July 27, 2008

I was supposed to run 8 miles yesterday.

But I didn’t.

I was up at 5:30 to eat my pre-run carbs, pack the 3 G’s (GU, Garmin, and Gatorade), and get dressed for the run. I met my carpool buddy with 5 minutes to spare, and we left on time for the 1-hour ride over the hill. My carpooler was planning a longer run than I was, and she needed to start her run at 8 am. Since I was only doing 8 miles, my run would start 30 minutes later. I checked in for 8 miles and lined up for my 8:30 start, looking for my usual running buddies in the crowd.

Pre-run Pep Talk

I didn’t find any of my similarly-paced-half-marathon-training buddies and feared I would have to run solo, unable to keep up with the faster-paced marathon-training runners. But I plodded along, at a 4:1 ratio (4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking), trying to keep up with the gang. Eventually I dropped back and began to run at more comfortable pace. I wanted to take it easy, knowing that the last time I ran here sucked Armenian yak.

Recently, I haven’t logged many longish runs. In fact, the last time I ran more than 6 miles was back in June, so I knew 8 would be a chore. I kept my thoughts positive, convincing myself that even though my last run here was utterly craptastic, I’d erase those bad memories with good ones today. I ran down the dirt trail lined by redwood trees. The air was clean and my lungs were thankful to be out of the city.

Waddell Creek Trail

I met someone from my pace group at the water stop, about 2 miles in. She had actually started her run with my carpooler’s group at 8, but accidentally took a detour, and wound up at the beloved water stop the same time as I did. We started chatting, and she asked if I would run with her because we go at about the same pace. She was planning on running 12 miles, but she said she’d stick with me until my 4-mile turnaround point and then she’d keep going ahead. I was happy to have a running companion even if it was for only a couple of miles because it is so much more enjoyable with someone to talk to. And it was. We run well together. She’s chatty and so am I so the time went by quickly. I was having an awesomely good run. It was, in fact, easy. I felt great, and because I was enjoying myself so much, I noticed this time that the scenery was gorgeous.


We reached the 4-mile mark in no time and it seemed effortless. This was my turnaround point for the 8-mile loop. But I told my running mate that I would go to the 5-mile turnaround and increase my run 10 miles. What the hell? Ten, schmen. That’s just 2 more than 8…I could do it.

As we approached the 5-mile turnaround, most runners flew past it to go all the way to the 6-mile turnaround that boasted a beautiful waterfall. I wondered if there really was a waterfall, or if it was all a ruse by the TNT coaches to get us to go an extra 2 miles. Even at the 5-mile mark, I still felt great. I thought about those people I am running for and thought about what they endure when going through treatments. They don’t have the luxury of getting up and going for a run while suffering from extreme fatigue, nausea, and pain. They fight and go through hell until they reach their goal – a cure. And if they’re to do 12 months of chemo, they don’t say, “Oh, I think I’ll just do 8 months and then stop.” They go all the way. I could not complain about having to run. I chose to do this running business. Cancer patients did not choose to get cancer. Cancer chose them. (And cancer is an asshole.) And knowing I’d be logging 10 anyway…well…what’s 2 more? “Sure, I’ll go 12 with you!” I told my running buddy. And so I went.

So, yeah. I did not run 8 miles yesterday. I ran 12. And this was the payoff, courtesy of Mother Nature:

keep reading I was supposed to run 8 miles yesterday.