Wednesday night I was scheduled to do a 7 mile run (or so I thought...this was before Sarah and I discovered we're a week behind schedule. Oops.). I had mapped out my course earlier that day and was excited to try a new route. Part of the route was a loop, and as I approached that part (about 1.5 miles in), I thought through the loop and determined that the way I had planned to go had more uphills and that if I went the opposite way that would mean more downhills and it would be smooth sailing. I wasn't sure, as I didn't know the route all that well, but I could picture at least a few of the hills and it seemed like a pretty safe bet. I'm not gonna lie...I jumped at the easy way out and approached the loop from the opposite direction.
All was good until I turned a corner and saw a GIGANTIC hill staring at me. I had to laugh...that's what I get for trying to cop out! I instantly decided to walk the hill (it was THAT big), but when I got to the bottom, lo and behold, "Apple Bottom Jeans" came on (woot! woot!). So I ran that whole darn thing and never looked back (thank you, psychic shuffle!!). Problem is, I don't think I looked side-to-side either, as apparently I missed my turn.
It took me quite a while to realize how off track I was, and by then there was no turning back. I kept to the major street names that I knew and just kept going until I found my way back to my car. It got dark quickly, and at one point, I actually had to chase down a poor stranger and ask to borrow his cell phone so I could call Josh and let him know I was still alive (and also still a good way from home). As I finally made my way back to my car, I was so excited to blog about what I was sure was an accidental half-marathon. Turns out it was only 9 miles. But still a good payback for my attempt to be lazy! P.S. No worries, I have since purchased a hydration belt with a pocket for my cell phone (and pepper spray!) for the next time I wind up lost in the dark. :-/
I'm about to head off to bed in preparation for our 15 mile run tomorrow morning. I am cautiously optimistic about it...and really, really excited. :) :) :) :) For some reason, I've decided that this is the turning point for our training: the moment it really becomes real. Maybe it's because it's the furthest my feet have ever traveled. Maybe it's because there's no [normal] reason someone would be running 15 miles unless they were training for a marathon. Maybe it's because I'm kinda excited to say I ran through 4 cities before breakfast. Whatever the reason, I think tomorrow will be huge for us. I think, like Nicole alluded to on a previous post comment, it will be liberating and empowering. I was talking to Sarah this afternoon and we were thinking about how 15 miles isn't something that people can just wake up and do. It's a c r a z y distance. Something one can only do if they've trained for it. If they've worked their butts off (not as literally as I would have liked) to get to that point of mental and physical endurance. It's just not normal. And I think that's what I like about it. Bring. It. On. Can't wait to wake up, put on my 26.2 t-shirt, and hit the ground running. Sleep tight!