Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8 Miles...Whoo Hoo!!

Training Week 7: August 18

Okay, I just got back from vacationing 4 days in South Beach...wow! Simply spectacular...lots of great food (that's the best part of traveling for me) and warm ocean waters of the Atlantic. If you've never been to South Beach, you should consider it, especially if, like me, you end up with a free roundtrip ticket from my friend and yours, Southwest Airlines. Although I had originally planned on running during my vacation, I ended up doing lots of walking instead...the weather was too humid and it rained a couple mornings during my stay out there..not cool! So, you can imagine my trepidation when Saturday came around and I would have to run 8 miles.

I bought along my handy camelbak, and to avoid plastic-tasting H2O, I filled it up with my Accelerade and this time around, it did the trick..no plastic aftertaste in my mouth. I was feeling pretty good b/c we were running in a new place, Lake Merced near the sunset district of SF. It There was a golf course/clubhouse situated in the middle of the huge lake and for our 8 miles this morning, we would be doing a double loop around the lake. Up to this point, 8 miles will be the longest run of my life! So, putting my fears at bay, I started out with the team. I started with a slow pace during the first loop and as our coach had instructed, would need to pick up the pace during the 2nd time around. It felt great...the scenery of any run really helps, as I've noticed for myself. If I dont' have something beautiful to admire to help me keep my mind off how many more miles I have to accomplish, I realize that I run at a steadier pace and most importantly, am able to enjoy it a lot more than if I was running around a dump. Yes, presentation is everything in my book.

So, during my second loop, I feel a jolt of energy and it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I swear it's b/c of the Accelerade. And get this...I feel like a nut, but as I'm running, I get the Accelerade mantra stuck in my head, so over and over again, I'm hearing: "Don't fade, Accelerade!" And maybe it was just that that kept me running like a nut around the lake. Since I do a run/walk combo, I've noticed that my walk breaks are getting shorter and shorter b/t my running and that is such a major accomplishment b/c most of the time, I am actually running! This is huge for me and with the Accelerade mantra stuck in my noggin, I can't help but pick up my pace. My team-mates are great..we cheer each other on as we pass by one another and during those moments where you just wanna take another walking break, it really helps you persist and keep on running. Towards the final 2 miles, I feel a biting sensation on my right inner foot and I know it's a hot spot coming on. Just what I needed...ugh! But I persist and I tell myself that hotspot or not, I am not going to let this slow me down...not now! I end up finishing in about 1 hour and 30 minutes which is great b/c that means I had an 11 miler/minute pace..not too bad for myself at all. As I make my way to the end, I hear Breanne blasting "Thriller" from her car b/c to commemorate our 8 miles, they decided to bring back the 80's for this training...anything to keep us motivated, eh? Well, I was supposed to show up decked out in 80's gear but I just couldn't imagine running in a Richard Simmons get-up, so I had to forego the wardrobe and bring my sweat band to show them that some effort was made.

Reason to Smile: At this point, I am so elated that I've run my first 8 miles and to top it all off, I feel pretty darn great! I decide to treat myself to a scenic drive along the Great Highway overlooking Ocean Beach...the windy part of SF where if you go on the wrong days, you can get a mouthful of sand just from breathing. Of course, the view is just breathtaking with pillowy white clouds laying high in the sky amidst a baby blue backdrop. The sun is beaming nicely overhead as I make my way towards the ocean's shore, I can't help but feel my hot spot getting sore, but I figure..oh, this scenery is so worth it. I close my eyes and take it all in: the saltiness of the sea air accented with the lingering smell of seaweed against the sound of waves colliding on the sand and then sizzling to a foamy mass of bubbles that evaporate as quickly as they appear. Wow...so peaceful. I think I could stay here all day long and just listen to the musical notes of the ocean lulling me to a peaceful somber on the sand. If you haven't guessed it already, this is why I love the ocean...free therapy that can't be bought. You just close your eyes and listen, and somehow, you're transported into a place of serenity that you never new existed....trust me and until next week, do something relaxing and therapeutic for yourself.

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