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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Next Fifteen

Timing is everything.

There is really no greater proof of a loving and merciful God than a bathroom when you need it. Not only was this amazingly true on Sunday morning, but it turns out that it's a better-than-apparent metaphor for the entire weekend I've had.

See, I've been overextended of late, and when Saturday morning came around, I just did not have the energy or desire to actually get out and run. The idea of turning running into "Me Time" had not yet come across my consciousness, so I settled down with the pup on the couch and made the decision to be smart. 

Sunday had a 22-mile run scheduled (technically only 20, but I wanted at least one training run over 80% of marathon distance), and I knew that this would be extremely difficult. So, I decided to rest, in my determination to do the long run, since completely an exceptionally long run is pretty much the point of the entire training program. I could justify resting on Saturday if I succeeded on Sunday.

So Sunday came, and I felt confident. And roughly 20 minutes in, I had my first real issue. I needed to stop for... something. And since it was not yet 6 a.m., I was a little concerned as to how I could manage this. Besides the fact that everything was closed, any outdoor portable, um, stops, would not really be suitable for human use, or so has been my experience. And then I turned a corner and saw that the police were sectioning off a part of the road, and there was an unexpected number of people heading to Auditorium Shores. It took a second for me to register what I was seeing - there was a road race here today, and that meant porta-johns. Lines of clean, unused porta-johns.

If I needed a reason to believe that I was meant to complete this run (and I did), then I had found it. This was oddly inspirational, and I headed back onto the road. I had to take several breaks throughout the run, but I got through the whole thing at one time, and it was the exact victory I needed. 

I got through the workout because I had realized something. When I complete the 19-miler a few weeks ago, I thought that my success had been linked in with the 2-mile loops, but it was something slightly different. It was that I had run 15-minute intervals. Throughout the entire 22 miles, I ran 15 minutes at a time, taking water at the end of each interval, since the Marine Corps has water breaks about every two miles. 

Will this work for the race itself? I have no idea. But it worked on Sunday, and that was what I needed. In the midst of what may easily be the most over-scheduled and stressful week of my life (without exaggeration), I needed something on which I could hang my hat.

Hat hung.

Sunday's Run:
72-84 Degrees
22.83 Miles
3 Hours, 15 Miles, 48 Seconds

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