Sunday, September 1, 2013

18 miles! a first!

on saturday i ran the longest distance i've ever run!  friday night i started getting myself psyched up for the run on saturday.  i was mentally mapping out the route and hadn't quite decided on the distance except that i was scheduled to run 8 miles on friday and i skipped it to go see the butler with my youngest and my mother-in-law.  totally worth it but then i was feeling guilty that i didn't get my 8mi run in.  so i was thinking i'd add it onto my saturday run.  so that is where the 18mi came from.

saturday morning i woke up and was ready for my run.  i got dressed and checked the weather.  it was 65 degrees but i knew that once i began running that wouldn't matter.  it was also supposed to warm up over the next couple of hours so there's that.  i drank some juice with my vitamins, brushed my teeth, ate a banana, ate a couple of shot bloks, started my music, used the bathroom, and was almost ready to go.  there were 3 more things i had to get ready before i ran out the door:  start the garmin, fill my water bottle, and slather on some gold bond friction defense.  

NOW i was ready.

i stepped out into the beautiful overcast morning and appreciated my good fortune of a cool and sunless morning.  i find that it is considerably more pleasant to run without direct sunlight beaming down on me.  i generally run away from my house because i am fortunate enough to live in a mostly rural area where there are no sidewalks and there are tons of trails.  i ran to the glacial drumlin state trail and headed west towards dousman.  the run was going swell up until my bowels decided to hate on me about 3 miles in!  this is not a new problem... it is a problem that i thought i had thwarted by taking some imodium at 4am... no such luck.  as my poor luck would have it i was no where near any formal bathrooms.  therefore i pushed on in the hopes that it would crawl back up and i could have a run minus so much excitement.  about a mile later... the need was what i can only describe as absolutely desperate!  i looked both ways down the trail... i was alone.  i headed into the woods to take care of said business.

when that was finished i ran on.  i was maintaining a pretty good pace and saying hello to everyone in my path cuz that's how i do.  glancing at my garmin every few minutes and adjusting my pace.  before i bought the garmin i had the most difficult time trying to maintain my pace.  i tend to run as fast as my body will allow and then i have nothing left to give at the end of my runs.  it is truly my downfall.

i was maintaining a 8:45 - 9:00 minute per mile pace.  i wanted to go slow enough that it didn't feel challenging because i knew i was running farther than i ever had and i wanted to be sure i would have enough in me to complete the run.  it is so beautiful on the trail that i really get into running there.  it is mostly flat and straight paved trail... truly beautiful with woods on both sides and for miles in either direction.  the sun was coming in and out from behind the clouds and i realized in the midst of all that beauty... i needed to go to the bathroom again.  yes, AGAIN!  *sigh*

off into the woods i went once people were out of sight... it is seriously embarrassing but a runner's gotta do what a runner's got to do.  

i'm sure if you've made it this far you're asking yourself WHY in the world would i share that with the world?  well... 2 reasons.

1.  its funny.
2.  i want others to know that they aren't the only one this happens to.

i have read all the articles i can find on "runners' trots"  (in fact, it reminds me of this) and i just don't think people talk about it enough to make other people not feel like they are a weird anomaly who can't control their bowels.  i learned all sorts of things and most recently had all sorts of blood and fecal tests at my doc's office only to learn that my issues might be caused by a "weak positive" gluten intolerance.  now... don't get me wrong.  most people don't have a gluten intolerance (or maybe they do) and changing one's diet to be gluten free is proving a very difficult challenge for me (that's a story for another post).  

i digress... 2 times in the woods and i feel much better.  i figure i can hold anything else until i get to the gas station on hwy 67 and i go on my merry way.  the weather is warming up and the run is going smoothly.  i've eaten my shot bloks at the beginning of my run and again at mile 4.  i intend to have one every 4 miles as that seems to work the best for me.  i arrive at the gas station after the trail winds around a corn field, along hwy 18 and then around the corner onto hwy 67.  

i enter the gas station and ask to use the bathroom (the bathroom that says "for paying customer's only" right on it's door) and the crochety, rotting in her flesh, old woman at the counter doesn't even look at me as she points a gnarled finger at the key on the counter.  i grab it, say a gracious thank you, and dart to the bathroom.

on my way out i again tell her a very sincere thank you and she doesn't even look at me.  sheesh!

back on my way!

i cross the street back to the trail and step my right foot in a culvert submerging it in water!  awesome...

no matter... i'm RUNNING and i am IN LOVE with running so a wet foot isn't going to dampen my spirits!  besides, i'm just over 7mi in which means only 2 more to go before i'm half way!  the day is going great!  harley riders are all over the place as well as in the gas station i was at so that was a highlight too!  

i'm flying now!  running much too fast for the distance i'm at so i slow back down to an 8:20.  slower still to an 8:45 and settle in for the next 2 miles.  

i'm passing dogs and people and a huge stream of cyclists saying hello to everyone!  i love the way my body feels when i'm pushing it.  i love knowing that i can do things i never thought possible!  

at 9mi i make a u-turn and head back the way i came.  in no time at all i'm back at the gas station and hwy 67 is teaming with harley riders out enjoying the freedom of the road... just like me!

i stop and stretch my hamstrings and quads because i'm beginning to feel the tightness building up.  it is a glorious feeling!  then i RUN!

i run all the way back home (walking up the hills) and am so proud of myself and pleased with my performance that i can't wait to do it again.  it is a beautiful thing.

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