Today was amazing! It was one of the best days I have had in a long time. Not only did I get to go to church for the first time in a few months, but it was a gorgeous day for my 9 mile run. The church was great. Collective worship and praise always gets me teary-eyed. I am just overcome by why we are all there. Some of the smallest things affect me on a daily basis. My friends call me “sensitive”…I am. 🙂
After church, I went in search of Gu because I was not prepared. I had packed my bag because I wanted to run in Mt. Pleasant today and found no reason to drive all the way back to James Island when I was already there. So I packed everything I could possibly want to wear to run in, my Garmin watch, my iPod, and a headband. Then, I realized that I was running 9 miles today and I couldn’t do that on my breakfast alone. I knew that I would need some Gu (for you non-runners, this is an energy gel designed to be eaten/taken while in motion to provide fuel to keep you going when your stored-up energy runs out). And, of course, I’m (still) in an unfamiliar place. I don’t know where to go buy this. So I looked up Vitamin stores on Google maps on my phone. (Have I mentioned I love my Blackberry? I don’t know what I would’ve done without it these past few months.) I find a Vitamin World so I go there thinking that they would have Gu. But, when I get there the woman looks at me like I’m crazy when I ask for Gu’s. Haha…I guess I would too if I didn’t know. Then, she directs me to Try Sports, where I finally buy four because I don’t know where and when I’ll find it again.
Then, I drive to Isle of Palms because I have heard about running the IOP Connector. It is a beautiful day but still a bit chilly between 47-51 degrees. I packed on the clothing because I got cold last Thursday on my 3 miler at the bridge…but, now that I think about it, I was getting dark by then. I parked by the beach. It’s inspirational to me…and it’s really cool that I can do that now. I took off wearing my dri-fit long-sleeve, running tights, half-zip long-sleeve, and a fleece headband. I didn’t want to get cold and come back early, so be prepared, right? BIG mistake. I was hot, and I mean, sweating hot by mile 2. Ugh! What to do? I had three options. Go back to my car and put it up, lay it down somewhere and hope it was there when I got back to it, or tie it around my waist. I opted for the last because I was not about to go back and restart my run and run the risk of losing momentum and this jacket was expensive. My luck someone would pick it up. So here I go, running down the IOP Connector with a jacket tied at my waist like a dweeb. Oh and I took it off mid-run. Like I said, didn’t want to lose momentum. This meant taking the iPod off my arm and my Garmin off of my wrist all while trying to not drop anything and keep up my pace. And then, putting them back on. The jacket didn’t bother me once I got going but I did have to turn it to the side. The fleece headband also came off and ended up in my jacket pocket eventually.
Other than that, the run was great! I ran under what my pace was supposed to be for this run and I wasn’t out of breath. The first two miles weren’t my best, but they never are. It got much better. By halfway through, I was rapping Ice Ice Baby. Yes, out loud. Those of you who know me well can imagine this, I’m sure. I can assure you I was a sight to be seen in my highlighter yellow shirt singing “Word to your mother.” Hahaha…”too cold, too cold”. At 5 miles I was ready for my Gu. I had started to slow a bit and knew that I needed something if I wanted to finish this on time. The Gu is pretty nasty the first time you eat one, but this one wasn’t so bad. It took me about three slurps, if you will, to get this one down. Easy peasy. The rest of the run was beautiful except for having to readjust my jacket a few times. I ended up at one point with it around my chest, under my arms…fun times. One must be flexible to succeed at anything.
When I got down to about .3 miles to go, Shout to the Lord came on my playlist. I had intentionally made this my ending song. I knew that I was almost finished and I looked at my watch. I was going to make it under pace. I was overwhelmed with joy and relief and teared up. Training is such an emotional thing for me. To push my body to the limits and be amazed at what I am capable of. This is why I’m feeling blessed. Not all people can get out there and run 9 miles, even if they desired to, but I can. I have two perfect legs, perfect lungs, and a perfect heart. What else could I ask for?