Tuesday, October 16, 2012

20 miles and strong

Going from whining about running a mile to running 20 miles like a champ in one year - That's me! And I am somewhat proud of myself:) Running long distances is not easy, at least for a non-athletic person like me but it is now that I am learning to enjoy it. The aches and pains, soreness, blisters, muscle tears, bad chaffing leaving behind ugly marks, sun burns etc - long distance running comes with all of this. Sometimes I have to wonder: Is this the torture that we are subjecting to our body, which leaves us feeling happy and excited, once we are done? Well, I feel humans like taking challenges by nature. Challenging yourself to do something strenuous or something that you never thought you could, gives you the happiness. Excellent way to relieve your stress and feel rejuvenated.

Last weekend when I ran my longest ever, 20 miles, I was very excited about it since I finished strong and I could have never imagined myself running that distance. Took me less than 4 hours with walk breaks. I never registered for the popular marathon in Sacramento in December: CIM (California International Marathon), thinking that I can never go beyond half-marathon (13.1 miles) distance. And now it is too late since CIM is full. But never mind, there is always a next time. I will train myself again for this torture!:) I am enjoying training for marathon with my running group.

The weekend before this, I ran another half-marathon in October 2012: Urban Cow in Sacramento. Shavi paced me and help me improve my PR (Personal Record) by 6 minutes, which I thought was incredible. My PR now is 2:20 hours. Again, it wasn't easy for me and I thought I was going to die towards the end when Shavi was pushing me real hard but I crossed the finish line, alive! You never know your limits, until you cross them. But I could have never imagined doing this without Shavi.

I have learned that "training right" is the key and practice makes you perfect (not really, but close). We all have our limits but until we keep going, we will never know what are limits are. For instance, the other weekend, I ran 17 miles on Saturday and then another 10 miles of trails on Sunday and I was all good. I feel powerful now. The beauty of the trails makes you feel refreshed by the end of it. For sure, the uphills kill you, but then where is the fun without the hills!

I am still not crazy like some other people around me - running 50 miles or more but it is now, that I have come to realize the feeling of happiness after doing such long distances. I am proud of Shavi for being one of these crazy people who run the ultra distances.