As the other runners slipped out of my sight up above I decided to take a walk break. I felt frustrated that I could not keep up.
"Go your own pace no matter what." This was my mantra. I soon discovered that another runner had slowed down to walk with me. This was Becky. Becky has already run two marathons with Team in Training, and is unashamed of the run/walk method. "Got me through four marathons so far," she said, "and my last one was 5 hours and 15 minutes." Not bad, I think. My goals was under 6 hours. We run the first 6 miles of our 12 miler in 1 hours and 13 minutes. This is close to a 12 minute mile pace. And if you figure that we walked one minute after running four minutes, we were probably jogging closer to an 11 minute mile. I really have to thank her for pulling me through the first three miles. My body really didn't want to start up and she was sweet to slow down her pace to help me out. During the last two miles I returned the favor.
After the turn around we did walk a little more often, but we were still running during the last three miles. I figure this was my first time doing 12 miles, so why push it. One thing I did learn is that I need to run more of my mid-week runs on hills, as we are preparing for San Francisco so our Saturday runs are VERY hilly. My coach says if you train on hills the flat runs will be cake. So I'm going to dive into some hills on Tuesday when I need to run 4 miles.
Becky and I talked a bit about what it is like to have cancer touch your life. She's lost a sister-in-law to cancer at age 47. It's enough to keep you running, praising God for the bodies we do have, even if they are slow. Right now I'm still about 15 minutes behind my teammates who make up the majority of the pack. But I know that if I wanted to I could push a bit harder and stick with them longer. I'm just trying to avoid injury and not worry so much about times. My body feels stiff enough afterwards just jogging and walking. Many of the folk that are ahead of me are just jogging the whole time at one steady pace. I like the walk breaks and I know I will probably need them in the actual marathon so I should get used to them now. You have to get used to shifting to a walk and back into a run - both mentally and physically. I know that all that I'm learning now, will make me prepared.
So I got up at 5am and by 8:30am I had travelled 12 miles with my own to feet.
What have you done so far today?
Ha! Damn it feels good to be me!
Think I'll go ride Janis.