Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just run

I'd been worried about my ability to finish the upcoming Stone Cat Trail Marathon. My left knee had been hurting for 3 months, and most of that time had been spent cycling instead of running. 26.2 was very daunting, especially when I knew that I'd have to let go of the goals I had envisioned when I first signed up for the race.

I set out for a 17-mile trail run last Sunday knowing how important it was to get some long miles in, and I intended to do them whether my knee hurt or not. I knew the route I was going to take, and I just went out and ran.

What happened out there was the restoration of my confidence. I had a rough half hour or so with cramps and nausea, during which I slowed down and walked a bit, but that did not greatly affect the rest of the run. I kept going, and my knees did not hurt. I wasn't thinking about pace and route and whether or not I'd come across any bears. I was just running, and that was so comfortable.

The farthest I had ever run thus far had been 13 miles, and the farthest I had hiked was 15. The 15-mile mark in this run was on a dirt road lined with trees that still held onto some brightly colored leaves. It was late in the afternoon, and the sun was shining through the leaves illuminating the colors. And then I did it - I crossed an imaginary line representing the farthest distance I had ever traveled, and it was an exhilarated jaunt back to the parking lot from there for a total of 17 miles in 3 hours and 23 minutes.

Feeling good after 15 miles!
After this run, I know that I will be able to finish the marathon. It may not be as comfortable as this run was, but I know that there's a rhythm that my legs will fall into, and I just have to run, and it will be good.

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