Life has kept me pretty busy, so I am cramming three weeks worth of training news into one blog. Here we go!
August 16th: Ran 16 miles! This marked the second 4-mile jump for me. It was also the day I finally caught up to the team. I kept a pretty good pace (about 10-minute miles). I ran with our Mentor, Paul and teammate, Nick. I was making them sweat trying to keep up with me! At one point, Nick said between huffs, "I refuse to let a girl pass me!" This was a big confidence booster. I went from not being able to run at all, to passing the guys on the team. Brian was still far ahead in the distance, but I will catch up to him soon enough :0) I finished with a blister on my toe and a tired smile on my face.
August 23rd: My birthday! Instead of running, Brian and I went with his brother Trevor and Trevor's wife Rachel to San Diego to see Dave Matthews Band in concert. It was so nice to blow off some steam and relax in the grass. We were on the lawn. Trevor and Rachel bought my first DMB concert t-shirt.
August 30: Ran 18 miles. Every time we increase the mileage, it feels surreal. When I tell people how far I have run, I can't believe it's me talking! I never thought I would be doing something like this. It is changing my life. Brian and I watched the women's marathon in the Olympics. We watched as these women ran 5 to 6-minute miles without stopping for 2 hours and 26 minutes. It took me 3 and 1/2 hours to run 18 miles. People have asked me, "have you experienced the runner's high yet?" What I have experienced is the relief that follows the temporary numbing of the pain receptors in my body so I can get through my run. I wouldn't call this a high. It is more like a defense mechanism of the body. For the first 10 miles, I feel aches and pains. After that, my legs sort of go dumb. They stop sending pain messages until I stop running. I told a team mate about this and she said it was my endorphins kicking in. Endorphins? I didn't feel high, just numb. This is the runner's high. If any of you got the chance to watch the Olympic Marathons, you may remember the faces of the runners. Almost all of them were wincing in pain. You could see them gritting their teeth, and squinting. Not a single one of them looked like they were experiencing the "runner's high" until, that is, they reached the finish line. This is a different kind of high. The kind of high that comes from a sense of accomplishment. From knowing that you have pushed your body further than it has ever gone before. There is a raw, burning feeling in the lungs where every precious breath is felt, down to the tiniest oxygen molecule. The pain starts to set in, but it doesn't matter because you've realized that your mind is stronger than pain, doubt or fatigue. This is my runner's high.
After an estimated total of 100 miles, it was time for some new shoes. Off we went to Phidippides (the best running store ever!) They always take really good care of us there. I got a different brand, but same style shoe. These shoes have little air pocket at the ball of the foot for extra cushion. I love 'em! They feel great. When Jeff, the guy who helped me with my shoes, took off my old running shoes he looked inside, smiled and grabbed the trash can next to the bench to empty out all the tiny rocks and dust that had accumulated inside. I didn't even notice the rocks anymore. We run on the dirt trails as much as possible because it is easier on the joints. My dirty shoes were a badge of honor! I am thinking of keeping them as a souvenir.
Old Shoes after 100 miles...