8/14/13

Double Digits . . .

Why are you looking at my moobs? You
filthy pervert. Seriously? Stop looking.
I know that the Prairie Fire Half-Marathon (just 59 days away) is 13.1 miles long. I get that is the goal of this entire running "adventure" and I get that even on the GoRun Wichita Start2Finish training schedule I have bigger, longer, harder things in front of me (that sounds wrong when you read it out loud) BUT I hit TEN MILES on Saturday and that, to me, is a big deal.

I've had several people, curious about running themselves or just wondering what my dark, cynical mind chooses to obsess over "out there" have asked what it feels like to run ten miles. Well - this is not a universal response - but THIS is how my ten miles went . . .

0 MILES - 4:45 AM. Just pacing around the parking lot in the dark. I should point out there were NO CLOUDS and NO MOON in the sky so there were a million beautiful stars overhead. That calmed me a little bit. I stretched. I pondered. I considered the challenge. I hit "play" on my iPod. I started running.
IN MY EARS: "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" Notorious B.I.G.

0.5 MILES - My water bottle was already tempting me (I'm trying to figure out when/how much to drink while running). My left knee is a little twitchy. Posture is good. Breathing is fine. Feeling good.
IN MY EARS: "Let Me In" De La Soul

1 MILE - "That's 10% down. That is ONLY 10% down. Wow. That's just 10% down."
IN MY EARS: "Landed" Ben Folds

1.5 MILES - Seriously . . . who were those guys running with the headlights on their foreheads (at this point is about 5:15 AM and still very dark) and why were they in such a hurry? My left knee is just fine now and I've got a good pace going and I'm not feeling any urges to slow down. My least favorite half-mile stretch of the east side running path is done. For now. I will run it THREE more times this morning.
IN MY EARS: "Be Calm" Fun.

2 MILES - I realize I'm making really good time at this point. I start to wonder if I'm too nervous/excited and going too fast accordingly. I'm just 20% in and I have a lot of work to do. I consider slowing down. Realize that my body will do that for me. I cross 13th street and keep on plugging.
IN MY EARS: "I Can't Wait" Star & Micey

2.5 MILES - 25%. 25%. 25%. There is a celebration in my brain. Then I take some inventory. Um 75% still to go. Water bottle is almost empty. There is still no sun. Left knee is not happy again. I'm breathing fine but sweating more than I'd like (it was a cool morning). I start thinking about clothes. Specifically the clothes that people I know look best in and I start speculating why that is. And then I start wondering if I look good in the clothes I wear and why (not) that is. I decide I DO look good in chinos and an oxford shirt. I have no idea why.
IN MY EARS: "Step" Vampire Weekend

3 MILES - Grocery list. Literally. Just going over what I do and don't have at the apartment and what I do and don't need to buy this week. I have spent MOST of the last half mile going through this. At one point I decided I would only cook Israeli food for the next six months. Then I realize I know nothing about said cuisine. Decide I'll stick to protein bars, fish, eggs, and veggies for a while longer. I hit my first turn-around of the morning. Time to head back to the store. I drink the last of my water ONLY to discover the water cooler on the bench in front of me is EMPTY. Face palm. Run on.
IN MY EARS: "Can't Go Back Now" The Weepies

3.5 MILES - Boobs. That's the honest answer. I'm not proud of it but that is what I was thinking about. The sun is starting to creep up at this point. Just enough to give some relief to the darkness.
IN MY EARS: "Good Life" OneRepublic

4 MILES - I'm back at The Warren. I'm laughing at the bench that makes me laugh EVERY time I run by it. Someone put "Wet Paint" on the bench in spray paint who-only-knows how long ago. I have no idea why this is funny to me but it is. I'm annoyed that I have no water at this point and I eat my first peanut butter packet of the morning. 40%. 2/5. Making real progress. Still feeling strong.
IN MY EARS: "Jewish Flow" Lil' Dicky

4.5 MILES - My first urge to pee of the morning. I'm still 1.5 miles from GoRun Wichita so I file it under "things to worry about later" and go back to wondering why Putin would ever allow Snowden temporary asylum unless he wanted to antagonize America and what that means or what the end game might be. Then I start thinking about Putin's many, many photo ops that are cheesy and awkward. And wonder how power is realized and held. Then I transition to boobs. Again.
IN MY EARS: "Without You" David Guetta and Usher

5 MILES - 50%. That's right. FIFTY PERCENT done. And I'm bored but I'm not in pain. I realize I am dripping sweat but in a way that doesn't bother me. The sun is coming up more and more at this point. It makes me happy for some reason (mainly because I'm five miles in before the sun is even fully up . . .).
IN MY EARS: "Look Around" Blues Traveler

