Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adding Miles

Monday night I went to the gym before swimming class, and ran a moderate 3.47mi on the treadmill to kill time. Then I went to swim class in time for most of the pilates session. Unfortunately I'm not getting the emails from the trainer anymore for some reason, and I don't have the night's swim drills to look at. Basically the swim that night was A LOT of kicking. As awesome as my kicks are out of the water, they aren't that great in the water. It took me two minutes to kick 50 yards with the kick board. The trainer, who thankfully was more attentive than usual, told me to put on flippers. I hadn't put flippers on since I was 8 or something, so it felt pretty weird.

Once I got in the water and started moving my legs I was flying. I was doing 50 yards in around 45 seconds. It was FUN and I couldn't believe how great it felt to go fast. Later in the showers, one woman exclaimed how I was beating people in the fast lane who had flippers on too. I don't know about that, I don't think the few I noticed passing had flippers on, I do know that she did and I flew past her. So... all I need to do is have my feet grow like 7 inches longer and I'm golden.

This morning I woke up and added more miles, my first 8.5 mile run! I woke up at 5:30am totally awake. I haven't been as sluggish in the morning lately, either I'm getting better sleep or it's the warmer weather. I think the latter. So I decided to run, see if I could go past 7. I planned my route, which is down Whitney Ave, and heading onto a part of the canal trail, back home again. I used to bike it in the morning all the time, and thought it was around 8 miles. Yeah, about 8, more like 8 and a half I would realize on the 7th mile.

I took the time to really stretch and drink my magic 3 pints of water (I use mostly pint glasses even though I hardly drink beer!) and cinnamon graham crackers. I left a little later than I had hoped to, but figured it'd be motivation in the end to make me run faster so I'm not late for work. Right from the beginning I knew my 8:30 pace from Monday was not happening. I pushed and pushed, but I was always around 6.5mph. It was so frustrating, but I had done over 3 miles the night before, and the 2800y swim. The map shows little elevation change, but there are hills, I swear! It felt way more hilly than Monday's run. I don't get it! I don't remember any visible hills from Monday, and this run has hills, or I've lost my mind.

I had safety pinned a pocket thing I have from this crazy gothic Japanese outfit I have to hold tissues and a Clif gel. Thank god I did that, that gel was overdue at mile 6. I needed something to give me a boost cause I felt myself getting weaker and weaker. I tried so hard to push myself to go faster, it was around here that I was running 7.5mph and a little higher, but I couldn't sustain it for long. When I ended my run and walking back to my apartment I used my iPod's calculator to figure out the pace. Around 9min miles. Sigh. I found myself talking out loud. "Not only did you swim last night you ran. You usually don't even work out after swimming. 9's okay. I mean you did good Monday. You're tired, 9's are fine." I'm insane.

I peeled off my clothes when I got in my apartment. Standing in my underwear in the middle of my kitchen, the bags of frozen vegetables felt amazing on my legs. My roommate wasn't home, but even if he was I wouldn't of cared, all I cared for was freezing cold ice on my legs. When I took off my socks I discovered a sweet blood blister. It's a baby, but it's the first one I've had on my foot. When I was in the shower I remembered that during the first mile I felt the weirdest sensation in my foot, like fluid moving around. I realized it was in the same spot, so I think I actually felt my blood blister form! Sick, I know. Weird that it'd happen so soon into the run.

Anyway that's that. I've ran almost 20mi this week so far. At the end of my run I had a moment of thinking how insane this all is. How could I run 5 more for a half marathon? How could I ever run three times that amount for a marathon? It all seems so far away for the first time. I know I have to slowly build miles, and it will come, but it just seems further away than before. You'd think it'd be the opposite, the longer my runs the better I'd feel. Maybe because this particular run, even though it was my longest thus far, I felt so worn out. I think I'll be smart and wait a week or so before attempting 9 miles.