Milestone: 14!

Saturday I ran farther than I ever have. Ok, so it’s only nine tenths of a mile farther but that still counts, right?? It was a gorgeous day in the high 40s/low 50s and sunny. AKA perfect running weather! On top of that it was my first full weekend in town in over a month so I was excited for a weekend of nothing but running (oh, and a birthday party sat night).
To prepare for the long runs that accompany full marathon training, I finally purchased a waterbelt – the Nathan speed 4. The fit of this belt seemed fairly comfortable I liked the 2 pockets. I filled two 10oz bottles with water and the other two with gatorade and I was surprised how heavy the belt was when it was full (I’m not sure why I was surprised – 40oz of liquid is a lot!!) The belt didn’t bounce as much as I thought it would. In fact, it didnt really bounce at all but I definitely felt the bulk.
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The run started at the NC Museum of Art, which has outdoor sculptures and drawings on the pavement. It’s a hilly route and includes a pedestrian bridge over the interstate, which allows access to the whole city if I ever wanted to run it all. The trail run felt surprisingly hard and felt like a moron dressed to the 9s in running gear and feeling weak by the first mile. Luckily that subsided when I stepped onto Hillsborough St, which is home to a lot of NC State’s bars, restaurants. There were a lot of people taking advantage of the nice weather. The people I passed at bars and waiting for fast food only motivated me more. I could easily see myself being one of them but instead I was a runner (Who’s a runner? Jen’s a runner!!  – thanks Kat!). Finally after about 40 mins I found my stride and began to feel stronger. About an hour into the run I think I see my fellow runner friend Ellie. It looks like her car, looks like her driving, and looks like her son in the front seat. I waved like a moron with my water belt sloshing around and really hoped that either it really was Ellie or the strangers in the car didn’t see me. Turns out it was them, but they didnt see me waving like a silly girl, but they did see me about an hour later running down another street.
The first 10 miles passed without too much effort, despite the weakness in the first few miles. Once I got back to the Art Museum I dropped my water belt off in my car. I had pretty much drained one bottle of water and the other bottle of gatorade but taking of the other two bottles made me feel incredibly light. I imagine that’s how swimmers feel once they shave and can swim without any drag. I got back on the Museum trail but headed in the opposite direction towards Umstead State Park. The park is home of a marathon and a 100 and 50 mile endurance run. If people can run 100 miles in this thing, I think I can handle 4 mile out and back. The 2 miles in were great. There were a lot of cyclists out and the whole area felt alive. However, turning around at the 2 mile point also turned around my attitude. I hadn’t realized the run into the park was almost entirely downhill. Suddenly the cyclists were no longer my active buddies…I hated them for effortlessly zipping down the hill while I was suddenly aware of the fact that I had over a mile left in a 14 mile run. I hated myself as I hate every race director that ends a race on an uphill. Why was I so stupid? Is my hip starting to hurt? I’m too young for my hips to hurt! I was the biggest grumpy bear ever until I got over the hill and could finally see the Museum parking lot – and my beautiful car with my much missed gatorade Only then did I get my second wind….”sprinting” to make the traffic light that signaled the end of my 14 miler. Did I mention its my longest run ever??  
Looking at the elevation change – I dont feel so bad about being a grump the last 2 miles…but I am def planning an easier end to next week’s 16 miles. Regardless, I was still able to wear some awesome 4″ heels to my party that night. Take that Mr 14 miler!!!!!!!
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