As Close as I Dare

I have always heard or read you shouldn’t run your race distance before the actual day in order to save your energy. True, the last time I trained for a half marathon my longest run was eight and that was five weeks out. But, But. But! That eight miler was the last good run before I injured myself. Running anything until race day was out of the question. For five long weeks up until the big day I spent a lot of time on an elliptical dreaming of really running. It sucked. I’m sure that if I was told I could run something, anything, it would have been more than eight. I know I would have. This time around is different. So different. Everything about this training is much different. I have wanted to push limits, test boundaries and take back all the I-Told-You-So comments I told myself.

Last Sunday found me back in 01062 with new resolve to run thirteen. It was a beautiful day and I had all the time in the world. No pressure. Kisa mapped out a route and my plan was to follow it to the letter…well, by the road. For those of you who know the area this will make some sense.

  • Mile 1 – the gates of Look Park. This is little recreation area is steeped in history. My husband’s grandparents met in this park. My husband’s parents met in this park (his dad was the engineer for the kiddie train. How cute is that?)
  • Mile 2 – the loop of Look. Kisa’s childhood playground.
  • Mile 3 – down the bike path. I used to be afraid of this path. It’s tree-lined and secluded and butts up behind sketchy apartment complexes. It’s easy for some pretty shady dealings, pun totally intended.
  • Mile 4 – still on bike path. I’ve missed some of the graffiti on the path.
  • Mile 5 – still on bike path (almost at end!). I could have stopped at the grocery store for my obsession, Kind bars.
  • Mile 6 – off bike path and heading up to Childs park (long, slow incline). This is where I get the yelled comments and wolf whistles… ugh
  • Mile 7 – Milton street – tiny little side street that I ran the last time I was in town. The broken mug is still there!
  • Mile 8 – Pumpkin Hill. As a deviant teenager Kisa used to steal pumpkins from people’s stoops and roll them down this hill.
  • Mile 9 – Meadow Street. I have always turned right at this street. One day I will turn left.
  • Mile 10 – this is where my legs started to protest a little. My mother-in-law’s voice was in my head. Right before I left she looked at my route and said “this is a long route! You can always stop at Meadow and come home.” Damn her for putting the thought in my head. At that moment it was all I could think about.
  • Mile 11 – I pressed on and went back to Look. This time I ran in the opposite direction so I would have a nice hill to coast my tired legs down.
  • Mile 12 – Bridge. Note: there is no bridge on this part of Bridge St. Just a really humorous graveyard which I can’t explain here in the off chance I end up offending someone.
  • Mile 13 – Chestnut. I have always wanted to live on this street. The trees on this street are incredibly old, impossibly tall, and just starting to show signs of spring.

When I got back to the in-laws I felt awesome-awesome-awesome but I needed something to eat before I passed out. Luckily, I had packed a peanut butter chocolate Luna bar & ate that beside Bat while waiting for the shakes to subside. I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive home until I had eaten something.

Take away: I didn’t bring hydration, fuel or sun protection. I didn’t carb-load beforehand or protein-pack afterward (other than a quick Luna bar). I went home and cleaned, did laundry and yoga. I guess 13 is all good. Or, I hope. I *thought* I hit start on my GPS and it turns out I didn’t. I’m counting on Kisa’s calculations to be correct. If not, I’m up for doing it again next Sunday. I’ll get as close as I dare 😉

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