Monday, March 29, 2010

A wink and a smile....or something like that.

My new-found self sufficiency was apparently a big hoax!  Two weekends ago I had the chance to run with my friends, so I did.  They were only doing 10 miles, I had 15 on my schedule, so I did 5 on my own and then joined them for their 10.  The weather was great, the conversation came easy and before I knew it our run was over.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those days!  I woke up the next day feeling as though I could run another 15.  I really felt strong and great!  Then this weekend came along.  All my "training partners" had other engagements, so I was on my own to do my long run.  No big deal, right?  I headed out to a not-so-scenic bike path with the dingo for our 15 miles.  The morning air was chillier than expected, which made for a painful first few miles.  I finally warmed up after about 25 minutes and trudged along the path.  I think I went maybe an hour without seeing another living soul.  Thank goodness I had my dingo with me, I'd never recommend running on that path alone!  I did purchase a new hydration belt for the occassion.  Usually I can't take the dingo on long runs that require water, because I simply can't manage him and my hand-held amphipod.  I bought the Camelbak Delaney Fit belt.  My running store didn't have the Nathan belt that I wanted and were out of my size in the Amphipod one that I liked.  I kind of felt like I had settled for this one...but it worked out and actually did a good job.  So for those that are keeping count, I now have a SPI belt (that I've used *maybe* a handful of times), an Amphipod handheld (used that throughout my marathon training and for the actual marathon), a Nathan 5K Runner's Pak, and now this Camelbak.  I like to spread my money throughout all of the companies!  In any case, I was glad it only cost me $26 to have somewhat piece of mind, on my lone journey into the unknown.  I made my way to the turn around point and was feeling pretty low.  I was tired and bored.  My legs were a bit stiff.  Still, the dingo and I trudged along.  My saving grace that day was a balding, middle-aged man who gave me the kindest smile and a thumbs up.  Apparently my discouragement was evident on my face.  That was all I needed to pick the pace back up and f inish the run.  I didn't set any records that day, but decided the purpose of that run wasn't to see how fast I could run or to build endurance, but to see how mentally strong I was.  I suppose that's more subjective and it's defnitely something I constantly struggle with.  This weekend I'll be on my own again....but only have 13 miles to contend with.  Tapering has officially begun for my first race!  I also start a new job this week.  I'm leaving the hospital setting and going to work for a homecare company.  I'll be managing patients who are on long-term nutrition support (parenteral and enteral nutrition).  It will hopefuly allow for more flexiblity and a chance to further my studies in the area of nutrition support.  Change is hard and I spent many a runs thinking about making this change.  At least I have my upcoming races to keep me going and to stay focused.  Still working on the wardrobe for the races.  I'm really slacking this time around.  Usually I have my outfits planned out months in advance!  Oh well....