Hey, guess what. I have a secret. Running is HARD! OK, so maybe this isn't so much of a secret as common knowledge, but I thought it would be good for people to know.
Today I ran 15 miles! This is 1.9 miles farther than my farthest run ever, and boy did I feel those extra 1.9 miles. The run started pretty normal. I was back with the training team and with my running buddies. I was back in my old shoes since my new ones aren't quite broken in yet. I was well-rested, well-fueled, and ready to go. Off we went!
Things were fairly easy for a while. We chatted and laughed, I listened to one of my running buddies tell stories about her work I talked about how things are at the kennel (busy!). I hit my groove fairly quickly, and I was relaxed and happy.
Around mile 10 I started to feel tired. OK, so I was tired before mile 10, but it wasn't until mile 10 that I started wondering how long it would take before the run was over. No big deal. It was hot, I was tired, and I'd just run 10 miles. I was two-thirds of the way there, and I knew I had more fuel in me.
At mile 12 I really, really, really wanted to be done. I actually felt this way during the half marathon too, but it wasn't as bad, and I was only 1.1 miles from the end. Today was much warmer than at the half, my buddies and I had stopped to use a bathroom, and I was tired. At this point, though, I was four-fifths of the way done. I knew I could do it.
The last three miles were excruciating. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, my fingers hurt, my hair hurt. One of my buddies had stopped to walk, and I kept praying the other one would, so I would have an excuse to walk too (my competitive nature would not allow me to walk when she was still running). I prayed for a red light, so I would have to stop for traffic. I prayed for the God to send a freak thunderstorm so I'd have to seek cover. I just wanted this run to be done.
The last mile was the longest mile I've ever run. I can't really call what I did running. It was more like a shuffle / hobble combo. My running buddy and I continued this until we reached our finish. OH WHAT A GLORIOUS SIGHT!
Upon finishing, I would have happily chopped my legs off. I was in pain, and my legs were the source. I had to do something, so I took my shoes off, and a giant blister was revealed. Although not the source of the pain, I wasn't too pleased to see it. I hobbled across the parking lot and flopped into my car. Oh to sit! This is why chairs were invented!
When I got home, I drank a nice, cool glass of chocolate milk (so refreshing!) and then I did my next brave thing for the day. I grabbed a 10 pound bag of ice, filled my bath tub with cool water, climbed in, and dumped the ice in. Yep, I took my first ice bath. For all those wondering, yes it's cold. After the 15 miles I just ran, though, it felt quite nice. I can see me doing that again.
So, here's the verdict. I just ran 15 miles! I so very pleased. As hard as what it was, and as much as I wasn't sure that I'd be able to finish, I did finish. Not only that, because I pushed through and finished 15, I know that I'll be able to do 16, 17, 18, and more. I only have to run another 11.2 miles before I've completed a marathon, and I have the confidence I'll be able to do it. Here's to two more months of training!