Week 4: I've Joined TWO CLUBS. Long Run 7.4

As of this morning, I've joined TWO CLUBS. 

First Club:  
The Early Morning Club. 
My alarm went off at 4:59am and I was UP and AT 'EM immediately. If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that in my former life I was a late night gal. As in, come alive at 11pm. It has ALWAYS been way easier for me to stay up all night than it would ever be to get up early. Until recent days I have HATED waking up early. 

Second Club:  
The EARLY MORNING 
RUNNERS CLUB.  
Who knew? There is a WHOLE OTHER WORLD out there that is up with the chickens at the crack of dawn and they are out there RUNNING (and biking) and they do, in fact, seem to have smiles on their faces while doing so. Bizarre really. I mean, it is CRAZY busy on the lakefront at 5:30am. I'd like to call them all over-achievers.

Do we really need to be up that early exercising? Seems a little over the top if you ask me. 

But they're a semi-friendly (and highly focused group). I don't ever get the overtly happy smiley hellos but I do get lots of nods and 'mornings.  It's this knowing sort of nod that says, "We understand each other. We're disciplined. We're runners. We have goals. We will race. We will win. We will stay focused and push through the pain. We will ....


I myself would like someone to design me a happy t-shirt that declares me a member of the Early Morning Running Club. Preferably in hot pink and with that fancy schmancy material that makes you not sweat as much. A slight v-neck with a tank top style please. {Not too picky, now am I?}  And long enough to cover my booty. Because, well, my booty still needs covering up at this point. 

Speaking of, I'm down 17 pounds since April 15th when I began day one of training for that dreaded 5k which changed my life forever! 

Long, LONG way to go, 
but every pound gone is one less pound 
that I have to drag across that 13.1 finish line 
come October 20th. 

Week 4 of training is now over and it went out with a bang. 

This morning's long run goal was 6 miles.
 {Doesn't that just sound ridiculous?}
My secret dream was to do closer to 7 so that next week when I HAVE to do 7, 
I will psychologically feel up for the challenge. 
I'm weird like that. 
I'm not a nervous Nellie 
if I can get close to the number 
I'm supposed to be at ahead of time. 

Running for me is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT 
a mind thing. 

100%. 

Is it for you? 

So this morning I hit the 6 mile mark and knew I had to go for it. 

7 that is. And so I did. 

And when I got to 7 I thought, oh boy HOWDY if I could get closer to 7.5 that would feel SO good going into my 8 mile week in a couple weeks. 

So 7.4 miles was my final distance. 
Non-stop. 
No walking.
I've figured out how to drink (water) and run all at the same time. No small feat for this gal that has sometimes been known to trip over the crack in a sidewalk.
And I ate one twizzler to give me the simple sugar that I needed to push through. 

I reminded Jack again this morning that it was 
only 11 weeks ago that I could ONLY 
run 1 minute and during that 
ONE MINUTE I was DYING
And once again, I hereby solemnly swear that I am NOT exaggerating.  
PINKY PROMISE. 

In ELEVEN weeks I went from dying at 1 minute to running 1 hour and thirty-six minutes WITHOUT stopping even one time. Not even once. 

THAT, 
my friends,
is a TOTAL God thing. 
Honestly, I couldn't do it without God's help. 

News flash: I'm slow. (Sorry, Coach Cleary, had to say it.)  
And I say it because I want to pass along hope to others. 
I'm painfully slow. 
And I'm generally okay with that.
This isn't a race for me. 
This is a journey. 
Albeit a very long one. 
My desire is to run the whole thing without walking. 
And I don't care how long it takes me. 
I know I'm not supposed to qualify my running, 
but I want to remind those of you that don't think you can run if I can do it, 
you can do it! 
You really, really can! 

Let's see. What else from today's long run?
 
Pulled up at the lakefront at 5:18am. 

Had the joy of seeing the sun pop up over the horizon right over Lake Michigan. 
Bright red ball of fire. 
STUNNING. 
I think God give me that gift. 
Rather presumptuous I suppose, 
but I'm okay with that. 
I think He LOVES painting the sky for me. 
Because He created me to love that and be moved by that and He knows that.
 So I claimed it this morning and told Him thanks. 

I also secretly thanked Him for setting the 
temps in the low 60s this morning rather than the high 80s. 

Struggled this morning on the trail with comparing myself to 
other gals as they whizzed past me. 
Felt slow. 
And a bit on the chubby side. 
You should see some of these gals out there running. 
I mean, perfect LITTLE bods. 
As in SUPER THIN. 
Hard not to compare myself and 
feel just a wee bit sorry for myself. 
But, I was proud of myself because
 I didn't sit in that for more than maybe a minute or so ...
 and then I asked God to take those ridiculous thoughts away. 
And He did. 

Comparing ourselves to others just NEVER ends well, right? 

Whatever we're comparing. 
And so just a few times on my run this morning 
I fell prey to poor self-image stuff. 
But I snapped out of it quicker 
than I normally would, so that felt great. 

As I passed the 7 mile mark I smiled and said, out loud 
 (I'm weird that way, too. I have no problem talking out loud to no one in particular) 
"I'm a runner now!"
"I just ran  
SEVEN FREAKING MILES 
IN A ROW WITHOUT STOPPING! 
Only one biker looked startled as he glanced my way and 
tried to quickly scoot to the other side of the path so as to avoid my craziness.

What else?
 
On boys that run: 
 I think boys have it so much easier than girls. 
When they get hot they just get to take off their shirts. 
What's up with that? 
Who made up that rule? 
No doubt it was a boy.

And while we're at it, sports bras are VERY expensive. 

But they come in hot pink, so that's good news. 
And yes I did take a picture of my sports bra. Why not?
I mean, I've got a hundred bucks in just 3 sports bras (30 each + tax). 
That is So ridiculous.

Again, boys are SO lucky. 

I find myself getting a bit nervous when I start thinking 
ahead to THIRTEEN point ONE miles. 
That's really scary to me 
but I'm reminded again that for me, 
this is about finding joy in the process. 
In the journey. 

I only have to run today's mileage. 

Not tomorrow's. 

Not October 20th's. 

Today's. 

I'm telling you, the SECOND I start thinking about running 9, 10, 12, 13 miles I get physically sick to my tummy. I guess it's good that I have that physical reaction because I hate having a sick tummy so it forces me to step back into the present moment so that I'm not overwhelmed with what is coming. 

Abrupt transition coming:

That's all I've got for now. 

And because everyone wants a picture with a blog post and I can't actually carry my camera with me as i run, I'll leave you with a picture of my former running days (2008). 

You remember those days -- the days I LOATHED running.
{ And as an aside, let's talk about my grey hair. Mercy. What was I thinking? }

But those days of hating running are behind me now as I think I can say that I truly enjoy running and find pleasure in getting healthy and running for myself and Premila 
(see here if you want info about sponsoring my run for this beautiful girl). 

Nothing short of miraculous.

On so many levels!

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