Monday, September 17, 2012

The Commoner and Number 11

Some of you may know that I have been training for my first half marathon.  I'm pretty sure that's not such a common thing to do but sometimes I stray.

You are thinking what does number 11 and Mark Messier have to do with a half marathon.  I know-it's 13 miles not 11 but 11 was a big and important step for me.

Every week I have to add a mile to my distance run and this week it was 11.  We don't do these runs around Hollister, I can't do that many laps of my 2 1/2 mile loop and I won't go in the hills with the bulls, spiders, squirrels, and snakes-plus no one is out there.  We go to Morgan Hill to the Coyote Creek trail which is amazing.

It goes for 18 miles -I've seen 5 1/2 ( I go out and back)-every week I discover another half mile of it.  On Sunday mornings its a buzz of cyclists, strollers, dog walkers, walkers, and runners.  Just the right amount of nature for a nature-phobe like me.

We started going at 7 miles, I don't even remember it, I remember 9 because it almost killed me, 10 was good but 11 was great.
The trail was quieter than usual and for the first 3 miles my legs were literally numb-but then something happened.  I stopped -stretched-and said let's keep going.

The pain went away-my mind drifted. The more I ran the stronger I became. I started planning my birthday party, I started listening to the songs and saying 2 -5 1/2 mile runs this is nothing.  I started going faster and faster and at the 5 mile mark I was singing along out loud with Jay Z and Heart of the City.  (I don't rap I'm the chorus).

I started thinking of the number 11-I started thinking about 9/11, and 11/11 which was lucky and Mark Messier the most famous number 11-and how he ran the New York City marathon and he's a big guy! And he's older than me!

  I started thinking about Eminem and 8 mile road and I was going a little further-all these things went through my head.

The last 2 miles of this course are the hardest weather you are going 6 or going 11 it's the way the course goes. At 2 1/2 I stopped-ate some goop, took a drink, cranked up the music and hit it.  I finished and I felt great AND my pace was fastest ever on the course.

Although when I was younger I was a pretty good athlete, I've never pushed this hard.  Every run I finish, no matter how short or the circumstances I always say-Thanks God for not letting me die or get hurt-Gratitude  I think buys me some insurance.

So commoners this week is 12 and I don't mind-I want to see what's 1/2 mile past that golf course!  I want to see that eagle again, dodge the dragonflies, see the horses and nail those hills. Plus every mile is 100 calories-do the math!  It's a lot

I'm contemplating a marathon in the spring--When I asked a friend what he thought about running the marathon he said-can you run for 5 hours?  You know-Sunday I could have.

but for now commoners the uncommon task of 13.1-I'll be so happy to finish it and look forward to the next challenge.  But for now 1 more weekend run on my favorite path.