Well, it seems I may have turned a corner. There I times I actually (gasp!) look forward to my next run. Weird. It's not generally for treadmill runs, but I do seem to enjoy running outside now. It's more pleasant to actually see the ground moving under my feet than just to stay in a single place and run until I'm done. The change seems to have coincided with when we started to run down the canyon and when The Hubs downloaded Zombies, Run! onto his phone for me. It gives me something a little more exciting to run to than just my regular playlist. All I have to do is steal his fancy pants phone when I go on a run. :)
Today's run was 12 miles...almost. It came up to about 11.5 when I was done. I had driven a route the night before and got everything all planned. When I actually ran I missed a turn and it cut 2 miles off the course. I was cursing the stupid GPS on the phone because I thought I had one mile left and it told me there were still three. You want to know what's demotivational when you run? Realizing there are two extra miles to go when you thought you were almost done is pretty disheartening. I added in some extra running spots to try to make up the mileage I'd lost. By the time I got to 11.5 I was almost at my front door and I could see that I needed to get inside and shower lickety-split if we were to make it on time to the family activity at my in-laws house. So I decided that 11.5 miles was good enough. Besides, at that point it was all I could do to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. One of my neighbors told me she saw me running around our block and I was a little embarrassed. By that time my form had broken down completely and my pace was comparable to a sloth's. I was so tired and sore in muscles I didn't know I had.
The good news is that I finished and came close enough to my distance goal to make me happy. The bad news is pretty much the same as it always is. I start to question and wonder about the decision to run a marathon. Do I really care about doing a marathon as much as I need to so I can finish? If I were to quit the training would I, on race day, be disappointed in myself for not finishing or would I dance a jig and be pleased I wasn't putting myself through that misery? Hard to tell. What I do know is that I'm one that just keeps putting on foot in front of the other until the run is over. That means I would certainly finish the marathon if I went--even if I had to walk the whole thing.
**Continued two days later**
There was some pretty good news about Saturday's run along with the discouraging thoughts. Most of the day Saturday I was sore and tired (I'd just run 11.5 miles, how else was I expected to feel?) and walked a bit gingerly. Sunday was a huge surprise. I expected to be hobbling around, sore and tires, as I usually do the day after a long run. I didn't. My body felt pretty good. Even more exciting to me was that the runners diarrhea I've experienced for the past several weeks never showed up. I can hear the heavenly choirs rejoicing with me. I love not feeling like I have to be parked on the toilet all day. Last week I only had half a day of feeling sick and I thought that was pretty good. Not sick at all is about a million times better.
The biggest surprise of all came this morning when I got on the treadmill for a four mile run. I did awesome. I expected my legs to rebel against me and refuse to cooperate. I got the four miles in 41 minutes. That's really good for me, especially because I run on a little bit of an incline. We'll see how it goes tomorrow when I run six miles. I'm expecting to do pretty well though I doubt I'll be able to keep the same pace. It's all stuff to look forward to. After my last post I had a really difficult running week. Last week was great and this week is shaping up to be even better. Also, by the end of tomorrow's run I will have reached the gold level of the fitness challenge I've been doing. I originally signed up with the goal of finishing at silver level, which is 170 miles. After a good week of running I looked at my projected mileage for the marathon and saw that I could reach the 220 miles of gold level. I was super nervous, but a challenge isn't a challenge unless you push, right? Well, I'm 4.9 miles away from gold level and I've certainly pushed it. I'm pretty proud of myself.