Digging Deep

I apologize that it has been so long since my last post, but with Boston falling at the end of the semester I have all of my final presentations/projects due early.

20 days.

We are so close.

This past weekend I finished my last long run (yay!) and I am currently in the taper zone! This training plan has pushed my body farther and faster than I have ever gone before. This is the first time I committed to running 5 days a week for an entire 16 weeks and also the first time I incorporated speed workouts from week one. I started out so strong. My pacing was unbelievable and every time I finished a run, I was awestruck by the times I saw. However, over the past 2-3 weeks I have felt like I was running on empty. Probably because I am. I have been running on fatigued legs for so long and this taper could not have arrived at a better time. I can attest and say that training is not always as glamorous and “perfect” as social media posts make it out to be. It’s hard. It’s painful. And sometimes it’s just ugly. But always worth it. There have been runs when I just wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits, but I didn’t. This past weekend is a great example.

I had 20 miles on the agenda for Saturday morning. I started upping my carbs on Thursday and carb-loaded on Friday, but when I woke up on Saturday it was a complete downpour. The forecast also displayed that it wasn’t going to let up. Sad that I couldn’t get my last long run done and out of the way, I used the day to catch up on homework. Having those 20 miles hanging over my head was brutal. My body was so tired and I just wanted to check it off of the list. Fast forward to Sunday…I woke up late, checked the forecast, saw there was a break in the rain until 1pm, so I rushed out the door to get the dang run over with. Little did I know what I was up against. I started off at a nice warm-up pace and as soon as I got to mile 3 it began to rain. As it started to rain harder, thoughts started rushing into my head such as “I could just finish the loop and run the last 10 miles on the treadmill”, “I can’t believe I slept in”, “I could already be done if I would have started earlier”. By mile 5 the rain let up and the sun started to peak through the clouds. I had a pretty dry 8ish miles, but as the storm clouds started rolling in I knew I wasn’t off of the hook. Miles 13-16 were pretty wet. It was still manageable though. I could at least keep my eyes open without having to blink a million times. Miles 16-20 felt like I was running in a monsoon. If I had soap I could have taken a shower. I don’t have rain gear either, so my light jacket began collecting water and getting heavier with every mile. My feet also started sloshing around in my soaked shoes.  Talk about a really long time to be with your thoughts. I was committed to 20 miles though. The hardest thing was passing my car at mile 17 to go out an additional mile and a half and back. I had to really dig deep. It took everything in me to not stop and get into my warm car and out of my wet clothes. Those last three miles sparked a lot of self-reflection. How bad did I really want it? Why am I doing this? It was actually an invigorating internal conversation.

I am happy to tell you that I survived. It was probably one of the hardest training runs I have ever experienced. I am stronger for it though. It’s runs like that which remind me why I am doing this. I have the privilege to run a race that not everyone has the opportunity to do so. I am also running a course that some people never got to cross the finish line. This is a dream of mine. I am doing this to break down every single mental barrier that has tried to stop me along the way. I am thankful for this never-ending learning experience and clarity that running brings to my life.

See you in 17 days Boston. I am ready to race.

xoxo,
Danielle

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