Week 9::: You Know You've Become a Runner When ...

Disclaimer: This post has some personal things written, which are perhaps on the gross side. So be forewarned is all I'm saying. 

So I think I'm officially going to begin to call myself a runner 
and actually believe those words. 
I have to say, I'm tiptoeing gingerly into that phrase. 
One year ago if you asked me to name one thing that I am NOT
I would have, hands down said, 
And yet, today, after running 9 miles,
I think I just might be a runner. 

I know that I'm now an official runner because ... 

1. I have actually blown my nose IN my shirt.  
On multiple occasions. 
GROSS, I know. 
They call it a farmer's blow, 
which makes me want to dry heave so I can't call it that. 
I just simply say I blew my nose in my shirt. 
 I know. I'm shaking my head, too! 

2. I have set my alarm in the 4s, in order to get up and run.  
As in 4:50am in the morning. When it's still pitch black. 
That's early folks, and if you know anything about me, 
that's nothing short of miraculous because I'm what you'd call a little night owl. 

3. I have run in the pouring rain. As in DOWNPOUR. 
Not just a little splishy splashy sort of drizzle 
but a FULL ON coming down in sheets rain. 
And I have to say, it was awesome. 
THIS girl is a rain lover. I love rain. 
It's relaxing and beautiful 
and it smells fab and just makes me want to cozy-up
and read a good book.

Running in the rain was  like what I picture true freedom to be. 
Not sure that makes sense to anyone but me, 
but it's so against what we're supposed to do when it rains. 
When it rains we're supposed to get an umbrella. 
Or stay indoors. 
Or complain about the rain. 
But this, this was grand. 
If I wasn't so dead set on actually running 7 miles 
that particular morning I would have stopped running 
and spun around with my arms straight out 
and my head thrown back, 
just soaking up the rain on my face. 

4. I have peed my pants while running. 
Twice now if you really must know details. 
And not just the 'oopsy a little bit dribbled out'
 but a 'I've got pee TOTALLY running down my leg right now. 
And I can't do a thing about it because I'm miles from civilization.'
GROSS, but to be fair, I warned you about this post. 
It was really bizarre. 
Both times I came to a stop (once for traffic and once at the end of the run) 
and then out of nowhere -- and I do mean NOWHERE --  
I just started peeing. 
Disgusting. I'm with ya. 
And so I hoped for the best and kept on running and 
wished upon a star that chaffing 
wouldn't be the result of the extra moisture going on down there.
 5. I have checked weather.com more times that I'd care to admit, 
hoping for little to no rain AND cold temps. Weather.com is my new bff. 

 6. I have considered using a port-a-potty and 
THAT goes against everything that I am. 
But, referring back to #4, 
I'd opt for a port-a-potty over peeing my pants again. 
That was almost more than I can bear. 

7. I have produced more sweat than should be possible; 
so much so that I have taken my tank top and completely wrung it out and you just wouldn't imagine the amount of water falling out of that thing. 

8. I have the ability to eat and drink water while I run. 
That's not easy folks. 

9. I have a training schedule. 
 That just SOUNDS official, doesn't it? 
And I mean, I am following that thing to a tee. 
It tells me when to run. 
When to rest. 
When to cross-train. 
How many miles to run. 
And I'm now officially HALF way to my 
South Carolina HALF MARATHON. 

And last, but certainly not least, 

 10. I have run 144 miles since June 17th. 
I think that alone makes me a runner. 

I'm a runner. 
I am. 
And that feels great. 

And in other news, 
I have a new favorite place to run and I do believe it is my favorite yet. 
A totally tree-covered and tree-lined trail that goes on for miles. 
Saw deer and a fox today. 
[Secretly glad the fox was running the opposite way 
because I'm not so sure I could have outrun him.]

And because I can't actually run with my camera, 
I thought I'd post just few pictures from a few 
photo shoots done along this trail over the past year.

[ And while we're talking photo shoots, I'm putting out my
fall schedule early next week, so if you're interested let me know 
and I'll send you the info. Slots will go fast and 
early evening and weekends are very limited. 
Just saying.]

A family shoot last fall:

A maternity shoot last fall:

A family shoot from this spring:

Back to the regular scheduled programing.

Today was a 9 mile run and I felt surprisingly strong through the majority of the run. 
Miles 4 - 6 were probably the hardest as they just didn't seem to end, 
but overall, pace has improved and my breathing was steady. 
Knocked 6 minutes off my time since my 9 mile run 3 weeks ago 
so that felt great.
And strong. 

Some have asked what I do when I run and if you must know, 
what I I don't do is talk. 
I'm about as anti-social as it gets when I run. 
Not because I don't want to chit-chat, 
but because I physically can't. 
Messes with my breathing. 
Makes me huff and puff and blow the house down.
It's ugly really.

But I run my Friday long runs with my dear friend Becky Flood, 
who is also training for a half marathon in November 
which gives us the freedom to run in the woods 
[couldn't do that alone that early in the morning -- too creepy]. 
And I love that time together. 
Something about doing hard in community really helps. 
And the odd time I'll string 3 words together and call it a sentence. 

But I do listen to music and that totally helps with the long miles. 
[Let me know if you want me to send you a disc of my tunes. I love them.] 

And the other thing I do is pray. 
And a lot of it. 
I talk to God through the whole time. 

I pray for Premila, because she's one of the main reasons I'm doing this. 
[ See here if you're interested in the back story on this running adventure. ] 

I pray the alphabet so people like Zoe Wisley get prayed 
for every time because, well, I don't know anyone 
else with a first name that starts with Z. 
The Zinzer clan gets prayed for with their "Z" last name, 
so they get prayed for every time, too!

I pray for myself, especially in the 'being a mother' category. 

So nine miles is done. 
By 7:30 this morning we were heading back to our cars and 
boy howdy did I ever need that victory 
after the last week of running discouragement. 
[ See here if you want the scoop on that story.] 

I'm grateful for those that have been faithfully praying for me as I run. 
And I'm thankful to those that have shown love and 
support by writing and facebooking and texting, 
letting me know they are thinking about me. 

This girl feels loved. 
I think know I can do this. 
Only 4.1 miles to go and I will be able to say that I can run 13.1 miles in a row. 

Again, a God thing. 
A total God thing. 

And in the meantime. 
I'm a runner. 
I really, really am.


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