13.13

I did it!  Today I ran a half-marathon distance.

It’s Friday, April 2.  I grudgingly rolled out of bed as soon as the alarm went off this morning, taking a turn at fetching the morning coffee.  Hubby had a turn staying warm and cozy.  I stumbled down the hall and made my way downstairs, careful to be quiet so our daughter could sleep in this morning.  No school.

When I frothed milk for our coffees, I also set up water glasses with chia seeds for our chia fresca (Chia fresca has turned out to be the perfect pre-run fuel.  Unlike kefir, cereal, or pretty much anything else, it does not slosh around in my stomach when I run. It sort of settles in there in its gel-like way, keeping me full and hydrated longer than any other pre-run fuel I have tried.  And, it’s not  goo (Gu) or weird colored stringy junk or otherwise un-food-like.  That’s a double plus as far as I’m concerned.)  I set the timer for 10 minutes and headed back upstairs to deliver the hubby’s coffee and crawl back into bed to drink mine.  I had a goal to make.

*********************************************

I  swill my chia fresca,  and layer on my running clothes.  Today is only my second day out this week.  Rain and family emergencies have kept me off the road, but I squeezed in 7.36 miles yesterday morning and the familiarity took me by surprise.  I felt so out of touch with my body and the sensation of the pavement underfoot that I wanted to make sure I still remembered how to run.

I stuff in my ear buds for the Nike+iPod, choose the “Runner’s Delight” playlist, take a deep breath, and go.  I decide on the long first loop which is a little over 6.5 miles.  I try to hold back on my pace.  It’s a gorgeous morning, cool but with a touch of spring warmth.  The air is damp and salty-fresh; the roads are quiet.

The big hill at the end of Marmion Way is not as daunting as usual, and I am able to keep up my speed as I round the corner onto South Street.  When I reach the fork, I up my pace on the easy downhill toward Penzance Road.  I approach Pebble Beach and notice how even more sand has washed away from the rocks exposed there.  The morning air is especially thick here in the south end of town.  My sunglasses blur with the mist and I have to wipe them on my fleece top to see as I head up the next hill.

I take Eden Road, then back to Marmion Way.  I check my time and it’s good.  I pass my house and keep going toward town.  I take Main Street to Beach Road, circle around for a mile or so, then loop back onto Main again.   I  take a right that leads to Broadway.  I’m not really tired yet, but take the hill slowly, checking where I stand in distance.  Just over 9 miles.  I know I can do it.  I turn onto Broadway and pass a young girl jogging with her dog.  I smile at her as I go by, then, with a sudden and completely unexpected surge of energy, sprint wildly down the slope heading directly into T Wharf.  I look both ways as I fly across the street and decide to go back up Mt. Pleasant and rerun the long Marmion loop.  The hill Sue and I always complain about is pretty easy this morning, even after that crazy sprint, and I try not to think about running another 4 miles, but focus on how good I feel this moment, how I think I could run forever.

A couple of trucks that have already passed me earlier in my run go by again.  They are people I know in town; they honk and wave and I wonder what they think about my crazy circling route today.  I notice my friend Danny wears a wide grin as he raises his hand to me and I can feel the reflection of that grin on my own face.

The second round is a tiny bit slower, but I don’t stop.  I pass my house once more and head back downtown.  This time I know I don’t have much farther to go, so I run up Bearskin Neck.  I use the round-about at the top and take in the scope of the sea—the absolute size of it,  the gentle waves, and the rich color of the water in the bright sunlight.  I count some of my blessings right now:  that both my father and my mother-in-law are getting better and will be coming home again soon, my good fortune at being able to live and run here in Rockport, and, that I’m going to make my goal.

I run back home filled with excitement and pride, letting myself enjoy the moment alone for a little while.  13.13 miles.  1’49” exactly, averaging 8:18 min/mi.  I stroll down the street for a brief cool-down, then, ready to share my news, I head home.  I raise my arms up high in a silent victory salute to my heart, my legs, my lungs,  and most of all, my head, then burst through the front door.  My hubby is in our office already at work.

“I did it!  I just ran 13.13 miles!”

He smiles his best smile at me, and is so proud that he grabs me in a congratulatory bear hug, ignoring my sweat-soaked body and clothes.  We both stand in the kitchen grinning like idiots until the burning oatmeal breaks the spell.

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3 Comments on “13.13”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Simply amazing! Congratulations on your triump! Your time is great especially with all the hills your run! Keep it up!!

  2. Laura Says:

    Congratulations!!!!!

  3. lise Says:

    I’m so glad for you! and I want to take a sip of this chia fresca?!?


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