after coaching swim practice this morning, i planned to hit the road and head up to one of my favorite training spots for a long brick in the hills. but when i got home, i realized my bike was still in the shop since saturday's ride, and they didn't open till 9 - so i would have to wait a couple of hours before i got started. well, no big deal, right? - so i sat down, ate a big bowl of cheese grits and eggs, and packed the coolers i would bring with me full of ice, water, and gatorade- one to drop for the run, the other to keep in the car to be sure my water stayed cold. after waiting around for a while, i was losing my patience, so i went up to the shop a little early only to keep waiting until they got there. i guess i hoped someone would be there early - but to no avail....
so i finally got started on my bike at 10:30 am, just in time to feel the heat coming on. I know it will be much hotter this year than it is now, but there is something about that first hot day of the year looming. oh, and the humidity. i forgot to mention the humidity. yeah. that would be 92%.

well, anyway....I had a great bike finding my way around Bush keeping the 18-wheelers and angry motorists to a minimum. i could tell it was starting to seriously heat up since all my ice melted by mile 10 and i would be drinking warm water and gatorade for the rest of the ride. ummm, yummy. fortunately, the wind seemed to pick up over the last few miles of the ride and it seemed to cool me off a bit, but there is that side effect of wind - and that would be going slow.....or maybe i just thought it was wind?....it was probably the motor. When i finally got to the car and got off the bike, it didn't seem like there was any wind at all, so i guess my legs are just showing signs of fatigue from the miles i have been putting in. But there was no time for whining..... it was time for the run. my FAVORITE! No, really. The better i get at it, and the more miles i put in, the more i like it. (did I just say that?) If you asked me 5 years ago if I thought i would ever like the run - id probably wince, snicker, make a face, and say "are you f-*!#*!-n CRAZY?"

[[sidebar....you see, the run use to be my nemesis. I hated it with a passion, and because i hated it, I let it limit me. i thought....If I hate the run, it will surely hate me back. and that's no good! and it was all in my mind. Donnie used to call it my "growth area", and so it was. i began to change the way i thought about it. I had A LOT of room to grow on the run, and every year, i have grown... and continue to do so. now, mind you, it has taken a lot of time and patience....But over the years, i have kept my focus on the long term....gradually adding on the miles, working on my stride, adding speed and tempo workouts, and most importantly to a wanna-be runner - losing weight. Yeah, the weight loss comes hand in hand with all the other stuff, but constantly pushing past the negative and staying positive throughout is how you get there. negative thoughts will weaken the mind. they will help you fail if you let them take over. only you can change the way you think...a quote from donnie stays with me.....


OK, ok.... back to my brick....so i got started on the run at about 12:30pm, and let me tell you --the heat was ON! within the first mile, i noticed the sun directly overhead and there wasn't a shade tree in sight. just the heat monkey's coming off the pavement for miles up and down the hills. the first 2 miles felt great, but i was sweating buckets. my cooler was hidden in the trees at mile 2, and from there i would do loops ending up at the cooler for water and gatorade. by 5 miles in, i was putting the ice in my bra to stay cool. there were times along the run where i thought i could just walk for a little while, but every time i stopped running, it just got sooo much hotter. so i just kept running sometimes from one side of the road to the other for that little bit of shade from the pine trees peering onto the road... the day was cruel. it would turn out to be not only a hard mileage day - but also a complete mental training day, as most would quit because it was too hot - and i knew that, but i was determined to focus on the good --like... i get to do this, right? i mean, its monday mid-day, and i'm out running. where is everyone else i know? i'm there to get it done no matter what and take on what the day had in store for me because i want to keep growing. i want to get better. i want to be faster. then...up another hill and around the corner...right around mile 6 to 7... could it be???....it was about 50 yards of shaded road. so, i stopped for a moment to take in the shade - just to be out of the sun and knowing it would be hot anyway- but then, from out of no where came this heavenly gust of wind that must have lasted 15 seconds, then another one. it was unbelievable. like someone turned on the a/c for a minute. my saving grace - like my reward for making it this far. i was refreshed, and now all i had to do was run back to the car and i was done. piece of cake.

I can't explain the wind under those trees, because it didn't last long, i guess it was just one of those things. i know it sounds corny....but Id like to think donnie had a part in -- rewarding me for passing the test. if i didn't go the whole way, and turn that corner to add that extra 1/2 mile, (which at that point could have been easily skipped) i would never have even seen the shade. often, especially on those solo days, he is with me - keeping me going - he was so motivating (and still is)- and, in part, it was because he believed in me that i now believe in myself. he drew out something inside of me that was buried so deep that even i doubted it was there. but it was there, and he saw it. and now I know it's there. today, i can still feel his hand on my back, gently pushing me up the hill....

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