Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Does a PR count if you're just training?

Today was absolutely unbelievable!  Hours later, and I am still flying high!  My husband and I started out with our dog, Toby, about 9:00 this morning.  The sun was shining so bright in the sky, the temperature was about 22 degrees and there was very little wind.  We had dressed in multiple layers, strapped our numerous bottles of water and G2 to our belts and shoved our pockets with Hammer Gel and then we were off!

I was armed with my brand new Garmin and watching the miles go up one at a time was an absolute thrill.  We passed the time by talking about our once in a lifetime trip to California in less than a month.  We are getting to stay with my coach and now good friend, Rob, and his beautiful daughter, Megan.  Neither of us have ever been to California, other than a layover at LAX on our way to Hawaii years ago.  Mike said the part he is looking forward to the most is the warm temperatures!  I laughed since we still haven't had more than an inch of snow this winter.  Extremely bizarre weather for Wisconsin in January. 

I thought about what I was looking forward to the most on this trip.  There are so many things to look forward to!  Finally meeting Rob for the first time after two years of working together, getting away from the cold weather for a few days, running along the Pacific Coast Highway looking out at the ocean, spreading awareness of Stevens Johnson Syndrome by representing Team SJS among thousands of runners, or reaching my own personal goal of beating my PR from two years ago at the Fox Cities Half.  I told you, there are just so many!!

I ran the most solid run I have ever run at that distance!  My fears and anxieties of feeling sick on this run never crossed my mind.  I just went out and ran!  Mike and I talked and laughed and I enjoyed every minute we had together.  He even paid me the biggest compliment he ever could have.  We talked about my dream to run a full marathon this year and the questions I had about whether or not I could do it.  He never paused when he said that he knew I could do it and that I had more determination than he ever did when he trained for the three that he completed.  I will never forget that moment and will always be grateful that he believes in me the way that he does!  Everyone needs someone that believes in them more than they do themselves, but not everyone is that blessed.

When we reached mile 11, I started to really feel it in my legs and my hips.  My joints began to feel as though they were on fire.  We both got a little more quiet and I concentrated hard on the task at hand.  Just 2 miles to go.  2 more miles and we would be home.  One foot and  then the other, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, concentrating on my posture, not letting the fatigue take over.  I thought about the other two times I had run this distance and how terrible I felt then and how good I felt now.  Sure I was uncomfortable, but I was running, no walking and my stomach was not giving me any problems!  

As we rounded the final corner, I looked down at my Garmin, looked up and then looked at it again!  Are you kidding me??  Really??  I was killing my PR!  Not by seconds, not by a few minutes.  I hit 13.1 miles and realized I had done it 15 minutes faster than my PR!  15 minutes!!!  I wasn't doubled over in pain and I wasn't sprinting for a bathroom either. I felt great and I felt proud!  I worked hard for that moment, even though it was a training run and the only other person to share it with me was Mike.  But honestly, I couldn't think of another person that would have been more proud than him!

So next week, we get to do it all again!!  Another 13 mile training run on the schedule!  I'm pretty sure Rob is trying to kill me, but I'll do it again.  And then in 4 weeks, I'll do it again!  Here we come California!  Here we come!!

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