Monday, April 30, 2012

The 16 Miles That Tried to Kill Me and A Funny Story

Sometimes I call my mom when I'm running. (I have a hands free ear piece). Since my mom lives back East, it's hard to call her before she goes to bed because of the time difference and the fact I get home so late after my runs. So when I'm running it’s my best opportunity to keep in touch.  
She asked me if Kris knew what my running route was that night. (Moms always worry you know. At least the good ones anyway. :) ) I told her I usually give Kris my route each day but if I ever forget we have apps on our phone that let's either one of us see where the other one is at any given time. I told her that Kris jokes that not only does it show where I am, but if he sees my little dot stop moving on the map and is in the same place for more than a few minutes, he knows to come get me! Ha ha.

Keep that in mind when I tell you about my 16 miler this Saturday. I don't know what it is with the 16 mile run. But I remember in my first marathon season, the 16 miler gave me a lot of trouble! I was in so much pain I just struggled and limped in. I finished but it was so hard I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle the other long runs I still had to go over the next few weeks. But funny thing is, the longer runs were just fine. Running is funny that way.

Well, this Saturday I had my 16 miler to do (this time without the team) and I did not have a great run. I think I went out too fast or something. But by just mile 10 I was tired and getting sore already! By mile 12 I was in full-on pain and really wanted to stop. I shot Kris off a text to let him know I was slowing down and would likely walk the rest of it in. (Which is RARE for me. I hate walking more than my minute intervals).  
Like any great runner he immediately texted me back some encouragement. I especially appreciated: "Run what you can. It's only discomfort. It's only temporary. Think of the people you are running for. They don't have a choice. You do." He knows just what I need to hear. And that got me back to 'shuffling' best I could. 
I told myself this is like being at mile 22 in the marathon and I need to practice my mental toughness. So there is no whining. I need to figure out how to get my head on board and get through this. It's only pain. Deal.

My feet were screaming, "Get off us already!!!!" My hamstrings said, "Yeah. Can we please just sit down now? This really hurts." My heart reply, "What's wrong with you guys? I'm doing fine you wimps!" (I think my hamstrings flipped my heart off then. But since they are behind me and under my (ahem) generous backside, I couldn't see them to be sure). 

So I just kept going and tried to talk my brain into shutting off its pain receptors.

I got another encouraging text from Kris which included the phrase, "The faster you run the faster you're done." Ha ha! I was going at my top speed and the ducks in the park were still waddling faster than I was. I didn't text him back because I was at that point where I just had to get in. I had no energy to spend on anything else. 
I think I passed out because all of a sudden I was turning the last corner back into my neighborhood and I couldn't remember the last two miles. Good old muscle memory knew the way home! Thank goodness!
So I ‘run’ up to our porch and let out a big “Whoop!” I was so relieved to be in!
I wanted to stretch really well before I went in the house. So I hung out on the porch stretching and cooling down. My phone rang and I saw it was Kris. I grinned because he must have seen me on the porch and was wondering why I wasn’t coming in yet. 

“Where are you?” Kris sounded concerned.

“I’m on the porch! Where are you?”

“I’m on McCoy.”

“McCoy?! That’s like a mile away from here.”


“What are you doing on McCoy?”

“You didn’t answer my last text and I saw that your dot on the map hadn’t moved for like five minutes. I thought I better go check on you.”

My God my husband loves me. When he saw my dot wasn’t moving, he grabbed the dog and went to get me on foot. 

Why didn’t he take the car?  When he thought I had reached the end of my rope and sat down in defeat, he knew I didn’t need a ride home. He has so much faith in me that he knew I could come in on my own two feet. All I needed was for him and Heather to come by and remind me that I could. 

He’s amazing! Let me tell you, when I do my first ultra, I want him as my late-race pacer! 

I love you Kris! You are the best!

When Kris hung up the phone from me, he checked the app again, and my little purple dot had moved and was now right in front of our house! D'uoh!

1 comment:

Kira said...

That is a great story. You two are such a great runner couple. Looks like Kris is a keeper for sure, so sweet!