This morning, Sunday, September 6, 2009 was the first day of the 16th week of my marathon clinic program. The distance for this morning's long run was 32 ks the longest training run in the marathon program. It's only 21 days to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, my (and six others in the clinic) first marathon, and the excitement of every runner in our run club entered in the event could be felt during our clinic sessions and right after the training runs.
I ran again with my running buddy Nette, this time around, I had with me tissue paper (toilet paper) inside a ziplock bag just in case of emergency. I got lucky the previous Sunday when I had to rely on Nette to provide me with tissue paper when I had to relieve myself in the woods for the first time also in my running career.
Unlike the previous Sunday when I kept up with Nette till the 22nd k, this morning, she started pulling away from me by the 14th k. And this was not because I was running slower, it was because she's getting stronger and stronger as we get closer to the race. So proud of her.
Reached the 21st k in 2:49. Started feeling tired, legs heavy the next few ks. By the 27th k, was in pain everywhere, my feet, leg and thigh muscles, my right pelvic joint, as if all parts of my running body were conspiring to make me quit. This was the time when I asked myself, why am I doing this? Why am I punishing my body like this? Is it worth all this pain?
The good thing about blogging is you get to know the accomplishments of other runners and athletes that far surpassed in a great way the best you've ever accomplished. When I was beginning to doubt myself and all these negative questions popped up in my mind, all I had to do was think of Ronnie, Jerry, Sir Jovie and everybody that finished the BDM 102k ultra in the heat of summer (blistered feet and all), Rick Gaston being tossed like a rag doll in the mountain trails in his 100 mile races, Iron ladies Pia and Ani doing their hours and hours of swim, bike ride, plus a full marathon. All these great athletes compete in events that require them to test their physical and mental limits in more than 10 hours some closer to 24 hours in difficult and sometimes extreme conditions. What is a 32 k? A piece of cake.
I completed 32ks in a slow time of 4:28:58, the last 3ks at close to 9 minutes per k average.
Next 3 weeks is tapering period, the next Sunday long run at 23 ks, the Sunday after next at 6 ks and then marathon race day on the 27th.
With my longest run ever under my belt, I now believe I can.