You've got to love the unexpected.
Last night at our show, one of our leads was unexpectedly detained by another engagement. As a result, we took the rather adventurous step of having our director stand in for the missing actor, being fed what lines she didn't know via iPhone buds in her ears. It could have been a disaster, but since everyone involved with this production happens to be amazing, the switch only added to the energy and success of the show.
It was not my only unexpected triumph of the weekend, though, as I managed to survive an 8-miler without any major problem this morning in 90-degree weather. As I was making all the twists and turns of the trail, I thought back to a few weeks ago, when an 8-mile run could involve several breaks and water stops. I passed several spots on my course where I had distinct memories of sitting down, exhausted by the distance and the weather. While this length of a run is by no means routine for me, it is comforting to feel that I am no longer subject to the sudden exhaustion that I've had only recently.
However, I am still subject to the basic laws of nature, one of which I seem to forget with alarming regularity: don't eat fried food late at night and run the next morning. Oh dear me, no.
It happened shortly after I began the downhill portion of the my 8-mile course. I suddenly remembered this rule, having violated it with a plate of onion rings and sliders at around 11:00 last night. The remaining 2.5 miles were, to say the least, uncomfortable, and I did have to stop at one point to sort of calm my innards down. I made it home without incident, but the real story here is about the progress that I made in the process of this discomfort.
With 2 miles to go, I seriously considered stopping, but I knew from past experience that this would not really do much for me. My best bet was to get home as soon as possible, but I was also very uncomfortable, so I made up my mind to at least run until I made it to the bridge, then past the bridge, then up the hill, then to the mile marker, then up the next hill. I made it almost 1.25 miles before I finally took a second to gather myself, all the while pushing back my chosen spot until I could not do so any more. Unlike my exhaustion breaks, where I set a goal and stop before it, this one break got pushed back to the point of absolute necessity.
It's a lesson I'm hoping to take with me in the morning. We're into the heavy mileage now, and I want to make sure that I do everything I can to prepare for MCM and a shot at a BQ. This means going the entire distance, regardless of circumstances. I'll do what I can to prepare, but in the long run (no pun intended), it's all about being mentally tough enough to continue when things get hard. My issue tomorrow will be that I do not have any energy gels, and no stores that sell them will be open early enough, but it's just another hurdle for me to conquer.
One more unexpected triumph.
88-91 Degrees / Sunny
1 Hour, 1 Minute, 39 Seconds