"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chasing 9's.

61 one miles is a lot less than the 77 miles I did the week before. My body manages to stay upright through all I have put it through.
One of the reasons my body has not fallen apart is because I have not been doing speed drills.
Training for Cloudsplitter does not really require me to run repeats around the track, Thank GOD!
But it does require me to run a lot of miles.

I remember months ago reading how many miles my training would have me running and thinking "How am I going to do that?"
I have to take care of my kids, my husband, my ministries at church, work...
I just couldn't put it all together.

But I did. The puzzle all came together.
My kids are older and are very busy with sports.
Andy is very supportive. He is also running a lot more making me get in those double runs.
I have had 2 groups I run trails with and then I have Lacey for Sunday Runday. Sunday Runday now includes Andy, due to the murder in our small town he does not want us running the backroads alone.

So I am training for the 100k in October. That means ANY Races in between is a TRAINING RACE. Due to me NOT running much faster than a 8min/mi one of the races I run every years is going to be a total BOMB.
This years CRIM is going to be UGLY.
My Goal: sub 8min/mi. OH I am living on a prayer!

I ran my LONG RUN today very SHORT.
SUNDAY: Andy mapped out a run for Lacey and I. A perfect 16 miler.
MONDAY: Initially I was going to run 20 miles.

The LOW down on the Low Miles.
Almost directly after putting my NB shoes on I changed my plan.
Rather than running a moderate 20 miler, I decided to try and run less miles with more exertion.

CHASING 9's. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to try and keep my pace at a 9min/mi/. No walking hills, no intervals, running it all the way through.

The FIRST 3 MILES were rather smooth.
9:01, 8:52, 8:35.
Mile 4 made we nervous, 8:38. I didn't think I could maintain that pace another 12 miles. I had some hills I had to cover and was scared I would bottom out. I was bent on running hard up the hills.
I had already crossed 2 nasty inclines. I knew my route and I knew I had several more to go.
I was barreling up the hills with everything in me.They were the same hills the day before I was walking. It is a mind game to say the least.
Miles 5-7 were rather flat. I ran through the back roads and corn fields. These miles tricked my legs. I came off the main road unto the dirt roads and my legs felt fatique. I was struggling to turn them over on the gravel.
You have to take a deep breath, a sip of water and start turning your legs over faster. Eventually your body will catch up and then go on autopilot.
9:06, 8:57, 8:48. Slowly I was getting faster. I was dreading a mile of hills coming up on Belford. I felt great. The temperatures were in the 60's, the trees protected me from the cloudless sky and God romanced me with a soft breeze.

I had to dig it in as I turned right onto Belford. That first hill was just a tease for its big brother at the end of the road. I had to nail 3 hills at a 9 min/mi.
I straightened my back, took a big sip of water, prayed and started heading up.
"I can do this, I can do this." I thought to myself
"I'm UP!" I caught my breath as I saw my next hill just a couple hundred feet away.
It was as though my body was just getting stronger. I looked at my pace coming up the second hill, 8:48. I was holding on.
The Big brother was looming at me.
"I can do this, I can do this." I figured if I said it enough maybe my body would believe it.
Mile 8- 8:56, Mile 9-8:44.
If I wasn't out of breath I would have been doing the happy dance. But instead of the happy dance, I peed my pants. Yup, I did. At the top of the hill I grabbed my dropped waters to refill and SWOOSH, there went my bladder. I had enough energy to just laugh at myself.

I was looking forward to the next mile of flat running. Mile 10-8:41. I was feeling strong.

I began entertaining the idea of chasing 8's. It was going to hurt. But I began believing I could run sub 9's. It didn't hurt to try..Actually it was going to hurt.

Then came the hills.
"PUMP Your ARMS."  "Breath Anita." "Pick up your legs and turn them over." I continued to bark orders at myself.
Hill after hill I could feel myself tackling and gaining more confidence.
MILES 11- 8:40, MILE 12-8:39, Mile 13-8:35.
I was actually getting faster with the rolling hills.

With 3 miles to go I had 2 flat miles and 1 mile with 4 rollers. Instead of focusing on the toughest last mile I chose to focus on the MILE I WAS IN.
Stay in the present.
I was getting tired. I was Determined to NOT give up. It had been a long time that I had this kind of a run. I was winded, my legs were numb, my stomach wanted to upchuck. I new I needed to push through.
I looked at my pace and decided rather than maintain my pace I was going to pick it up. Finish strong.
Mile 14-8:31
Mile 15-8:23
Mile 16-7:53

From mile 8, I knocked off seconds with each mile. Slowly chiseling down. Determined to follow through.

Distance: 16
Pace: 8:41/mi
Time: 2:19

My thoughts: I had no one to run with today. Andy did NOT want me to run. I ran for YEARS alone. I was nervous leaving my house but took a second to pray again. "And God if it is in your plan that something happens to me, just let it come from behind and make it QUICK!" 
It felt so good to push myself today. I love the idea of setting goals. Setting them high, with a little bit of fear in there. The fear that is scared of the results and determined to achieve them.
The older I get the more conservative I find my goals. Maybe it is all those injures I have had. Maybe it is being afraid of failure.
Who knows.
I just know that God has protected me, strengthened me, opened doors for me and guided me. I am so grateful for every victory and every failure.


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