“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.”
Saturday, I completed my longest run ever. An 18 mile training run. If you would have asked me about my run on that day… I would have said it was a complete disaster. I didn’t want it to be. I wanted it to be like 16. Hard, but with a feeling of accomplishment. But Saturday, I felt like there were very little things about the run that were good.
As with all things, a little time and space has brought me down from, “I have no business trying to run a marathon!” to “okay, live and learn from your mistakes.”
There are some challenges with running an 18 mile self-supported run. Even though I’m running on a great trail (The Burke-Gillman Trail), access to water and restrooms seem to be more of a challenge than I want them to be. I’m asking my body to run 18 miles. When my body wants water, it wants it NOW and when I need to go to the restroom, I need to go NOW! (Of course I feel better knowing that on race day, there will be water stations and port-o-potties abound! Even a water stop at Mile 1.)
Our day was busy on Saturday. My son had an early soccer game and so after dropping him off with his teammates I took my husband out to Woodinville for the start of his point-to-point run. 18 miles from Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville to Gas Works Park in Seattle. I went back to my son’s soccer game and watched for a bit, then back to pick up my husband at his finishing point (he did amazing and looked great at the finish! Even passing me up to get his last .2 miles in!). Then we switched and my husband drove ME out to Woodinville.
I started at around 1 pm. The “heat” of the day. We had a beautiful weekend with upper 60-degree temps. But after all this training in cooler temps — full sun and 66 degrees felt hot (don’t laugh if you are reading this from Texas or Arizona… I’m a fully acclimated Seattleite. 66 is HOT for us). I drank the water I was carrying pretty quickly.
I couldn’t really determine how far I was from the places I knew I COULD get more water. And really? On a hot day like this there were NO kids with lemonade stands? I was carrying a $20 dollar bill for Pete’s Sake! Those kids could have made bank!
My walking breaks turned into… just walking. My calves were burning. I might have abandoned my run and called my husband to be picked up earlier, but my phone was dead. (Another frustration of the day…)
I summoned everything I could and shuffled to the finish. Was it an 18 mile disaster? Sure, in the moment it was. But right now is my opportunity to learn from my mistakes and do better next time.
With that said, I ran, walked and shuffled my way to 18 miles on Saturday. Let’s call that a victory.