Three weeks from this Saturday, that’s the day of my 10 mile race, the race I signed up for last winter when it seemed like I had lots and lots of time to go from zero to 10.
Today I walked and ran 8 miles at a local park. I had a plan and I executed it, so I’m happy even though it took me just over 2 hours to get it done.
My plan was to jog the second quarter mile in each of the eight miles, and then some parts of the other quarters, depending on the terrain (up a hill, walking, down a hill, maybe I’d jog) and the sun (in the shade, jog, in the sun, walk).
Sometimes it was hard, especially, for some reason, mile 5 and mile 7. But during my quarter mile jog I’d tell myself I only had to jog one stinking quarter and if I gave up I would have to run another one, so no sense giving up. And I didn’t. And some of the miles, if I felt good, I’d jog the 4th quarter of a mile too.
Just to prove I could.
The miles seemed to go by easier than in past attempts. I guess that’s testimony to getting out there as often as I can, and also because it was cooler today, only 68F (20C) when I started this morning. I think it was in the high 70s (23C) by the time I was finished, but there was a breeze which helped a lot.
The breeze also helped with the big flies that circled my head from mile 3 through the end of the run. I hate those flies, they hurt when they bite, but mostly they’re just annoying. Plus I look stupid trying to run while flinging my arms around over my head.
Mostly the flies landed and became entangled in my hair where they buzzed angrily. I didn’t mind that so much because at least they weren’t biting me. But there was one fly obviously not paying attention because he flew into my left eye sometime during mile 6. As I swatted at my eye, I tried not to trip over my feet while moving forward using only one eye. Not a good look, but by then, to be honest, nothing about me was a good look.
Finally slogging my way out of the woods near the beginning of mile 8 I faced that long, sunny, uphill mile to the car. A small family on bikes came out of the woods behind me, the mother warning the two young children on their tiny little bikes that “now we have to go up the big hill.” The little boy, maybe 8, said, as he passed me, “I need to get around this girl, she’s going too slow.” His sister said, “You shouldn’t call an old lady a girl.” The mom said “And you shouldn’t call anyone slow.” I laughed out loud as he looked suspiciously over his shoulder at me as they sped away.
And while I was on the steepest part of the hill, walking because I smartly ran my 8th quarter mile during a flat section, I caught up to a mother and little girl, maybe 5, pushing their bikes up the hill. Quite a way from the crest the little girl told her mom that she thought she could do it.
So, with her mom chanting “You can do it, you can do it,” she got on her bike and muscled her way up to the top. Occasionally she wavered, but then would shout, “I can do it!” and kept pushing on. She made it and I was smiling as wide as her mom as they lit off toward the parking lot.
She was shouting the same thoughts I’d been chanting silently during my long run/walk. She just looked cuter doing it.
The pictures here were taken during the walk portions of my 8 miles, one image for each mile, and one for the last quarter mile I went over 8.
Thanks for coming along, it helped to have you rooting for me. I thought a lot about truck stuff while I was out there, thanks for supporting me in those efforts too.
I hope the race goes as well as this 8 miles did.