Sunday, March 27, 2011
20 Miler- Round Two
Yesterday, as I was at the Okarche duathlon watching my boyfriend, Ryan, race in 43 degree weather I thought to myself, "I hope its warmer tomorrow for my run!" Well, ladies and gentlemen...drum roll please...it was actually colder! Today's weather was a bit chillier than what I prefer for a run, but you got to do what you got to do. And if that is 40 degrees that feels like 34 then that is what it is! Needless to say I put on some layers and headed out the door for a 20 miler!
I have switched everything outdoors now which causes some changes. I have to wear sunglasses to keep the sun, wind and ironically bugs out of my eyes. I also have to worry about Gatorade supply. Luckily, where I run there are water stops every mile. However, for the Gatorade I had to carry a bottle with me. Just a few changes to handle, but no big deal.
On the runs I am still struggling with maintaining constant pace. I am training at 9 minute pace for the marathon. I am use to running faster when it comes to shorter distances. I finally realized its a mental battle in the sense that I just don't like seeing 8:50- 9:00 on my watch. I don't feel like I am working hard enough or doing my best. However, after contemplating I realized I am working hard because I am out on a 20 mile run and finishing a marathon under 4 hours will be a great achievement!
After that inner conflict I begin to get in the grove of about 8:50 pace. Just taking in the chill of the wind coming off the river! Even though the wind was bitter cold my body began to heat up under the three layers I had on. Soon it became a game with my sunglasses to see where I could sit them on my nose where they would block the sun, yet not fog up from my heat. Finally I won the battle and figured out where to strategically place them! I could not allow it to frustrate me. It would make the run irritating and miserable. Therefore, I created the game to keep my mind busy instead.
While running I passed a group of guys playing frisbee golf. I thought to myself, "Why would someone subject themselves to this kind of weather for their hobby." I then chuckle to myself realizing that I am obviously out there for the same reason. Dedication and commitment to my hobby. Then, I began to think about how I don't really feel like running is a hobby. I feel like running is just a part of me. Its apart of what I do. It is a part of my job. I know on Monday my kids will ask with a questioning sparkle in their eye, "Miss. Brown, How much did you run this weekend?" My hobby has transformed into the base of curiosity and learning for my students.
Next, I pass a group of guys on, what I would assume were what people call BMX bikes, doing a photo shoot. I thought,"It was nice of them to come out and jump the inclines on the playground on a cold day since they knew there would be no kids out." Then I wondered if that was really the case.
A few miles later I had turned around and would be approaching where I saw the frisbee golf players and the BMX riders originally. I wonder which group will still be out there. Remind you it feels almost like it is freezing out. Again, I make a game out of this. I start weighing the options: Photo shoot wouldn't take as long as a game of frisbee golf. But a photo shoot is a bigger reason to stay out in the weather. Well they both are active so they are staying warm. I decide that the BMX bikers are probably long gone. And I was right. This was just another way to keep my mind active.
After that game my torso started to feel as if it was going to start cramping up. I tell myself that I feel good. I tell myself I am doing great. I continue to tell myself I feel awesome. Granted, this is all a lie. I'm not feeling good, much less awesome, although I don't feel horrible. Soon, however, the cramp went away. Twice I did this. I realized today it is mind over matter. I have trained and conditioned my body as it should be. It comes down to can I mentally handle my muscles getting sore, my ankles aching and my knees throbbing. Of course I can! I just have to be in control of my mind. If that means playing games to keep my mind busy or giving myself positive vibrations, then that is what it takes!
After the run I found myself thinking that I wish my students understood what I am doing for them. Not only that I am running a marathon, but what it takes to do that: the time, energy, pain, strength and commitment. I don't wish they understood so that they could thank me or even give me praise. But I wish they understood what it takes so that they knew how much I cared. I feel that sometimes in the classroom they think what I am doing is only because that its my job as their teacher. Hopefully one day when they grow up they will remember their third grade teacher and realize how much I truly cared, just like I remember about Ms. Hubbard, my third grade teacher.