As I've mentioned, my 5+ weeks of illness have left me so happy to be getting out there. But this morning I procrastinated heading out for my long run. I was so worried that it would go badly. The forecast had the rain moving in in the early afternoon though, and I didn't want to get stuck in it, so I finally got myself packed up with Gu, Cytomax, water and some tunes and hit the road.
I headed out from home and down to the Alameda creek trail, the paved side. I decided at the last minute to change up my route, hoping that would help keep me from getting any *more* bored than I knew I'd already get. I headed out towards the bay and saw a couple who were walking their bikes. It looked like they may have had some mechanical problems. I didn't stop to chat, but offered up a "good morning" and hoped they didn't have too far to go.
I hit a water fountain on the way back to restock my water bottles and then kept moving along. It was a pretty nice day, except for the overcast skies, and there were quite a few people out. Lot's of "good mornings" and I heard a few "on your left's" from the courteous cyclists out there (few and far between sadly). There was a group of cyclists, dad's and kids it looked like, and I was really impressed that the parents had taught the kids to say 'on your left' before they passed. Nice. I made sure to thank all the folks who let me know they were there.
I finally made it back to where I could turn to go home, but still had about 1:15 to run. So I kept on heading down the trail. I figured 25 minutes to run down the trail, then 25 minutes back, then 25 minutes to get home. Not bad. Break it down into smaller segments. I can do this. About 5 minutes before I was due to turn back on the trail I saw the same couple walking their bikes. Wow, that's *far* to walk your bike. "Still at it eh?", the guy said to me and smiled. "Yep, still at it. I'll get there eventually.", with a smile back. "Good for you" he says, which gave me a tiny boost of motivation.
Then it was time to turn around. Umm......*where* did this headwind come from?!?! Drats. I had forgotten that I would probably have some headwinds on the way back. Stopped at another fountain to fill up and had to do some talking to myself to get moving. "Ok, less than 45 minutes left. You got this." "Ok, only about 4 miles, you can do that in your sleep." "Less than 30 minutes now." I made the turn to head home and saw I only had about 20 minutes left to run. I wasn't going to make it all the way home, but I'd get close. Keep moving, keep moving. The last 30 minutes was pretty tough and when I had to run up and over the BART overpass I was sure I was going to toss my cookies (I didn't). I made it about 2 blocks from home when my 3:15 was up. I hit "stop" on the Garmin at just over 17 miles.
So, not the 18 that I was hoping for but I'll take it. This run was *so* much better than my last attempt at the long run (when I was sick) that it can't even really be compared. I didn't want to cry. Yes, I did want to stop quite often, especially in the last 30 minutes. And yes, it was painful. I made myself keep moving though and soon enough it was done. Just like we'll do at the marathon. We'll just keep moving and eventually we'll get to the finish line. And yes, it will hurt. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Jeff got home from fishing just about the same time I was hobbling into the driveway and I sent him out for ice. Yes, I was about to sit my butt down in a tub of ice water. I filled the tub with cold water, sat there until Jeff got back, and he dumped the ice in on me. And there just *has* to be something wrong with the fact that it felt good to sit there and numb up. :-)