Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every mile a memory...

This week I hit 1,000 miles for 2013.  I started running here and there in the summer of 2011 and  2012 was my first year of actually deciding I liked it.  My 2012 mile total was 546.

So, with a new year, I’ve almost doubled last year’s total, and ran a few more races.  Within those additional few hundred miles, I’ve learned many a lesson, had many a memory, good and bad…

Mile 1 – this was in January, obviously.  I started a new trend of Sunday morning treadmill running.  I remember turning on “Buckwild” on MTV (RIP Shain) and plugging away at some preset workouts.  These were tough!  I went slow.  Really slow.  I had completely lost running fitness last winter and I had gained a few pounds.  Treadmill running is always more difficult for me anyway, but I remember those first few workouts being killer.  

Somewhere around mile 62 - my life changed.  My Nike GPS Sport Watch arrived.  This was a huge milestone, and a major turning point in my running career.  Last year, I ran with my iPod and Nike +.  I calibrated it for accuracy, but it would never be quite right.  I finally had a REAL tool to know how far and how fast I was going.  I remember my first run with it, it was in February.  I through on a sweatshirt and some capris and headed out after work.  It was a really nice day for February, and the fresh, cold air was the first runner’s high of the year!

Approximately mile 147 - March, my first race of the year!  It was so miserably cold and windy.  But I was determined to plow through those 5 miles and
score a medal.  I placed 2nd in my age group, which at the time was a real bummer.  I knew I could do better, I just had to work for it.

Longest mile – Well, it was still the exact length of ONE mile, but the longest mile of the year award goes to the HILL mile of the Yankton RiverRat half marathon.  Mile 10.  I focused my entire race strategy and pace around having enough gas in the tank to get up that stupid hill.  It was long and tough, but reaching the top was the greatest feeling, and I cranked out the rest of the race much faster than I thought it would.

Finishing the RiverRat half
Fastest mile – 6:55 first mile of the Governor’s Cup in Lincoln.  Nothing like starting too fast.

“I love life mile” – somewhere in the Omaha Half Marathon.  This was just perfect all around.

Slowest mile – 10:09 in the middle of a rough morning run.  I had some sort of issue with my quad and IT band.  It was a bad knot, not sure where it came from, but it was quick to go away.  I was 3 miles from home and needed to get back there quickly to have time to shower and make it to work on time.  It was completely devastating for me to see the 10 on my watch.  

Hands down most miserable mile ever, like please shoot me and put me out of my misery – ok, there have been more than one of these.  They are always the last 1-2 miles from home, and the reason I’m asking to be shot is because that would be less painful than my stomach at that time.  So these are the “runner’s trot” miles.  You know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

Most painful mile – Mile 11 of what was supposed to be an 18 mile training run for my marathon. This was when I finally stopped and walked limped home because of my hip.  Bawling most of the way.

I still refer to this as Mary Decker day

Whether it was fast or slow, rainy or dry, dreadmill or road, windy or calm, race or a 5AM weekday, every mile has a story and a memory.  If my brain could spit out a transcript of every thought that’s gone through it in those miles, lord knows it would be long, and no one would probably want to read it… Here’s to those wonderful, painful, miserable, glorious miles, and thousands more to come.