So I did it!! I was nervous about this run for some reason, 8 miles seems so long, much longer than 7 for some reason. I did it in an 1:41, I was very pleased with my time! According to my Nike Sensor I did a 12'08 minute mile. That seems prety acceptable! It's faster than I have been running my other runs lately. I am seeing quite a bit of progress! I think I need to keep mixing up my routes, I seem to do better on new routes. Not sure if it's because I'm not sure what is coming up next or what, but I'll take it. I'm pretty proud of myself and now 13.1 miles doesn't seem quite so scary.
I left the house this morning at 7:30, I had planned on going to Centennial Lake. In the car on the way there, I listened to my theme song "Defying Gravity" really loud to try to psych myself up! When I turned the corner into the park, I saw all these barriers and signs for an Iron Girl race. So I couldn't run there, I thought for a minute of where I could go and decided to head over to Lake Elkhorn and run around there.
Lake Elkhorn is very close to our old townhouse. Seth and I would go there quite a bit and walk around, we walked there when I was pregnant and when Sarah was little baby. I would also meet my new Mommy friends and we would walk around it with our newborns in our strollers. It was so lovely. We would sometimes have a picnic there after with all our babies crawling around on the blanket. Such wonderful memories. As I was running this morning, these memories came flooding back to me.
You see, I haven't been to Lake Elkhorn since July 2, 2007. It was such a beautiful cool day, which was a suprise for July in MD. Emma was 3 months old and it was the day before Sarah's second birthday. I pushed them both in our double stroller and I was amazed that I saw 3 cardinals. It was such a lovely day. When we got home, we had lunch, Sarah took a nap and then I got that most awful call from Dad that my Uncle was gone. And my life was forever changed.
It wasn't a delibrate thing to stay away from that lake, it just sort of happened. And the longer it went on, the harder it seemed to ever go back there. I just wanted to freeze that memory. Plus I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed if I went back. I had gone to the playground several times with friends but I just didn't want to go around that lake.
So it was with trepidation that I headed over there this morning, I was already nervous about the run. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that this was exactly where I needed to go for my longest run so far. It was a good run, I had all my memories to keep me company. I had to run around the lake 4 times to get to 8 miles and it is pretty hilly. A lot of the path is in the shade so it was very nice. A cardinal did fly right in front of me on the path and I got a little misty. I felt like my Grandma Boyden, Grandma Pete and Uncle were right there checking up on me. Mile 2 is always hard for me, not sure why, if I'm not warming up enough or what, but once I got passed it, I got into a pretty good pace. I was surprised that the saddness didn't overwhelm me, but it didn't. There were many bittersweet moments, but I'm so glad I was there and I plan to go back for my other long runs. Around mile 6.5, I was on a pretty big hill and I was tired and I'm not kidding a woman ran past me and she was running BACKWARDS! I felt pretty pathetic at that moment, but whatever.
Anyway, I'm feeling good this afternoon, no pains or strains. I'm really proud of myself, and feeling much more confident about this 13.1 miles in October. I'm so glad that I went back to Lake Elkhorn, yes it's attached to a horrible memory but there were so many, many happy memories there. I am definitely headed back there for more runs, I enjoyed having the memories with me!!