I feel like I need to make this statement here and on Facebook ... if you don't want to hear about running for the next 3 months or so, just skip over me and check back in November!
So yesterday was my longest run ever and also probably one of my hardest.
I felt like I was getting a cold earlier in the week and as any good Junior League past president would do, I started taking my tested & approved medicines/remedies: Mucinex, Neti Pot, Nasonex, EmergenC, & Ricola cough drops. This is what always helped me get through the last 2 years when I was feeling run down.
Unfortunately, I still woke up throughout the night for two nights in a row coughing and what felt like I might hack up a lung. Not fun.
So, I had 17 miles looming on Saturday and on Friday, I took my inhaler about 4 times. This NEVER happens to me. I have "exercise induced asthma" that requires me to take my inhaler before exercise (duh). I had walked from my car, up 3 flights of stairs and to my office and had to take it. That freaked me out a bit because it was so far from my "norm."
Let's just say that my confidence wasn't at 100% or probably even 80% when I met my running girls on Saturday morning, but we set out for the long run ahead.
Just a few minutes in, I was having a hard time breathing - or keeping my breathing in check. I felt like I was working twice as hard. I couldn't keep up with our normal conversations because I was too focused on trying to breathe. My girls were immediately concerned, asking how I was doing. We were meeting another girl near my car, so in the back of my mind, I knew I could just quit.
That thought made me want to curl up and cry. I wanted to do this damn 17 miles, but I had figured out that I couldn't keep up my normal pace and do so. I told them I just wanted to try to keep going, but I knew I couldn't stay with them. They circled back and made sure I was OK and they went ahead.
At a slower pace, it was much more bearable and I just tried to get in a new, but slower groove. I thought about my friends, my daughters, my family, and tried to focus on the many positive things in my life. I thought about the fact that this may be what the marathon will feel like. Some of the miles clicked off surprisingly quickly. I ran into the girls again at mile 11 and M gave me her iPod. It helped for two reasons - Maria and I have similar taste in running music (Luda!, Missy Elliot, Ben Folds Five, Bare Naked Ladies, etc) and I could no longer hear myself breathing. Hallelujah!
I kept plodding along ignoring Garmina when I looked down and saw paces that should seem like I was walking. I made it to Mile 15, by my car, so I stopped and grabbed some more hydration, a bit of a Luna bar, and kept on going. 2 more miles.
So, I did a total of 17.27 miles. They were slow. They were ugly, but they are DONE.
I met up with the girls again after they were finished. We celebrated with oreos and went on our way. Ice bath, lunch, a mini nap, and I actually felt like I had knocked out whatever "crud" was in my chest out. I am still making an appointment with my allergist, but last night, I slept like a baby and don't have the wheeziness.
So, things I learned:
- All runs aren't easy.
- I am stubborn.
- I have great friends.