Sunday, October 7, 2007

(Not) On My Own

We got an email on Friday from our run coach, Jack, with the subject line "On Your Own."

Another local Team In Training group had their big event today, the Maine Marathon, which meant our coach, mentor and other TnT folks would be in Portland cheering them on.

Do the Long Run on my own? Well, not exactly.

Even though we didn't have an official team run scheduled for this week, Jamie and I agreed to meet up at the school. Another team member, Scott, sent out an email saying that he planned to run if anyone would be there. I responded that we'd be there if he wanted to join us.

I went to bed last night listening to the rain coming down harder than I had remembered in a long time. I fell asleep hoping I would wake up to better weather for the Long Run.

It was better, but still rainy. In the mist of the drizzly morning, the three of us met at the school.

Scott, who has participated in other TnT programs and ran the Disney Marathon last year, took us on a new route this morning. The change of scenery was nice. We looped around the streets of downtown Portsmouth, around Stawberry Banke and even over the drawbridge to Maine at one point.

We might be the only TnT team that does inter-state runs, Scott noted.

The rain, which didn't seem to bother me as much as I thought it would, tapered off. The weather was cool, but comfortable.

The only thing offering any discomfort this morning was my new feul belt, which carries small water bottles to keep me hydrated on the long runs. The belt is made of thick elastic that is fastened around my waist with Velcro.

It's definitely designed to be functional, not fashionable.

I'm sure I'll get used to it after a couple of runs, but I spent the first couple of miles this morning fidgeting with the placement of the bottles and trying to find the right spot for the belt on my waist.

My left arm rubbed part of the belt as we ran, chaffing the inside of my arm. I made some more adjustments, which seemed to help, but I'll have to fiddle with it some more before the next run.

I was surprised at how much weight four tiny bottles added as I ran, and I was aware of the sloshing sound of the water and Gatorade in the bottles strapped around my waist.

Sloshing and splashing. This morning's run was filled with sounds of water -- my feul belt, cars zipping though puddles, the water passing under the bridge as we passed.

Jamie made the turn to run a 4.5 mile loop. Scott and I continued on to do the full 8 miles, with just a quick stop back at the cars around Mile 5 for Scott to deal with an emerging blister.

Around Mile 7, he asked me how I was holding up. He heard my voice wavering as I replied, "I'm doing alright." ("Alright" is my way of saying I could be doing better.) He admitted that he, too, was feeling tired.

It was one of those moments when I told myself that I knew I could finish and that I would feel a lot better after completing the full mileage. But at that moment my legs were tired, I was wet and I knew my muscles would feel the effects of the Long Run later in the day.

If it hadn't been for running with a partner this morning, I probably wouldn't have pushed myself to do the 8 miles on my own.

After completing the run, I received a voicemail from Jamie thanking me for meeting up this morning. I listened to her message, which was full of words of encouragement, several times. This evening, Scott sent an email telling me that the ran wore him out. He, too, offered praise for a good run.

Even when we're on our own with the TnT program, we're never really on our own.

Have you donated to my fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? If not, please consider doing so. You can donate online at Please pass this link to everyone you know. Every dollar helps me get a little closer to the Disney 13.1!

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