Did you ever have one of those days where you accomplish something so huge, so amazing, so unlike anything you have ever accomplished before, that you wonder for a moment who you are and how you arrived at this moment? My weekend was full of those days.
On Saturday morning, I hopped on my road bike and headed to the Bike Shop for my weekly ride. They had promised me a long, gentle ride and that sounded good to me, as I hadn't gone more than to and from work for weeks. It turns out that while "long" was right, we seem to have a difference of opinion on the meaning of the word "gentle." We ended up riding from Nacogdoches to Garrison and back - a full 52 miles. Yes, that's right. 52 mother effing miles.
Things that went right: the weather was gorgeous (75 and breezy); I was wearing my new bike shorts; I had a solid breakfast, tons of water, and a good snack; and I've been running so much that my legs could handle everything until about mile 40. Things that went not so right: most of the hills seemed to congregate after mile 40, which made the last 10 miles incredibly tough; poor Bryan, who we invited to the ride, did not have breakfast or good snacks, and I hung back with him towards the end; 75 degree weather only lasts until about 11am, and we were trudging back until at least noon.
Lessons learned: pack more snacks, pace myself, and practice, practice, practice. Those hills aren't going to climb themselves. Oh, and also - I am a bad ass. 52 mother effing miles. I never thought I would see the day.
As if that weren't enough, on Sunday morning Nathan and I went for a long run. With my half marathon fast approaching (October 17th!) I realized that I really needed to start breaking 10 miles on a regular basis. To help achieve that, I've decided to do my long runs with Nathan - better than anyone, he challenges me to run faster and longer, and with him by my side (or ten feet in front of me) I managed to complete an 11 mile run at a 10 minute per mile pace. That's my longest run to date, and one of my better times in recent weeks. It's amazing what a supportive partner can help you accomplish. :)
I am telling you all of this, not to brag, but so that you can appreciate the sheer amazement I feel. As a person who started her athletic career in Remedial Gym (yes, it does exist, and yes, I had to go), who ran her first complete mile less than two years ago, I absolutely never thought that I would 1. wear bike shorts, 2. run long distances, or 3. enjoy any of the above. And I do enjoy it. And that is perhaps the most amazing thing of all!