I did something my cousin Matt said would make me feel like a bad-ass when I finally did it.
Friday morning I ran ten miles.
After waking up and having breakfast, I headed out fairly early for my half-marathon training long run. Instead of driving over to the Rocky River Reservation, I decided to keep it close to home by going to nearby Edgewater Park instead. It was a crisp and cool morning so I layered up with my hot pink athletic jacket.
Edgewater is comprised of two loops with a hill in between. The lower loop is roughly a mile around, the upper loop a little less. The idea of running ten laps around the lower loop bored me even just thinking about it so I decided to take advantage of the upper loop, and the hill, by alternating: two lower loop laps then hiked up the hill to the upper loop for one lap. Back down and repeat.
The weather itself couldn't seem to make up its mind, which is pretty typical of Northeast Ohio. Sometimes I could see blue sky above but most of the time it was grey and overcast. And windy. Very, very windy. It actually reminded me quite a bit of the weather conditions for the Next Step Run for Shelter 5K, which was actually held at Edgewater last November. Maybe not quite as cold, though Friday was still fairly chilly and being so close to the lake certainly didn't help.
Several miles into my run it started to sprinkle and I just hoped it wouldn't turn into a rain storm and, thankfully, it didn't. It did continue to lightly rain off-and-on and by the end I was damp from sweat, rain, and Lake Erie spray.
But that didn't matter.
It also didn't matter that I was exhausted, my fingers freezing, and my calves were burning. Because my cousin Matt was correct -- at the end of that run I did feel like a bad ass.
Ten. Freaking. Miles.
And y'know what else? It felt almost, dare I say it, easy. Maybe it was because I no longer had summer heat working against me or maybe it's just because I've grown stronger as a runner, my endurance raised. Maybe it was all mental and having that belief in myself. Whatever it was, it didn't take too long into the run for me to think "Oh, I so totally have this."
And I so totally did.
No, it wasn't a fast ten miles but you know what? Ten miles is ten miles regardless of speed or pace.
The Cleveland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon is now three weeks away and with this ten mile run I'm a mere 3.1 miles away from completing that goal. I have one more long run left (11 miles) before the mileage from my training schedule starts to taper. I honestly can't believe it's so close!
Love from the ashes,