I Think I Feel Like An Athlete

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So this week was interesting for me.  I am back with my group this week for my long run, which was 7 miles!    Previously I wrote how difficult it was doing my long run alone and I was looking forward to joining my group for this run.  When I showed up, I started second guessing myself.  I started thinking that 7 miles is a long way.  I started thinking maybe I should just concentrate on doing 10K’s instead of half-marathons….I’m a newish runner for one thing.  I’m almost 50 for another thing…what am I thinking!!?!!  Well, again, thanks to the group I got through it.

Low and behold, others in the group were also feeling the same way I was.  Already feeling defeated and stressing about the distance ahead of us.  But we all just got in line when the time came and headed out for the run.  I had an unusually hard time getting my breathing right.  For the first couple of miles and had to force myself to correctly.  I kept wanting to take quick shallow breaths.  This started the first signs of a side stitch (I believe).  So I truly had to focus on getting my breathing right.  And then the first half seemed to be all uphill…ugh!  Can this route be uphill both ways!?!  Then, at certain times during the run, some of the members of my group dropped out and opted to walk or join a slower group that would be coming up behind us.  Again, this gave me self doubt.  I balanced my water intake, my snack intake, and by mile 5 I knew I was going to do it.  The others in my group had the same feeling and we checked in on each other during the run to see how we were doing.  This gave me encouragement and reassurance and I think I did the same for them.

By the time I got home I had a blister under my big toe, my right ankle was feeling wonky and my thighs were already getting sore.  I ran to Big 5 and I got some Body Glide and new wicking socks.  I had to start thinking about my run the following day which was the Santa Monica Classic 5K.  Now, if I had known when I signed up for the race that I would be running my first 7 miles the day before I would’ve done something different.  But I made the commitment and I was going to run the race.

I woke up this morning and my legs were sore, my right ankle now had a greenish squishy bruise on it (but it doesn’t hurt) and I was tired.  I got my things together which I had already laid out last night and I started out to Santa Monica.  The start and finish of the race are about 1 mile apart so I thought I would park at the finish and then Uber to the start.  Once I got there, that felt lazy so I walked the mile.  As I’m walking the mile I’m realizing that my right ankle is giving me a little pain when I walk on it a certain way.  So now I’m thinking, maybe I shouldn’t be walking….hell, maybe I shouldn’t be running!  I kept going thinking that I just put my body through more than it’s ever been through so of course I’ve got aches and pains.  Once I got to the start line, I found shade and waited until 10 minutes before start time to take my place.

When I ran this race last year I did it in 30:44.  My plan was to break 30 this year, but then I decided to train for my half marathon.  So today my plan was to just have fun and enjoy the race..and now, to be aware of my ankle.  As the race started I realized that I felt pretty good.  My legs felt good, my ankle was fine and I was wide awake.  I saw a girl who volunteers for the same Kitten Rescue that I do at the start of the race and gave her a thumbs up.  Then I saw some people from my LA Leggers running group and I gave them a shout out and thumbs up.  This gave me more momentum and aided in my enjoyment of the race.  It was cool seeing others that I sorta knew trying to finish the same race that I was.  We were all trying to do the same thing.  I finished somewhere around 36 minutes, which was fine with me.  I picked up my shirt, grabbed my chocolate milk, I spun the Big 5 wheel of prizes, and did a quick walk around the expo then headed home.

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I took my first Epsom Salt bath.  My legs were already sore and starting to stiffen.  My ankle was feeling wonky again too.  The bath did wonders!  Though I’m still feeling small aches and pains, I feel stronger and accomplished.  I think I finally feel like an athlete.  This is what we do to achieve our personal goals.  I’m digging this!

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