Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

What was I thinking?

Short version: tonight I ran 14km.

Long version...  Do you really want the long version?   It may be longer than the actual running of it ;)

Okay so this story starts with me really questioning the half marathon goal ;)  Seriously?  It's fall now.  Being outside is not fun.   Running is not fun.   Why would I pick a target that includes two not fun things?   You know what would be fun?  A good movie, hot chocolate, and a fireplace.  That would be fun.  Regardless, stupid Lauren set a not fun goal.  I haven't run at all since Sat, mostly due to life, and I knew I wouldn't tomorrow so I wanted to get tomorrow's long run in tonight.  All good right?   Except cold, windy, and a crazy storm approaching.

So I went to the rail trail, thought being trees, lots of them, would help negate the wind and some of the rain should it hit.  When I started, my body worked very hard to convince me that this was a very stupid idea.  My knee hurt for a bit, then it felt fine and the other knee hurt, then I got a wicked cramp -- all within the first three km ;)   N I basically told my body to quit whining and kept going.   

Apparently it's a thing?!?!  Seems like a horrible idea really, but it did work.
Running on the rail trail where I go, the run out is all uphill and the run home is downhill.  It's a slight slope, but noticeable.  And I'm amused by the mental games I play.  I know most sports competition is in huge part mental -- but I'm just learning how that applies to running.  For instance, I had a plan to run 14km (which, btw, I should get a gold star for since the "official" plan was only 13 -- but I don't like how the official plan doesn't build past 16 before race day so I've altered slightly ;).  Anyways -- back to our story.  Targeting 14km.  At 3km I celebrated the half-way point.   And I wasn't wrong ;)  How?   Well 14km is 7km out and 7km back.  Half of 7km is 3.5km, 3.5km is a part of kilometer 3.  So therefore as I passed the 3km marker I justified to myself that I was almost half way there!  Easy!   Then when I get "there", I can turn around and it's "just run home".  And since it's downhill home, it's even easier.  

The other thing that keeps my brain occupied is basic arithmetic.  If I'm running for six minutes and walking for one, and my watch says I've been going for 52 minutes, how long till my next walk break ;)  I can honestly say that this is the only word problem that has ever applied to my daily life.  And I'm getting very good at solving for it ;)  Unfortunately that means it's not a particularly long distraction.

On this route, I consistently find the 5th km more of a challenge than the rest -- maybe it has a slight extra slope?  I don't know.  But I slowly made my way through it and got to the trains!  Wooho.  Now to be honest, I couldn't care less about the trains -- but it's something different so it's a thing.  It's a little thing, but a thing.   Shortly after km 6, I had to pause because a girl was riding towards me and her horse was having nothing to do with coming towards me, so I stood till he relaxed.  Girl was a good rider and dealt with him competently and thanked me for stopping so all good.  Issue is, when I started back up I hit the wrong button on my watch.  Fail :(   So I started it back up but of course it tagged it as a new run.  When I got home I googled combining the files but it was pretty much a fail :(   Sad -- I wanted my new trophy for longest run!  (I didn't have said watch when I last ran a 15k race ;)

Anyways -- the mental games continued with "only 1/2 km till you're there -- that's easy!" -- there, of course, being the 7km mark ;)

The run home was so much better!  My body wasn't hurting anymore, there was next to nobody on the trail, the wind was so loud in the trees I felt like nature was making up for the lack of music, and things were good.  At some point on the way my quads started to feel sore -- but the good kind of muscle sore, not hurting so okay.  And unfortunately it got rather dark.  Hmmmm tricky.  The rain opened up just as I got back in my car so I forwent stretching and hopped in.

Truly awful life choice.  By the time I got home I was so unbelievably seized up.  Ugh.  No fun at all. Glad I'm teaching XC tomorrow if for no other reason than it'll make me go for a long walk.

I also learned I'm going to have to figure out how to dress -- unlike other sports, you can't shed layers as you warm up.  Well I suppose you *could* -- but you run a high risk of losing them permanently.  And good exercise clothing isn't cheap.  At one point I realized my hands were so cold I couldn't feel my fingers.  Other parts of me were sweating and shivering at the same time.  This is much less fun than last week.  Ugh.  

5 weeks left (not that I'm counting down...).  Past history has shown that my determination (stubbornness?) will outweigh common sense and I'll stick to it ;)  But we shall see.

Determined or stubborn?  It's a fine line ;)
The end result, however, is the same...


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