Day 20 – “…Next week, you GET to do 6!”

February 21, 2010 at 10:00 am 2 comments

Day: 20
Miles: 5
Time: 65 minutes
Feeling: Energized.

“When you get to the end, you’ll say, ‘wow, I just ran 5 miles and next week, I get to do six!” — Ben

I think I love Ben as much as you can love someone after running with them for one mile. I literally laughed out loud when he said this.

I’d been stopping and starting throughout the miles. Mostly stopping after the wind challenged me on the Henderson Bridge, and up, it seemed, every hill. Stupid wind. I was still waffling on how many miles I would do today, since coach gave us an out and said we could do between 3 and 6 miles, because we still had “plenty of time” to get our mileage up. Sweet, I thought. Maybe I’ll do 3 and then head home and nap.

I got to the end of the Henderson Bridge and told myself I could keep going, it couldn’t be that much further. The turnaround was at a Dunkin’ Donuts about 1/2 a mile away. I got to the light and considered turning around. Then I peeked around the corner and saw the Dunkin’ Donuts and figured, eh, why not go ahead? You’ve come this far.

I made it 3/4ths of the way across the Henderson Bridge on the way back before the wind made me stop. I stopped again before I got to the turn, and then told myself I had to run to the one mile mark. Then I could stop.

That’s when Ben caught up with me.

Ben — a triathaloner — caught up with me around the one mile mark. We were both on our last miles – mine of 5, his of 7. Truthfully, I saw him at the corner as I stopped to take a walk break and once I got to the next tree, I started running (I’m self concious like that). He still caught up with me.

It’s better, he said, if you can find someone to run with the last mile, at least. It helps, he said. So he invited me to run the last mile with him.

Gotta say, he’s right.

As much as I wanted to stop, I had Ben on my side telling me that I could do it, and then, personally, I didn’t want to let him down by doing anything less than my absolute best. I figured if he’d just run 7 miles and was there to motivate me, least I could do is not be a punk about this last mile.

We talked — me through gulps of breath — about what we did for a living, our races and running (he told me I needed to get outside because the treadmill is a trickster — something I know all too well).

And I asked him what I really wanted to know:

“How *wheeze* do you keep *wheeze* from stopping?”

His answer came quick.

“You tell your mind that you can do it and your body will do the rest,” he said.

“You promise?”

“Pretty much.”

I didn’t want to believe him, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I mean, my whole strategy of picking landmarks to run to wasn’t exactly helping me build stamina. So I kept telling myself that I could make it, that we were almost there. And Ben kept talking, which was helpful.

I’ll say this: we’ve been running on Sundays for the entire month of February and I have never EVER run the last mile without stopping.

Until today.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

UPDATE!! Day 18 – I’m considering flaking on training Day 21 — Running Buddies

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