I don’t mean to brag, but I ran to Neptune and back today.
But I’ll get to that in a minute.
I was supposed to run 13 miles with my friend Brandess last week, but a little thunder and lightning intervened and we had to scrap our plan. She had a family commitment today, so I met up with Team Playmakers at Hawk Island Park instead.
I tagged along with the 12- to 13-minute milers, but no one else seemed to be running more than four or five miles. Shy little me paired up with a woman, Sally, whose pace met mine and struck up a conversation that would take us a bit beyond Potter Park Zoo, along the Lansing River Trail.
The temps were in the 50s, with partly cloudy skies and the trails were full of bikers and runners. I felt like I could run forever.
Sally and I chatted, as runners do, and the miles flew. We went out three and I ran her back to Hawk Island, made a quick pit stop and headed back out for another seven by myself.
All was good with my boys Eminem, Pitbull, Mana and Enrique Iglesias in my ear. I made sure to fuel, downing some SportBeans, drank water and a bit of Gatorade throughout.
I even spotted Uranus (that’s what she said!) and Neptune, part of the city’s Planet Walk.
It wasn’t until mile 11 that I started to look at my watch. Really look at my watch. Wow. This is a long run.
My legs felt heavy and I slowed down a little. I watched for critters (saw a bunch of geese, chipmunks and a snake) to amuse myself. 11.5 miles. I thought I was closer.
By mile 12, I was using every trick in my bag to keep myself focused and moving. I knew I could finish since, after all, I did 12 miles just two weeks ago. And if I could do 12, I could certainly do 13.
That’s when the doubts started creeping in. How will I get through 14, 15 and so on in the coming weeks? If I’m struggling with 13, can I eventually do 26? What was I thinking?!
None of my tricks were working and I was psyching myself out. I knew I would finish, but I felt deflated.
Until I had a very vague thought: Trust the plan.
Hal Higdon’s plan got me through my first half marathon. He can certainly get me through 26.2 miles. (Well, that and God’s grace.)
And that was it. My legs were still leaden, but my spirit felt light. I could see the Team P coaches waiting for stragglers like me right across the lake.
Trust the plan. Trust the plan. Trust the plan.
My new mantra was born.
Do you have a mantra? Does your city have a planet walk? How many miles did you go today?
NOTE: I ran 13.1 miles as part of the Skirt Sports #13er. The company gave me a discounted rate on the virtual race entry. All opinions are my own.