Today I wondered how I ever accomplished a 26.2 mile run–not just once, but twice–in my lifetime. It was hot outside, I was sticky with sweat running down my face, sunscreen in my eyes, tired legs and a side stitch only a mile and a half in. Is running in the heat like this really what I want to be doing on the first day of summer? Maybe the pool would have been a better idea. But trudged along I did because it is Day 2 of my Smart Coach Six-week training plan to ten miles and I was not giving up on the “Hard” plan.
Today’s run: 5 mile tempo run: 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at 8:16 pace and 1 mile cool down. I counted softball as yesterday’s cross-training day which may not have been the best idea because my legs were tired from running sprints around the base. The side of my right thigh was feeling a bit battered due to my massive wipe out while rounding third base last night. My upper back also was feeling the burn from hitting and throwing which I have not done in close to a year. I did manage to get on base two out of three times and scored both times; sadly our team lost though. But I digress…
I kept moving as best I could maintaining the 8:16 tempo for some time with bouts of going faster or slower. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to tell if my Garmin is calculating my speed correctly. Often I think it must have a life of its own.
I wound my way through my neighborhood, busy suburban streets and then down part of a quiet trail. I found myself breathe a little easier as I was out of the direct heat and the trees provided a nice canopy of shade. When I just about had enough of running I saw a small boy around the age of two or three who was handicapped. He was with a parent or caretaker and working on walking in a wheelchair/walker type apparatus to get his legs moving. I recall seeing him in the past on this trail. I am blessed with the ability to move my legs every day and this little boy had to fight for that right. The least I could do was not feel sorry for myself tonight.
I made my way back home, perfectly timing the run so that I hit five miles right before a massive hill. Oh the tricks we runners play in our minds. Air conditioning and a shower never felt so good.