So all the time I've been training and struggling I kept hoping there would be one moment where I would "get it." Where, like all of those inspirational movies, things would just magically open up and I would be able to do that impossible task. But, I'm a realist if nothing else and know life doesn't work that way... or does it?
I've mentioned before I need to do a 15 minute mile and how concerned I feel because I don't know that I've ever accomplished this. (MAYBE in PE in high school... MAYBE, I think that was the bare minimum to get a "C") All along, I've not been able to do a 15 minute mile. No matter what I've been doing I've not been able to get there.
Enter Frank. Frank is this older guy from my water aerobics class (by older I mean OLDER... he's 72, just 5 years younger than my dad). Frank is a marathoner. Frank has run in the Boston Marathon, one in Austin, New Orleans, here in DFW, etc. He has over 350 trophies and medals from his running. Even more impressive - he started at about age 50. Frank ended up with a heel spur in like October/November I think and has had a long road to recovery. All along Frank's been offering to help me train and so a few weeks ago when he said something about it, I replied ok - Tuesday morning 6 AM tell me where to meet. After that we've gone out on Saturday mornings - meeting at his house at 5:00 AM. That's right, I arrive at his house AT 5:00 AM. We go out and he drags me around a course. He's given me some good tips on improving my breathing, my stride and all that.
Last week and last weekend (the week before last? I mean the week before last weekend) I was really struggling with my calves. They just tightened up every time I started exercising and on last Saturday's walk about 2 miles out I was hobbling and we turned back. That was one of the worst times I've had with this training, in part because I felt like I was wasting Frank's time. So I did a little online research and found I MIGHT be overworking myself and so I took Sunday (my new normal exercise day off once I started going out with Frank on Saturday), Monday and Tuesday off from walking. Saturday I also went into the fancy running store and bought a new pair of shoes. I knew my other ones were from July and so it was probably about time anyway and I needed to get them broken in before the big day.
Wednesday morning I go to my usual early am water aerobics class (class starts at 5:45) and then did my 30 minutes on the track. When I started out I was going at a pretty good clip. As I kept going, I realized I was on track to do a 15 minute mile so I kept going. And I did it! I was so excited I almost cried. To me, this means I CAN do this 1/2 marathon. For so long when I couldn't get the pace I needed, this meant it wasn't going to happen. I wasn't going to magically accomplish something on the big day I hadn't been able to do any of the days before. Now that I KNOW I can do a 15 minute mile, I KNOW I can finish the 1/2 and that's very important.
This morning I went out as usual with Frank. I mentioned to him on Thursday that I made my goal of a 15 minute mile. I'm not sure he believed me. We were 4 miles out when he checked his watch and realized we'd only been gone an hour. He was so impressed and it makes me oddly happy I could impress him. Next Saturday we go out for 13 miles (even though both he and Kayteadee say if I can do 10 miles I can do 13, I feel like I need to do my 13 miles to know I CAN do them). The following week a simple 3 miles and then I go to my race. Now I know I can do it I feel so much better. I no longer feel like I've been wasting the past many months. So I have Frank to thanks for this breakthrough. Frank, and these fancy magic shoes -