6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First 18...

Stats for 5/23:
18 Miles
Time- 2:41:31
Pace- 8:58
Run around my hilly neighborhood with Charity on bike.

Eats for the Run:
Riesling, bacon wrapped prawns, goat cheese on a crustini, beef medallions, salmon with mango salsa, lamb chops, trio of mini desserts, coffee, chocolate chip cookie and Special K Red Berries. Breakfast, wheat bagel with cream cheese and jam, coffee w/ cream, banana, water and 1/2 Red Bull.

In case you are curious why my usual BORING diet was kicked up a notch, I worked an event on Friday night. I was on my feet most of the night and indulged in an exquisite menu at dinner. I had NO IDEA how this change would impact my run, but I did not have much choice.. Home at 12:30PM ate my cereal and off to bed. At 9:00am Charity arrived at my house. I had a mental plan for the route, vaguely guessing that the mileage would add up. We took a couple quick photos. My NATHAN Speed 2 filled with water and blue Gatorade, Charity with her new bike basket and bell, we set off.

It was a warm day and grew increasingly hot as the run went on. Now I sit here with sun burnt arms….ummmm…oops!! The Garmin and sock tans lines are especially lovely. My plan was to start with Mount Doom and Car Killer Canyon…I did not think about how tough those hills would be on a bike. Yes, I am officially the worst friend ever. Poor Charity was forced to walk her bike up the LONG hills, but she kept in there. My best friend is a tough one and she got a GREAT workout.

Thankfully the hills after mile 4 were pretty gradual. We talked, I tried to ask leading questions for most of the run, this is the fun part of having Charity with me. The area we covered I had been on many times during training the past few months, it was all new to Charity, which made it fun. She loved Gem Heights road and the Cherry Blossom lined sidewalks. At mile 7 I pulled a Gu Chomp out of my rear pocket, totally easy to grab, washed it down with water and kept my pace, NICE!

There were several walkers/runners on the LONG route. Most were non-wavers and non-smilers, BUMMER. I am the cheese ball with a wave and grin for everyone. The runners I do remember were a bean-pole girl in her 20’s on the opposite side of the road with a small dog trotting by her sneakers. She waved across the road as if we were old friends, I LOVE nice people. The other group was a youngish guy pushing a rowdy flopping toddler in a single jogger, followed closely by two youngish females, one with 2 little ones in a double jogger and the other chatting her ear off. I immediately made up a story in my mind about these people, anything to help me understand why the guy was pushing one kid, leaving the woman to lug the big weight.

At mile 9, just after passing a grumpy group walking 4 adorable yorkie dogs, near the fountain on Sunrise Blvd I took a Gu and tossed the trash in Charity’s basket. I felt strong, like my muscles knew exactly what to do. It was not until after mile 14 that I felt a change.

Passing Wal-Mart on my right, mile 14.3, I knew it was time for tunes. Charity complied and followed closely behind ringing her ADORABLE bell at the people on the path ahead. I was starting to feel light headed so I swigged down some blue Gatorade. I knew that I did not have much mileage left, but this was still approaching distances I have never accomplished. I ITCHED like crazy as my whole body was covered in salt, totally distracting. As I passed 16 miles on my Garmin Charity snapped a photo, “This is the longest distance I have ever run,” I yelled loudly over my Ipod ringing in my ears. 16.5, 1.5 miles left, I was able to do the math and mentally map a route ending near my doorstep at 18. This is the half way point of my USUAL 3 mile run.

I had run the route countless times. When I was 60 pounds heavier, in the wind/rain, on Thanksgiving morning, days when I was tired, days when 3 miles felt like an eternity, this pavement was MINE. Today my legs had 16.5 miles on them, not 1.5….it felt different. I was TIRED, but I knew it was mental. I tried to fight the demons in my head telling me to slow, as an athlete I know that I can push beyond when my mind says stop.

Turned the corner and faced Hill of Death ahead of me. DARN HILL!! There is a flat stretch approaching the little hill, ahead I saw a Garage sale and to my left the ICE CREAM Man. REALLY? The SLOW driving Ice-cream man with the blaring obnoxious song was the most ANNOYING thing you can imagine on the final leg of the LONG run. I thought about stopping and convincing the driver to give me a free sweet treat. Instead I pounced up and weaved around the Garage salers spending their pennies on cool items at the bright truck. With Charity just ahead I sped and heard the Angel Garmin chime… STOP!! 18 miles done and done.

My goal was to slow my pace, I don’t understand slowing too much, so I hoped for just less than 9 minute miles. I did it and felt GREAT! I know that it is not accurate but if you total my 18 miler with my 8 miles on Thursday the time was 3:47ish… Hmmmm. About 1 month to my first Marathon, I still have not decided what my goal will be, but what I do know is that I CAN DO THIS!!!

Me and my BFF on my front lawn
Gratuitios bum shot to show off my new gear
16 miles...and going


Relentless Forward Commotion said...

You CAN do it!! What an awesome friend you have to tag along! Love the pics!

Rookie on the Run said...

Yay!! 18 miles! You rocked it!

Charity is an awesome friend... send her down my way, please. :)

I love the pretty trees in the 16 mile picture. And everything is so green there. I'm jealous of that!

Great job, Melanie!

Oz Runner said...

wow, awesome job on the 18 miler!

Melanie Tait said...

Well done Mel! That's so awesome! And I LOVE that your bestie is there for you every step of the way. Love it love it love it.

I also love how you talked about being heavier and finding 3 miles a slog - it really fires me up! :)

Marathonman101108 said...

Can I borrow Charity for a day?! Great, fantastic, excellent, etc. job! 18 miles...I'm impressed. I need to get some of the GU Chomps that everyone's using. Nice pre-running meal, by the way! You are well on your way to a sub 4 hour marathon. Keep up the good work.

robinbb said...

I totaled my runs one weekend that equaled 26 and it worked out almost exactly to my marathon this past wknd. And when I totaled it, I thought there is no way I will hit those times, but I did. Great job on your first 18 miler!

Aron said...

awesome job on the 18 miler!!!

yes i am loving (insert sarcastic tone) the garmin, sock, shorts tan lines i have developed :-/

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