Friday, August 21, 2009

Team in Training Update 4

Money raised: $1,860 (just $640 to go!)
Training days: 5
Miles logged: 6

This update will be packed, as I've had two track sessions and a Saturday run since I saw you last!

The big news, though, is that I've managed to kick away my crutch: walking. Yep, I may be awfully slow, but I'm running now. All the way!

It started at last Saturday's six-mile run (intimidating to say the least, as I'd only ever gone four before). I set my brand-new watch to time intervals so I could spent two minutes running and one minute walking. As we start each run in packs based on our pace, I had company. I'd jog ahead of some teammates and run on my own for two minutes, then walk and hear them slowly catch up.

When I made it two miles in, at a water-stop, Coach Jay had a suggestion for me as I tried some electrolyte beverage and beef jerky. Slow down and run with a teammate, Joanne, who would almost catch up to me during my walking minute.

Mentally, I rolled my eyes. Joanne runs the whole time. I can't run! Whatever, Jay. I'll try and you'll see. I'm just not there yet.

So I fell in step beside the two of them. We talked about our progress so far, and the miraculous healing power of ice for my painful shins. And before I knew it, and entire mile had flown by. Not only had I run the whole way, but I talked the whole way too!

What's going on?

I stuck with Joanne like glue that day, and together we finished the course, running the remaining three miles. We talked about our lives, our families, and everything under the sun. The miles just slipped away. One second, we were back at the water-stop. The next, we hit the public restrooms a half-mile from our finish point. Then I was in my car, heading back home.

The rest of the day, I reminded everyone of my accomplishment (mostly just trying to believe it myself). I ran five miles today!

This from the girl who got winded after 3/4 mile on the treadmill just a month ago.

So at last night's track, I tried to repeat the feat. And did! I just ... ran. Not as fast as most of the others, but faster than walking. And every loop I made around the track surprised me. Next one, I'll have to walk, I'd think ... and run around again.

But even I have my limits. When Coach Ed let us know that we'd be dividing into groups based on our paces and doing some running after that, I made it into the "Cheetahs." Ha ha. We were gearing up to do a 1200 (three laps around the track), an 800 (two laps) and a 400 (guess). As distance went down, intensity was supposed to go up.

I felt confident in my 1200.

I felt tired in my 800.

In my 400, I felt like my lungs were going to bounce out of my chest. I had to stop and walk. At the end, Coach Ed let us in on a surprise: Another 400! This time, Mentor Jackie ran with me. As I gasped for air, she talked and laughed ... then had the audacity to challenge me to run a little faster in the home stretch. Just the last bit of track.

That. Was. Enough.

"I don't have any more!" I burst out, petulantly. And what did she do? Ran ahead of me!

There was nothing for me to do but catch up. She coaxed that little bit extra out ... it was awesome. Track was done. I could go home to my couch and ice my aching shins, eat the pizza that my hubby had waiting for me, and enjoy a nice hot bath and glass of wine before bed.
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