Eighteen miles (well... almost). Across the causeway. Alone. That's the trifecta of fear for me. And this morning I got up and faced all three of them together.
I'm not trying to be dramatic here. I'm being honest. I spent a good chunk of the time before Noah dropped me off alternately crying and keeping from puking with anxiety. Oh yeah, have I mentioned I have an anxiety disorder? Mostly managed, but when you press the edges of my comfort zone, it tends to rear its ugly little head.
Lucky for me, I've spent the last five years building up an immunity to iocane powder -- I mean anxiety. I'm constantly pressing my comfort zone... Florie calls it brave. I call it living. Doesn't always make the process of trying a new, scary thing any easier, though.
At 6:45 a.m., Noah dropped me off at the access point for the causeway bike path. The sky was clear. I had my new camelbak strapped on and warm enough clothes. And as soon as I got going I was fine. But man that pre-game... it's painful.
Oh, and I suppose you'd like to know how the actual run went. It was as smooth as it should be, honestly. Having hydration and fuel with me (I tested out a couple gummy energy snacks) really helped keep me from crashing too hard.
I ran in my old Nikes and had no trouble at all with blisters or bruised toenails. So when I got home the first thing I did (after I showered) was order a new pair of Nikes. Sorry Mizuno. You're off the team.
Noah met me at the mid(ish)-way point, around 10 miles, and while I knew I had run that far, it didn't feel like I had run that far. He handed off my raincoat to me because another band of weather was pushing through, and I ran the next 5 miles in the rain. Ugh.
The last 3 miles were the hardest. Again, this was past what I had ever done before, so this was where the brain and body training was happening. I ended up doing some intervals (alternating walking and running) in the last two miles to get myself there. And I'm really okay with that. This has never been about the speed for me. It's always been about accomplishing the distance.
I took a half-mile walk this evening with Noah and Tag and while I feel pretty stiff, I'm not in pain. This makes me very happy. As a recovery aid, I spread Dead Sea mud on my legs. The minerals are supposed to be very beneficial. Not sure if that's scientifically proven, but it felt nice.
There's a quote from Georgia O'Keefe on my alter (given to me by the amazing Florie Wild)... it reads:
I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
This is a mantra of my life. And I put it into practice today. If I let my fears rule me, my life would be so terribly small. And I refuse to let it be that way. I'm going to run just as far as I can.