Twenty-one days ago, I ran the Newport Marathon. With joy in my heart, and a skip in my step, I moved my way over those 26.2 miles with a smile.
After returning from my little vacation to Vegas and LA, three days later to driving to the coast to spend the weekend at the beach running the Newport Marathon, I was completely prepared for a calm, quiet week (and weekend) at home. Monday and Tuesday passed uneventfully, I even signed up for an online workshop on Creative Visualization for Wednesday evening. Much to my surprise, I received a text from my sister - she was at the hospital... and going to have a baby! And there went my quiet, relaxing week...!
After a long evening, and an even longer morning, watching, helping, and cheering my sister on, my niece came into the world at 5:55am. She is amazing. The most adorable newborn I have ever seen - and her mother was incredible. I did not know what to expect watching her go through this process, and beyond being one of the most amazing experiences to be present for - watching a life coming into the world - I saw strength and bravery in my sister that was simply awe-inspiring.
Needless to say, after a sleepless night, I slept a little that morning, worked the afternoon, and crashed Thursday night. Friday they went home, and I spent time each day this past weekend with my sister and brother-in-law and my little niece. Sunday morning, I woke up thinking "why does it feel like I haven't had a weekend at home in weeks...?" Well... three weekends, not at home, Alaina. That's your answer.
And somehow, three weeks after my last race, without missing a beat or losing my stride, I am continuing on - training for another race. A bigger race. An Ultra. 50 Kilometers somewhere up on some mountain in Southern Oregon. I might die. But chances are, if I train enough and don't hurt myself, I'll end up having a lot of fun on the Siskiyou Outback. And I'll get to see my friends from the Newport Marathon! As well as see my very good friend Cass, whom I have not seen in so long (and I am sure she will totally kick my butt in this race).
Today was my first ever 26 mile training run. TRAINING! It is so weird to think that today, I ran a marathon... and it wasn't a race. Ha! Who knew I would ever reach this point. The cool thing is, if it had been a marathon, it would have been a PR! I clocked in at 4:40 for today's run, and after a marathon three weeks ago that was 5:02, that feels pretty good. Oh, and it was beautiful. And I am sunburned. (oops, forgot sunblock...)
My run was perfectly lovely - 10 miles solo to start at 6:15, the next 5 miles with my girlfriends, peaking around garage sales in the neighborhood, another 4.5 miles solo, and the last 6.5 with my Mom. We finished with brunch at a little breakfast diner in Sellwood, and then headed back to garage sale for good deals! This day leaves me feeling extremely satisfied... and exhausted!
Tomorrow I have the pleasure of running with a friend from high school - I anticipate great conversation which should make 10 pretty easy... (Can 10 miles be easy the day after 26? Here's hoping...!) Then it's a baby visit day. So excited to snuggle that little one again! I still can't believe I'm an Auntie!!!
Have you ever trained for something more than a marathon?
How did you keep up your pep on the "difficult" (aka VERY HIGH MILEAGE) weeks?
Happy Running, everyone! ~Alaina