggested we turn around to get back to her car, she said she wanted to keep going. Great!

We headed straight to the beach where we thought we would see Kathy getting ready for her surf lesson.  When we got there, we didn't see her car or anyone that looked like they were getting ready to surf.  We hung there just for a minute or two, but I had to keep going so we headed back to Jenn's car.

When we headed back we saw Lori for the first time.  I downed a small Gatorade and refilled one of my water bottles.  We thank Lori and moved on.

The run was getting a little tougher and I started to feel it.  It was also a little warmer, but not killer temps.  I still felt good though.

We were getting close to Jenn's car when she asked how many miles. We were at 8.63. She said that when I hit 9, that would be 60% of my run.  This made me smile, one, because she was doing math and I could barely think and two, because, yay, I was more than half way there!

Jenn ended up going 6 miles and she felt great!  I am so happy that she is better and running again.  We said our goodbyes with a big hug and she said she would join me again next week for my 16 miler.  More smiling!

From here, I headed back to the beach to meet Kathy.  I decided I needed some music now and turned on my iPod.  Starting to run alone, I was thinking about all my friends, those who run and those who don't.  I have truly been blessed with some very special people in my life.

I run because I love it. It makes me happy and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life.  It keeps me foucused and sets a good example for my kids.  But if you know me, you know I am all about the social activity in my life and when I found running, I found another outlet to have fun with my friends and my family.  Yeah, I was smiling as I wrote that.

I was about 1.5 from the beach when my phone buzzed.  Thinking it was Kathy wondering where I was, I looked at it and to my horror I read, "Couldn't finish.  I busted my nose. Don't think it is broken but need ice on it ASAP. Sorry I can't run you to the end."

Holy cow, I was so upset and there was nothing I could do to help her. I worried about her and when I got to the beach, I looked for her car in case she was sitting in it and not able to drive.  I was happy to see it wasn't parked there and thought she must of made it home.

When my Garmin beeped for 12 miles I looked at it and it read 2:18.  OMG, I can make my 2:30 goal for 13 miles.

I am not sure why, maybe all the training, maybe because I got my fuel and hydration down, but I have never felt this good at this distance before.  I was even able to pick up my speed.

As I rounded the corner of the sea wall, I saw Michelle of For the Love of Running.  Michelle has been a huge inspiration in my life for some time now and she has been there for me to answer any questions I  throw at her.

I truly believe that things happen for a reason and seeing her at the moment was perfect!  I am not sure what she asked me. Either how are you feeling or what mile are you in, either way, my answer was, "this is mile 13 and I feel great!"  She said I looked good and wished me well.  I ran away with a huge smile and a goal in mind.

This was my fastest mile.  I kept looking at my Garmin, then looking ahead, and so on.  I hit 13.1 miles in 2:30:15!  Seriously, I was flying high!

I turned around, had a Cliff Shot and water and went on my way.  Back down the seawall with the most beautiful view and back through the parking lot.  It was at the end of the lot that my Garmin hit 14 miles.  I know you have all been waiting for this...

I got tears in my eyes.

I pulled it together quickly but I was really feeling my legs and I wanted to stop.  I was slow here and I was going up hill. Despite that, I made it and as soon as my Garmin beeped for 15 miles, Lori was parked just up ahead of me.  I was so happy to see her!

She drove me home and took my pic.  I thanked her again. Without Lori and Jenn, I would still be out there, LOL.

Once I was home, I did what every mommy, running, blogger does and told the world!  I couldn't help myself.  I felt high and I could not calm down.  I did something I thought was impossible and it was one of the greatest feelings in the world.
This is what 15 miles looks like!

I am not so worried about my 16 miles next week.  I will enlist the help of my friends again. Jenn already said she is up for it.  I know it may not be as good as today, but I don't have the fear of not finishing that I did with today's run.  Fifteen miles is quite the confidence builder.

I also called Kathy but got her answering machine.  I was worried about her and wanted to know how she felt.

Once I was out of the shower, in my compression socks, with my feet up, she called.  It's not good friends.  She has multiple non-displaced fractures to her nasal cavity, anterior maxillary and below her right eye.  (hope I am saying all that right)  Crazy!

