Sorry for the delay with this post, but I enjoyed a weekend away from my computer. Except for uploading my Garmin after my run Saturday and the occasional facebook comment from my Blackberry, I was blissfully unplugged. I caught up on some reading and sleep, had a great dinner out with friends, and helped dad make a huge step in finally getting the dining room finished. It was nice. Maybe I should just commit to only writing 1 or 2 posts each week so I don't feel guilty when I don't post every little new and exciting thing that happens. Especially now that I'm getting serious about my "101 Things in 1001 Days" posts over on my Xanga blog. And I'm putting more effort into my creative writing again (and organizing my older writing). Guess we're in for some longer posts, people. Double knot your running shoes and hold on tight.
I'm constantly learning that I underestimate myself. I'll be completely honest here, I was scared to death thinking about running 8 miles on Saturday. That's longer than I've EVER run, even with walk breaks. I've been staring at that "8" on the calender for several weeks now, just waiting. When I woke up Saturday morning, I just rolled over and stared at my running shoes for a good 10 minutes before I decided to crawl out of my ridiculously comfy cocoon. I got slightly more excited once I looked outside and saw that it was snowing! I knew it wouldn't stick, but I wanted to get out and enjoy the flurries while they lasted. If you're friends with me on facebook, you know I spent a while Friday night debating which route to take for my 8-miler. I wanted to run on busy roads as little as possible thinking that I would need to have my music cranked up in order to get myself through this run. But, I didn't want to run on muddy trails and have to expend even more energy that I wasn't sure I had in me. I ended up making a compromise with running north along Whitehouse-Spencer to the north fork of the Wabash-Cannonball trail and then taking that west into Oak Openings. From there, I'd be taking my normal route home through the park and along Obee. I also figured I knew plenty of people who lived along that route in case I had a problem. I DID take my cell phone with me (I'm seriously in love with the pockets in my Saucony nomad jacket) in case I needed to suck it up and call home ... or to take pictures (will get to that in a minute).
The run itself was SO not what I was expecting. From the start, my legs did NOT want to go slow. I couldn't get above a 12 minute mile even for my first mile, which surprised the heck out of me. So, I just settled into a comfortable pace, focused on my music, and TRIED not to look at my Garmin every 3 minutes. I don't run the north fork of the W-C Trail very often (ok, hardly ever), so it was a treat for me. The heaviest of the snow flurries were coming down while I was alone on the trail so I occupied myself for a little while with seeing how many snowflakes I could catch on my tongue as I was running. Before I knew it, I was already in Oak Openings and getting ready to turn down Girdham Road and go past the dunes. I don't think I've spent any real time in this corner of the park since high school when our Environmental Science class took a fieldtrip to these dunes. I tried to get a picture of myself while running past the dunes, but I think I look ridiculous with my big US Rowing hat, sunglasses, and everything tinged bright orange from my jacket. lol. Oh, and I may have dropped my Blackberry RIGHT after I took this. Oops. lol
I had considered calling my friend and having him meet me at Mallard Lake since that was where I was going to pass my previous distance record and have him run me the rest of the 2 miles home to keep me motivated. But, I didn't. Once I saw how close I was to the turn off for Mallard, I took stock of how my body was feeling. Shoulders and jaw were still relaxed. Not thirsty (I'm getting better at during-run hydration). Hands and ears were actually warm. Knee and ankle felt ok (a big worry). Legs felt strong. My mind was a little fuzzy, but it always gets like that during a run. It's a coping mechanism. I'm very good at noticing details around me while running and then forgetting them in the next breath. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but oh well. Anyway, I decided to play a mind game with myself. As soon as I passed Mallard Lake (holy crapola construction!), I blanked out the previous 6 miles and told myself it was only a 2 mile day and I was just starting ... at 5k tempo pace. I found some good tunes (Crazy Train, Ozzy Ozborn.) and before I knew what was going on, my Garmin was beeping the end of 8 miles and I could see the road leading back into my neighborhood. I did it. 8 miles. An hour and a half of running. Without a walk break. I broke my distance record. Wow. It occurred to me around this time HOW MUCH I underestimate myself. I've been following a training plan pretty diligently so there is NO REASON I shouldn't have been able to complete this run. Why was I so worried? I "ran" an 11k on 11/11/11 and I remember how much I had to walk, but that was over 3 months ago and I've been training for a longer distance since then! It's time to start trusting my body and my training. I could echo the same ideas when it comes to my weight loss, but I'll save that for another time.
Being all psychological and clinical about it, I can understand why I underestimate myself sometimes. I'm constantly being told I can't do something and usually that "something" is physical. 2 prime examples. The first occurred several years ago while out doing fieldwork with a professor who is now on my committee (eek). While unloading equipment from the truck, I grabbed one side of a heavy box to help him lift it down off the tailgate and got told to "wait for xxxx (the other guy) because I was a girl and it would be too heavy for me." It REALLY ticked me off because 1) I was the one who had loaded it in the truck in the first place and 2) xxxx was this nerdy, weak, uncoordinated guy who I probably could have bench-pressed. So, I sat back and watched as "the guys" tried to lift the equipment, dropped it, scraped the leg of the professor, and cracked the equipment. Luckily it was just the external casing that cracked and it was easily secured, but it still took everything in me to not point and start screaming "I told you so!" Later in the day, I had a private conversation about the incident with the professor, which I thought was the mature thing to do, and he chose to just throw it back in my face that "they did the best they could and I still wouldn't have been any help." I blew my top. My poor advisor listened to me rant for a good 20 minutes when I got back to campus that evening. I've heard since then that my advisor AND the current department chair (who I've done field work with on several occasions) had a conversation with the professor. I've worked with him several times since then, and he's kept those kind of comments to himself, but I think I finally proved to him that I'm a capable researcher. Though, thinking back on it now, I've always had one of the guys with me that the professor "trusted". Hrm. Whatever. Anyone who I've worked with and they've had their eyes open could tell you I throw everything I have into my fieldwork. It's just a shame such cool work is being done by such a jerky prof.
The other example just happened last night. Like I mentioned earlier, we've made HUGE progress in finished the dining room. Dad got all of the wood molding and beadboard stained and installed (I hate how it looks, but oh well. I've just never been a fan of mismatched wood colors :-/ ) and we brought the china cabinet back in from the garage. Our china cabinet is a beast. The top and bottom are actually 2 different pieces otherwise it'd be impossible to move. The top part we DID have to use a dolly to move it because of all the heavy glass, but the bottom part is just wood so dad figured we could just carry it. It was a little awkward, but manageable until mom decided that my end looked "too heavy for me" and decided to "help". Yea, can you see where this is going? I almost tripped and had the whole thing dropped on me because she was trying to talk through a doorway while holding on and pushing it away from her so she could fit through. I snapped and yelled at her to "just let the $!@# go", which of course caught me some hell with dad, but I didn't care. I'll take pissing mom and dad off over having a several-hundred-pound cabinet dropped on me, probably killing me from internal injuries the way it would have fallen. This kind of crap happens EVERY time we have to move something big in our house. It's WELL past old-hat.
Wow, I can't believe I just ranted on those. Oh well. I'm too lazy to go back, delete, and try to find a shortened and less rant-y way to talk about it.
Alright, I'm off on today's run, a short 2 miles. And then I'm diving into the Hunger Games books. A friend is letting me borrow her copies since our wonderful library system decided to order only 1 copy of each book for each branch and they're all reserved well into the summer. Really?! *glare*