I ran 8 miles by myself this morning. I'm still shocked.
I was scheduled to run in Yakima on Saturday, but was feeling a little icky (too many Christmas cookies, perhaps?) and decided to spend our last morning there hanging out with family instead of running. I've "put off" or rescheduled runs 4 out of the 8 times I've had scheduled long runs, and let me tell you... it's usually a bad idea. Each time that I've rescheduled or put off a run, I end up battling one distraction after another to actually get on the road. And when I do finally make it out there, my mental game is always much tougher. There's just something about going off schedule that gives my "Panzy Pants" voice a foothold.
So Miss Panzy Pants slept in until 9:30am this morning, then moped around for 20 minutes looking for socks and trying to come up with reasons why we should just stay home.
It's Daniel's day off... I want to be with him!
It's REALLY cold outside...
I'll be all alone, Kaylee is on vacation...
I can always run tomorrow...
My tummy hurts...
I had told Daniel the night before that I was really going to need help getting out the door today, and he was an amazing help. He cooked us breakfast and got Ethan ready for the day while I moped around looking for socks and mapping... and re-mapping... my route. When I was finally dressed and whining about going running, he loaded us all into the car and drove me out to the park. As we pulled up to the park and I was trying to talk him into going to coffee instead, he kicked me out of the car. As I stood outside the car and pouted about how windy it was, he waved at me and said, "have fun!" I finally plodded away for my first two miles, and saw Daniel driving along and waving at me. Then he sent me a text saying he would meet me at Starbucks.
The first half was along the Springwater trail. It was cold and windy and I was whining the whole time. I kept praying that the Lord would give me the strength and courage to just keep running. Running can be an act of worship, as it's an opportunity for me to reject laziness, to confront fear and and to force myself to rely on Him for the mental/spiritual strength I need to push through when I'm feeling pouty, lazy, whiney, tired or just plain grumpy. My calves and shins were feeling really tight, and I ended up stopping four different times to stretch them out. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'm hoping to find a solution to help me run without having to stop and stretch so often.
Halfway through the run is that nice hill I've written about before. I ran it! The entire thing! Without stopping or walking and I was even feeling COMFORTABLE on the hill. Yay!
Conquering the hill - and being comfortable while doing so - was the boost I needed to get through the second half of my run. I finally felt warmed up, loose and strong. My last mile included another hill. The second hill was a longer one, but had a more gentle ascent so I didn't really notice it all that much.
When I completed my eighth mile, I checked my cell phone clock. TWO HOURS. Way longer than I was expecting, but I guess with all the stopping to stretch and then stopping at crosswalks it makes sense. I don't really have any precise way of knowing what pace I was running at - so I'll just have to leave it a mystery and be proud of my 8 miles.
That sounds just fine to me. :)