Last Friday night was rough. I didn’t sleep at all. 6:30 a.m. rolled around and there was simply no way I could make it to my practice. I needed sleep desperately. So, I turned the alarm off, rolled over and slept until 10.
Later that afternoon I emailed my coach to find out if I could run with the Westside team on Sunday. I was set and ready to go. But, once again, someone (or something) reared it’s ugly head and I was deprived of sleep. I did manage to make it out of bed by around 7:30 a.m., laced up my running shoes and took off on my ten mile run by myself.
I run by myself in the evenings 2-3 times per week. But the majority of these runs are between 2 ½ and 3 ½ miles. I follow some variation of the same route every evening. But, I knew if I was going to do 10 miles I needed to mix it up a bit, so I started running east away from my house. About 2 miles east I turned north for about a 1/2 mile (did I mention that east is flat and north is a hill?) then it was time to go east again for another half mile. Finally, at last, west. About 2 miles west there is a drop, woah! Oh, no, it’s time to go north again! Going north, north, north, and, okay, going South. Relief. About that time I realize, thanks to my handy dandy iphone app, that I have gone 7 miles, but I am only about 1 mile from my house. I have to get in another two miles. I am going to have to go north again!!!! I know what you are thinking, why does she keep going North when there is the possibility of going South? Well, for starters I deeply fear the South. Nothing good ever happens when you go South. In the case of whether I live, about a mile a Southeast of where I live, I hit gang territory. North of where I live, are crazy celebrity mansions. Hills or no hills, I’m going North. I finally made it to 9 miles – at the top of a gently sloping hill, which meant the last mile home was going to be super easy. It may have been the fastest I have ever run.
Running alone is, not surprisingly, a little bit lonely. When I run with the group, there is conversation and commiseration to keep me going. But, out there alone, its all me. And, well, I am just not that interesting to myself. I’ve been told to expect to run most of the marathon alone. Sure, I will start with people I know, and I may even make new friends along the way, but the marathon is an individual sport. The thing about that sentiment is, while I will be running alone, I will be running with all the camaraderie and support that friends, family and the team have given me a long the way. With all that, I could never really be alone. So, I suspect that when I finally run the marathon, that will the be the fastest I will have ever run.