She is to rest for two weeks with no heavy lifting or surfing.  She made me smile though, because she was telling me how she hoped they would be able to reschedule her lesson.  Way to get back on the horse Kathy!  Send her some good thoughts for a quick recovery, please and thank you.

I had a couple hours before the kids came home, which was really nice.  I was well rested when they got off the bus.  We had a busy night ahead of us.

We went to dinner, the school book fair and then open house in each of their classrooms.  This was really nice.  They were both so excited to show me their art work, desk, reading and writing journals.  I loved it!  What I really loved was that I was standing and walking without any trouble.  I don't think that would of happened last year.  I am so thankful that this training is going well and I am in such good shape.  Let's hope it continues.

This is not an easy sport that I got myself into and, well, 26.2 miles is crazy.  But here I am and I have never been happier.  Bring on crazy, I am ready for you!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole




34 comments:

  1. Congrats on a great long run! What a great plan you had put together!

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    1. Thank you! Yes it worked well and I will do that again if I can.

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  2. Congratulations! I am also running my first marathon in Philly and have 17 miles this weekend. I run with friends at home, but am out of town this weekend so I have to run 17 solo miles. I haven't done a long run alone since July and that was only 9. So, I understand your initial fear and I hope my run goes as smoothly as yours!

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    1. Good luck on your 17! It's a long way to go without company, but since you are out of town, maybe you will discover some new and cool things. Good luck! I will be thinking of you.

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  3. Congratulations! I am also running my first marathon in Philly and have 17 miles this weekend. I run with friends at home, but am out of town this weekend so I have to run 17 solo miles. I haven't done a long run alone since July and that was only 9. So, I understand your initial fear and I hope my run goes as smoothly as yours!

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  4. It sounds like you totally CRUSHED those 15 miles. Great job!! ;-)

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  5. Amazing. I'm sooo happy for you! Congrats!

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  6. Awesome! Love that feeling you get when you accomplish something BIG - Wishing you the best for your recovery and prep for the next big run!!! "Bring on crazy, I'm ready for you!" Love it :)

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    1. Thanks Debra! Feeling it just a bit this morning but I know that is normal. Looking forward to the next run though.

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  7. Congrats, Nicole - you did fabulous!!

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  8. Way to go! I know the first time I ran further than a half, I was ecstatic. Keep up the good work, and you'll be finishing that marathon in no time!

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  9. Great job!!!! I never thought of throwing it out there like that to have friends meet me out on the run! I hope your friend is ok!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, ask some friends to join you next time. It made a huge difference. She say she is fine, but I am going to check on her again later today. She is not one to sit still.

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  10. That is AWESOME!!! Great job. The support of friends is so important...it really drives us. Just a simple smile, wave, or "way to go!"

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the other fun thing was a few friends that were just driving by after dropping or picking up the kids from school that waved and honked their horn. Love that little burst of motivation.

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  11. So happy and excited for you! What an accomplishment! And it sounds like you have some pretty incredible and supportive friends, too :)

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  12. Great long run!!!! You're going to have an awesome 16 miles!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much! Still feeling pretty good!

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  14. awesome!!!! I admire you, I'm still working up to my 6.2 in a month!!!

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  15. Wow that is so awesome!! Sounds like you had a wonderful run :) I just had a 16 miler last week and it was the longest I ever had run and I was suprisingly not as sore as I anticipated. It's so wonderful having a refreshingly good long run :) Great Job Nicole!!

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    1. Thank you! Congrats on your 16! So happy it was a good one for you. It is always a nice surprise to feel so good. You really don't expect that with running so far. Yay you!

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  16. Awesome job Nicole!! I just had my first 16 miler ever and it was a great run too. It's so nice when you have a refreshingly easy long run :)

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  17. Way to go! You should be so proud of yourself. And yay for supportive friends! I miss that feeling of accomplishment after a long run! I hope to get back to running after I have my baby.

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    1. Thanks Jane! You will get there again, no doubt!

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