Enjoying the Journey (Christina)

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I ran 9 miles this morning before work – so I had some time to think and here’s what I came up with.

1.  I love my new water bottle so much.  It’s big enough for 9 miles and doesn’t feel too heavy.  Plus it’s a handy place to keep my tissues for my ever present problem of a runny nose.  It’s the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated.  It holds 18 oz and fits perfectly in my hand.  I like the insulated part because I can keep cold water in there without it making my hand cold in the morning.

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2.  I like running the cold.  When we first started running Jess would always run in the morning before work and I refused.  I was not into the idea.  Getting up early to go out in the cold – no thanks.  But now I really love it.  I run better when it’s chilly and don’t really mind it anymore.  My body wakes up around 5:30am now and I love the feeling of my run being over before work.  Now, I love my rest days when I can sleep in – don’t get me wrong – but morning runs are pretty amazing.  Once again, Jess was right.  Darn her!  Most mornings I wear my Reebok PlayWarm pants and my Nike Thermal Half Zip.  Perfect for 25-35 degree temperatures.

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3.  Can someone please tell me what the weather is going to be like on race day [March 14th] in Washington, DC?  I’d really like to know so I can mentally prepare myself and choose my clothes.  Awesome, thanks.

4.  I’ve started doing that thing where you envision the race in your head and imagine your family and friends cheering for you when I’m on my runs.  First, daydreaming helps me focus on something other than putting one foot in front of the other.  And second, I’m getting really excited.  I’m still dreading this whole thing, but I’m really excited about it.  I’m excited to accomplish this thing that I never ever thought I would do.  I’m excited for my friends and family and my parents to see it and watch it happen.  I’m going to cry.  I know I’ll cry.  I nearly cry when I run and think about it.  My guess is that these daydreams mean that I’m getting ready for this thing.  I’m mentally preparing myself for this amazing experience.

5.  On Saturday the long run was 18 miles.  I was dreading it.  My last long run was 16 miles and it was 16 miles of pure misery.  I was getting over jet lag and had run too much that week in an effort to make up for slacking off while I was on vacation.  So I was really just hoping the 18 wouldn’t be miserable.  I planned to get up early and get the 18 done and then I had to get to work for a wedding that afternoon.  I planned it out and decided on running 4.5 out and 4.5 back to make 9, stop at my car, and then run the same 4.5 out and back to give me the 18.  And it went great!  I was by myself – which ended up being totally fine.  I fueled well with shot bloks, 2 to berry gu’s with caffeine, and refilled my water bottle at my car stop at mile 9.  I felt good enough to shower, eat, and head to work with my compression socks on.
Here’s why I think it went so much better than the 16:
*I wasn’t exhausted or jet lagged.
*I told myself it was going to be a good run and mentally prepared myself for it
*The out and back was great because at mile 9 I hadn’t reached the point of wanting it to be over.
*I didn’t have to add any streets to make mileage
*I added some old school Jock Jams to my playlist and had an awesome flashback to volleyball warm ups from Junior year.  I was literally singing and dancing while running on the sidewalk of a busy street.  I’m sure the people driving by thought I was insane but at mile 12 it really helped!
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The best part of the 18 miler?  I finally felt like this marathon thing was possible.  It was a turning point for me.  I honestly haven’t been too sure (especially after the 16 miler of death) that running 26.2 would happen.  I knew I could finish but I wasn’t sure I could run it.  But it feels attainable now.  And, for that, I’m grateful.

So – can someone please look into the future for the weather please?  That would be great.

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Christina Hagan

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