I had my hair cut after the run this morning. My hairdresser, Linda, and her partners at LLJ Hair, have been nice enough to have a can and poster at their counter for the past several months, helping me with donations.  Today I am using as a bookmark, a little piece of paper with two girls’ names on it – Brittany and Nicole.  They are 8 and 10.  They were at the hairdresser yesterday and saw my poster. Linda explained to them what I was doing, that I was running to raise money for cancer and that it’s a bad disease, etc.  Little Brittany had $3 on her and put it in the can. Her sister put money into it too, and then Linda said they asked their mom for more money to put into the can, and she said it was “their” money so I guess it might have been from their savings or against their allowances. I am amazed. I know what even $3 is to a little kid. I told Linda that hearing about this made today’s run worth it, even the last 2 slow and somewhat difficult miles that I ran/walked.  Linda asked them to put their names down on a piece of paper that she would give to me today when I came in. Needless to say, I am going to write each of them thank you cards.

I’ve been writing thank you cards to everyone who’s given me money up to this point, and I’ve seen at least one colleague at work with it taped to his shelf above his desk.  My running  partner, Melissa, said that a lot of people at her work have done the same so she can tell how much it means to them too.

Speaking of Melissa, she did come to practice today even though she couldn’t run, and it was really good to have her there, checking in on me at the water stops and encouraging me the whole time. I don’t know why 17 seemed so much longer to me before today, it just did. I honestly never thought I’d see the day I could say I’ve run thar far.  Next week we don’t have a team practice but she’s still offered to help me do an 18 mile run on my own. She’ll be allowed to run 3 miles that day by our coach so she’s planning on running my last 3 miles with me. At that point, I’ll be needing the motivation to keep going, and will have slowed down so it won’t be as hard on her legs. At least that is our way of thinking.

About today’s 17-mile run, I’ll say this.  There were several of us who were to run 17 miles at the start, I think.  There were only 2 of us who did the whole distance, I found out.  We did a loop 3 times through a very beautiful section of Beverly and Wenham, MA. There are lots of horse farms, HUGE homes with gorgeous, HUGE lawns, and lots of shade cover, I was happy to see that. Some rolling hills. A really nice route.  I was stressed the first time through, not knowing what to expect and if I had gone down the right road even though we only had two turns (I’m so bad with directions even though Melissa had written them down.) Melissa could see it on my face.

 Thankfully by mile 3 or 4, my legs had loosened up and I felt like I was hitting my stride. The second loop felt great and I was catching up to my teammates who I had not even seen the first time around since I think I started later than them. The third loop, I asked one of the mentors if I was the last one out there, and was told that everyone but Charlene and I had been pulled.  That definitely gave me a boost, knowing my coach thought I could do the whole distance. I felt badly for everyone else though – we are all working so hard, either through illness or injuries, and we’re all stressed about doing 18 miles on our own next weekend.  The last 3ish miles – well actually the last two, I just felt sore and tired, like my legs were saying “ok, we’re done. Let’s go home.”

I did one thing last night I will never do again.  Last week I had cramping around mile 14. It could have been I needed more potassium in my diet, or that my calves needed strengthening to equal my thighs’ strength now that I am doing so much biking for cross-training.  Last night I took a potassium pill. Today those last 3 miles I felt sluggish, and I realized over the third loop I was not sweating like normal, which kind of worried me.  I could find a dry spot on my shorts, that was freaky.  Everyone tells me to sweat as much as I do is a good sign of a healthy system.

So next week I’ll be back to a sweaty mess and happy for it.

One thing I did today I’m doing from now on. I sat in my tub with 3 or 4 bags of ice for 15 minutes or so. Felt weird, but a good weird. Couldn’t feel my legs when I stood up, but that was also a weird good.

Tonight, after going out to dinner (no way am I cooking), I plan on watching the Men’s Marathon. I’m hoping Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell all do well. I have a soft spot in my heart for Brian Sell because he always considers himself the “slow” guy on the team.

Let’s hope Ryan or any of them can look like this tonight:

Sorry to ramble, but Happy Running Everyone. I am taking tomorrow off from running, I think I deserve it!

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