Sunday, February 26, 2012

16 Miles at Fletcher's Boat House

16 Miles started at Fletcher's Boathouse.
Before our run began, a running coach taught us to count the steps we made with our right foot for 60 seconds of running. He told us that we should strive for 90 strikes per minute in order to minimize injury. I was somewhere right around 88 strikes so I've been working on shortening my stride during the long runs.

We also got to see a group of 20 or so guys heading back their cars. They were covered head to toe in a thick layer of wet mud. Preview of things to come?

We ran on the lovely Capital Crescent Trail. It was still cold, but at least it was sunny this time. This was the first week I ran with Beth, Melanie, and Renee (although she left us partway because she is training for the half marathon and the rest of us are training for the full).

For some reason I remember talking a lot about labor and delivery stories, although Renee was the only one among us who'd actually experienced labor and delivery. It's strange that we chose this topic, so mysterious to us, but I think it helped us to feel like what we are doing is small apples compared to what some women accomplish. Then of course, you have THIS woman, who ran a marathon in labor and gave birth a few hours later. For the record, she prefers marathons.

We ran all the way down to Bethesda, MD, and then back along the route all the way into Georgetown. Georgetown is where Jhonny and I went for our epic first date (before the part when he made me walk from there to Dupont Circle, in the summer, in jeans). Wouldn't you know, he surprised me by showing up by the water and running with us for the last 3 miles. I was glad he was there because he always keeps me motivated and supports me. He happened to show up right when I was starting to doubt myself. That particular morning I remember his concern because my hands started swelling. This is something I'm trying to work on since that day. I keep my hands and arms pretty clenched during my running, which causes the puffiness. It requires a lot of mindfulness on my part, but I am trying to keep hands and arms loose to allow for better blood flow.

We always start the morning by dwelling on our honored teammates -- those we've loved and sometimes lost to the struggle with blood cancers. Meditating on their fight reminds us why we fight through those tough running moments. This awesome teammate shared our "Mission Moment" that morning -- his young daughter is his reason for being a part of Team in Traning. Oh, and peanut butter is a pretty big deal to us, too. 

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