Friday, October 21, 2016



As you probably know, my October marathon didn't happen.  Stupid door.  Sorry, I'm still getting over it.  I'll probably be blogging about it in some way for a few more weeks.  Hopefully it makes for good subject matter.  Like many runners, I'm stubborn, particularly when it comes to training, and I refuse to throw away four solid months of work if I don't have to.  After a long conversation with my coach, I'm now looking at a mid-November marathon which gives me about six weeks to fully recover and get back in the groove.  Despite the fact that I was in the shape of my life prior to the incident, between my taper week and a week with zero activity, I lost quite a bit.  So, I'm having to re-build my base and re-sharpen my speed and I'm having to do both pretty quickly.  On top of that, my ankle is still tender and probably not quite ready to be moving at the level I'm pushing it.  Not that this is stopping me from doing it.  Again, stubborn.  Last Monday, I ran four slow miles.  Every step hurt.  I wasn't sure whether a rebound marathon was even in the cards after that.  Since then, excluding yesterday's run, I've gotten 66 miles under my belt.  Most of them were slow.  A lot of them were painful; some more than others.  And none of them gave me the confidence I'd hoped for in regards to taking on another marathon.  Physically, it's been a struggle.  Mentally, it's been an all at war.....against myself.  I went to bed Wednesday night doubting that I could pull off my workout the next day (er...'kick the tires', as my coach put it), the first since my injury.  And yet, at the same time, I was ridiculously fired up to get out there and give it my best shot.

On Thursday morning, as I prepped to head out, my desire to succeed outweighed my fear of failure.  This was good.  Around 9:00am, I met my friend and fellow coach, Chas, who would be pacing me for my tempo run.  While we warmed up, I had the following Q + A session with myself multiple times:

Can you do this?  Yes. You can
Do you want it?  Yes. I do.
Are you strong enough?  Yes. I am.
Do you believe?  Hell yeah.
Are you ready?  Game on.

Fortunately, for me, Chas is a very driven and positive person.  He's also very calm and easygoing.  I was anxious and over-eager, so having him there was incredibly stabilizing.  We would be doing a 2 mile warmup, 6 miles @ 6:50-6:55 pace, and a 2 mile cool down.  Comfortably hard for me when I'm healthy.  Significantly harder for me when I'm not as healthy.  Easy for Chas.  Here's how it played out:

Mile 1:6:51 - This mile felt really good.  I was fresh out of the gate and excited to finally be picking up the pace again.  We cruised through on pace, no problem.
Mile 2:6:48 - This mile felt insanely long.  I could still hold the pace, but I felt like mile 3 was never going to come.  When Chas finally gave me the split I was a little disheartened.  Maybe the next one will feel shorter  he said.  Yeah.  Okay. 
Mile 3:6:49 This mile was so-so.  Not great, not bad.  A very slight rise on the bike path made it harder than the first two from an effort perspective.  Leaves were falling all around us.  Chas was catching them left and right.  I was not.  If you catch a leaf we can turn around in half a mile he said.  Translation, we're at 2.5 and we'll be turning around in half a mile.  But what's the fun in that?  This made me smile.  And it made the mile go much faster.

Mile 4:6:45 We got a little zippy during this mile.  Think it was the combination of knowing I was over the hump, a cheer from a woman walking by us on the other side of the path (bless her), and the fact that I was now attempting to catch leaves.  Sort of.  Really, I was just putting my hands out and hoping for the best.  But, the distraction was solid and got us to mile 5 on pace.
Mile 5:6:47 My legs were getting tired by now but I knew I would be able hold on to finish the workout.  I was working hard, but I was also pretty amped up.  It was a good combo and drove me into my final push.
Mile 6:6:40 Right before this mile began I finally caught my leaf.  Ha!  I smiled and tucked in my sports bra.  Let's finish this, Rebecca.  My legs were pulsing, but, regardless, I'm pretty sure I was smiling through the whole mile.

So, yeah.  The tires have been officially kicked.  The fires lit.  Or, re-lit, in this case.  My gears shifted yesterday.  The the on.  Zoom zoom.

Listen to this:
Jacked Up - Weezer

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