Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{8} Mile

This ain't no Eminem story.  

As you might have read previously, back in March, 
I did my first 5k and since then decided that I would do some version of an organized run 
every month from then on for an entire year. 
I'm 6 for 6 so far.
Go me!

Why do a run a month?
The question is: Why not?!
I like goals, but don't call them lofty just yet.
Well, 1/2 lofty.
5k is only like 3.2 miles but the way I see it, 
that's 5 more Ks than I have been doing previously ever and well, 
 if I'm ever going to meet that bucket list item of doing a full 26.2 marathon, 
I gotta start somewhere right? 

I never get enough sleep. 
 It's just how things are in my world and I'm learning to cope. 
When I do sleep and then it's time to get up, it looks like this: 
{ it's like my body is glued to the bed}
So Saturday I finally got out of bed and me and Lynn finally got going to Santa Cruz at 3pm.
{only 3 hours later than we had originally talked about leaving}
No biggie, there was no big rush.  

We talked a lot, we sang some songs (ok, I did most of the singing).
There was the mandatory Starbucks trip and then there was a wall of traffic which was just a reminder to turn the radio up and roll the windows & sunroof back. 
{sunshine, sunroof, good company = good times}

Dead stopped, We tried to get everyone else in the cars around us to sing "My Sharona" with us, but no one wanted to play in our Reindeer Games.  Their loss.
We finally made it into Santa Cruz, found our sketchy little Inn, where they store all the extra furniture and decor out front by the "office", which is actually just is just a telephone number to a confused person who told us they left the key to our room under the mat in front of the door to the room where there were no pictures on the walls.  The "second" bedroom was really a rollaway in the living room right by the front window, where the fire alarm was disconnected, and there were 2x4s holding up the couch - which was described as "velvety and comfy" and "will suck you in like an SVU marathon".  

Deciding to flee the Bate's Motel get dinner,  we opted to spend the next couple of hours at the harbor and on the beach right at sunset, soaking up the last of the day, scaling the rock wall levee (carefully, in flip flops mind you) and taking about 157 pictures between two of us. 
 After neither one of us slid into the Pacific, we stuffed our faces at the Crow's Nest (which was classy and comfy and sucked us in like a hungry moth to a BBQ flame) before heading back to get some "sleep". 
Sleep.  Remember that thing that escapes me?  Yeah. 
 Neither do I and neither did Saturday night. 
My August run was and ante-upper.  
An 8-mile trail run
That's the equivalent of a 12k.
I'll see your 5k's and raise you 7ks, muuuwhhhaahahahaaaa!!!

8 miles on no sleep, with very little preparation, but just enough advice from Lynn on what eat to keep my energy up and keep myself hydrated for what I hoped would be less than a 3 hour trek.
Running is not my forte. 

But you know what they say?
Go big or go home. 

A quick breakfast on the way to carb up, we arrived at the start line about an hour early,  
grabbed our gear, stretched, hydrated, and I used the bathroom like 7 times!
At an all women's race, the bathroom was line was EPIC.  

Lynn was doing the half marathon, so she started 10 minutes earlier than I did. 
Which left me solo and with my own motivation.

Start time 08:55 am, I took my place at the back of the pack where I remained for the next 2:16 hours
I wasn't competing with anyone but myself. 
In my book, showing up, taking time out of my hectically busy schedule, I had already won. 

Of the family, my brother, who ran ACROSS the country last year for Batten Disease, is the marathoner.
I have always been the support driver, the finish line sign holder, the girl behind the scenes who didn't believe that she could step out of the sidelines and get INTO the race. 

Not anymore. 
Hell.  Highwater. Doubt. Distance. None of that was going to keep me from finishing.
Short of injuries, I was getting it done.
I don't know what took over, but I did a lot of thinking out there on the trails. 
I occasionally looked up at the break in the trees and felt the sun shining down on me as I kept a steady pace. 
I talked to Catie, who I dedicated my run to, who had the disease that my brother ran to raise awareness for. 
Catie was a fighter and now she's an angel.
I remembered how much she used to run as a child.
I thought of my brother and all the miles he put in over 4.5 months.
I smiled for all the times I skipped the gym or stayed in bed...today kicked the ass of all those days.
I thought of the people in my life with failing health.
I thought about a lot.
A steady stream of sweat reminded me that this was no stroll in the park.
Fire roads, steep trials with roots cut in that made their own natural steps, tripping hazards reminding me to keep my eyes on the ground and directly in front of me.
My pony tail pulling some kind of wiper blade action across my back, it stuck to me just enough to keep my arms stretched back behind me occasionally to adjust it. 

I played the same songs over and over again
this {one}, that {one}, this{one} again, this {one} really got me moving: 
Sometimes you gotta push 
Though all your obstacles...
No matter what the options are 
There is no lose , there is no fail 
We were born to run

I kept going as my lungs adjusted, I remembered my yoga breathing, and paid attention to Lynn's advice, fuel up about every 20 minutes, take this for cramps, take that for hydration. 
Walk, run, walk, run, walk, run...the other ladies on the trail and the volunteers smiled and told me I was doing a good job, don't stop, you're almost there, you're doing a great job, keep going.

And so I did.  I kept going.  
One step at at time, 1/4 mark, 1/2 mark, 2 miles left...and before I knew it, I made it
Finished, the end, pulled out my headphones so I could hear them announce my name as I crossed the finish line. 

I texted my family, my mom, my best friends, and my trainer. 
"Done.  2:16 minutes, 8 miles.  I did it."

{this pro procrastinator did the damn thing!}
The rest of the day was kind of an exhausted, sleep-sick blur.  We made our way back to Downtown, grabbed a big lunch, bought a couple of beach towels, and then I laid out on the beach and fell asleep in 75* of sun beating down on me in the sand.  

Another long trip back and more great conversation, I got my mangled body home in one piece, calling off the early morning training session, got the back end of my shift covered, and slept for 17 glorious hours
...this is what straight out of hibernation looks like.
Sunburnt and sore as all get out, but rested and completely accomplished.

Today, just short of 48 hours later, my body hurts every where. 
I can feel that expanse in my lungs all stretched out when I laugh or cough.
I'm moving slow.  Real slow.
I feel it in my back, in my abs, in my obliques...its pain, but its good pain.
It's the kind of pain you earn...it's sweet satisfaction of doing something you never thought you were capable of. 

So I went from 5 to 8 and now...now, what's next?  
I dunno, but stay tuned...it'll be good whatever it is. 


  1. That's awesome!! I've been trying to build up a tolerance to jogging & running...it's still so sad that I won't even post it. HAH!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday...hope you have a stellar week! :)

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  3. I was going to nominate you for an award, but you already have one. Yay! Congratulations, awards are so awesome. Have an awesome day!

  4. Good for you! You can do anything you set your mind to for sure! I have run several halfs and two full marathons and I'd never thought it could be done. Goals are great. That quote from Lance A. made me laugh given how he's quit his fight to prove he's innocent. Kinda funny!
    Carolyn http://sillyhappysweet.blogspot.com

    1. Well...I thought it was a great quote - that's the hard thing about quotes, eh? :)

  5. You're pretty hardcore with that run....I absolutely hate running, though I'm sure it's good for you and when it's over (and after the soreness goes away) the feeling of accomplishment must be great. Still...I'll never be a racer.

    1. Oh I won't be a racer anytime soon if at all...but I'm glad I did this one!

  6. You did awesome (despite the strange and bizarre circumstance). So glad we did this and spent some "quality time" together. Great times!!

    1. I didn't have the heart to get into the weirdness...it was a great adventure though!!! I'm glad we went!