|Forgot to watch it this week! Runners, watch it!|
Some days all the stars align, the God(s) looks down favorably on the running nerds of this world, and the weather cooperates. Today was one of those days that affirms why I am a runner.
After missing my long run last Saturday - they did 9 hilly miles - I was really eager to get back with my group today. The route was perfect - MOSTLY flat - and I had "bail-out" routes if the calf totally locked up and I got left behind. But the kicker? It was a scheduled 11 MILES!!!
Monday and Friday I saw Dr Wagenblast, and he did ART on The Calf. Monday I got in 4 good miles at Town Lake, very slow pace...even for me. Thursday I did a treadmill 5K and things were tight but overall encouraging. I did several long gym workouts with cross-training on the spin bike and elliptical. Friday morning I felt really good, with the only exception being a painful twinge in my right hammie that kept coming and going. I did my Trigger Point exercises daily, and skipped them on Friday. Did them this morning before I left the house...
The mental game this week was a tough one. Sure, I had a bad run on the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving day and 10 days later ran 13.1 in the Decker Challenge....but I was not sure I could repeat that comeback....and then one of my new "virtual running buddies", Paulette from Brooklyn, posted a terrific poster on her Facebook page, that said "The voice in your head that says you can't do this is a liar!". That became my mantra today! I was determined that short of seizing up completely, that damn calf was NOT going to stop me. I focused on a lot of positive self talk, every time any doubts popped up. In other words, I talked to myself almost the entire run. I have learned that it really helps to encourage the others in my group, that while telling them how good they look, how strong they are running, it psyches me up every time! Today it paid huge dividends. We were about 9 miles in, and the lead pacer fell back due to stomach issues. The backup pacer came forward and challenged 3-5 of us up front to pick up our pace on an uphill stretch!! This younger lady did just that, and I just stepped up into her slipstream and told myself I was not going to let up, no matter what! And I did not. I felt strong, and tough, mentally when it mattered most. It had nothing to do with anyone around me, really. I popped my ear buds in, and good old Sammy Hagar extorted me...."Right here, right NOW!". Gotta love it when music pushes you over that hill like it does not even exist. We all really felt super and waited to high five the group as they all streamed in. My watch died somewhere around mile 9 I think, and it really does not matter. It was a run I'll never forget.
Thanks again, Paulette!