5.5 MILES - I've got to pee. That is all I can think about. Peeing. Gotta' pee. Really gotta' pee. And that means getting back to GoRun Wichita. And I want to do that before the group run begins so I don't have to follow everyone out again. I'm also hoping no one is in the bathroom when I get there. I've spent most of the last half mile going through my budget and where I can tweak and what I need to worry about, payment wise, in the next few weeks.
IN MY EARS: "Two Weeks" Grizzly Bear

6 MILES - I cross the spray painted finish line and have a moment of pride (I've not walked a single stride and I must be doing fine, time wise, because people are just starting to really accumulate for the 6:30 group run start). I go in the store to pee. Yep. Sure enough. Someone is in the bathroom. Come on, come on, come on . . . I've got four more miles to go and I'm standing still for NO good reason. This is not good for me.
IN MY EARS: "Fantasy (Bad Boy Remix)" Mariah Carey and O.D.B.

6.5 MILES - My calves are unhappy. The sun is fully up. I've just been passed by an OLD man (easily in his 70s) who seems super fit and super fast to me. I wonder what the odds of being that old and that fit are and realize I will never know first hand. Then I start thinking about how people age and how old people look "great" or "not" - nothing in the middle. I ponder Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren.
IN MY EARS: "Today" Smashing Pumpkins

7 MILES - Nothing. My brain is honestly blank. I am just worried about my calves (NOT cramping - I was well hydrated) and if they were going to screw with me. I started my least favorite stretch - again (third time in four). I'm super sweaty and it feels cold in the early morning sun. Not in a good, refreshing way but in a "get off me" way. I loathe my polyester "dri fit" t-shirt a ton at this point. My moobs look horrible.
IN MY EAR: "Right Here" SWV

7.5 MILES - I'm thinking about my favorite TV shows of all time and what they all had in common (nothing) and why I like them all and the shows so many people like/love that I don't like and if it is just spite on my part or if there is something about those shows that truly doesn't appeal to me in a real way. I realize I'm 75% done and even if I gave up and turned back now (I considered it, I should confess here) I would still have nine miles logged but I feel like I've got at least the full ten in my tank - even with my calves being grumpy. My right hand is swollen and I'm not sure why.
IN MY EARS: "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Donovan

8 MILES - My LAST turn around point of the morning. Back at the Warren. Again. I get a rush of excitement knowing this is truly the home stretch and that there is nothing to hesitate about - I have not walked more than about 50 paces to this point and my calves seem to be calmer. I eat my second peanut butter pouch while making the turn. Honestly. I really "inhaled" it . . . and my mouth is happy.
IN MY EARS: "The Immortals" Kings of Leon

8.5 MILES - Here come the other GoRun Wichita runners. I've hit 85% of my run and all these people look so fresh and happy and determined. I exchange some waves, smiles, peace signs and fist bumps. I get a jolt of excitement. It is short lived. I'm now TIRED. About half way to nine I see those crazy men with headlamps I saw so much earlier . . . it is a friend of mine. He's running THIRTY miles that Saturday morning. I feel ashamed of my ten. But only for a few paces.
IN MY EARS: "Race You" Elizabeth & the Catapult

9 MILES - I'm mentally beat. I just want it over. I feel really defeated for some reason. I'm running at a very, very slow pace (it FEELS slow as I put one foot in front of the other) and my calves are on fire and I'm almost out of water and I don't want to run one more/last mile. I realize my last mile (no matter how many I do) is usually my worst and today will be no different. I get sorta' teary and I don't know if I am just disappointed with myself or if I am having other feelings. I hate feelings. Almost as much as I hate running.
IN MY EARS: I don't remember.

9.5 MILES - I've been walking for about 100 paces when I hit the marker on the path. I break in to a sprint if only to jolt myself back to running. I've got no idea if I'm going to make it back to the store while running or not. My left leg is looking in my pocket for a saw to amputate itself with. My right leg has already indicated an interest in the saw when the left leg is done. My water bottle is empty and taunting me. I want to throw it in the weeds. I want more peanut butter or something to distract me. The KEY? I'm running again though and I've decided it will stay that way.
IN MY EARS: "Believe in Magic" Jim Jones feat. Lloyd and Girl Talk

10 MILES - I cross the spray painted start/finish line again (fourth time of the day) and just fold at the waist. I am tired and sore and sad and happy and excited and morose and elated and exhausted. I rip my headphones out of my ears and go all the way up on my toes as though to tell my calves they can/should f*ck themselves. I accidentally kick, rip, and destroy my headphones. I stand erect again and walk to the water cooler. I refill my water bottle one more time. I walk behind the store for my cool down and stretches, get emotional, and realize that I - just nine weeks from my first run pretty much EVER - have just completed ten miles of running.
IN MY EARS: (beautifully enough) "Thank U" by Alanis Morissette

I have ELEVEN on the schedule for this Saturday morning. I don't know what it will look and feel like but I doubt it will have the emotional pull this run did. I guess we'll find out.