First real run

Day 142 & 152 / Mt Pleasant & Dolly Sods

This post was written back on Day 142. The past weekend Day 152, I had similar experience. I went camping at Roaring plain (Dolly Sods area). I did a run too which allowed me to compare my performance of the same course I ran three weeks back.

I had my first real run with my heart rate above 110 BPM. It stayed near 180-190 the whole way and I didn’t feel like I was having a heart attack. My pace was around 10:15 min mile, much much faster than any of the runs I had in the past three weeks. It was a 4 mile run. Previously the best I could do was 12 min mile.

I am extremely please. I could really rebuild myself and it might be even in time for the 7/26 race. My heart finally let me run as fast as my legs can go. It has been so hard to get my heart to beat faster than 110 the past two weeks. Finally, I felt the shackles were removed from me. I can run.

What changed? I think it is really about food. My friend K was right. I wasn’t eating right and wasn’t eating enough. Over the weekend, she cooked all my food for this week about 12-15 servings of high calories and good hearty food. I ate them for two days now and couple with protein shakes and vitamins supplements and I started to see results. This run has changed drastically.

There are other reasons too. I rested plenty, haven’t been running since a week ago.

I went to church, a reason in itself. I haven’t gone to church for worship since April. I am very much believe in miracle. Going or not going to church affects my running.

This Sunday there was a miracle prayer about dipping oneself in the Jordan river figuratively 7 times to be healed of one’s leprosy (Naman’s account). I wanted to be healed! And I dipped myself when the pastor offered the altar call. I put myself first in line. I felt I was healed and I ran on Sunday’s evening right after worship at the first chance I got.

What it means? This is or was my crises. I have experienced a bad recovery after my first marathon in 2017, my knees gave out on me that time. But I wasn’t as afraid as this time. Every week, my performance got worse and worse until it was clearly something was wrong when I couldn’t run a single step. That was the weirdness feeling I ever felt. I always felt I can always run if not fast run slow, but to be totally not able to run, without a clear sign why other than being out of breath and feeling awful inside was a first for me.

It was a very humbling experience. I couldn’t take it for granted. Now I am almost back at my old self, to run fast and to run as long as I want! I couldn’t feel any better.

What other things been happening? My mind has totally been focusing on my run / not run but I had an good weekend. I might wrote about it in a previous post. I went for a low mileage backpacking trip and that kicked my butt. I was slower than the newbies we brought along.

1. I got to lead for the first time. On Wednesday night I took a newbie in the woods. We arrived late and it was not my choice. My friend K already led her group to camp a few hours before us. It was pitch black and no other people were camping or in the trail head parking lot. I knew the way in because K has told me where the trail was but I still had my doubt. When you are alone (newbie didn’t help), I have to rely on my map and knowledge – it was just one path once you get on it. Still, for that first half hour I had to experience everything I learned from past trips. It was a very good experience, from doubt to confirmation.

2. When we got to camp, I was much relief. K took charge of everything for the rest of the trip. First night we didn’t sleep too well. I shared tent and it was my first and I forgot to pack some earplugs. It would have helped. I was up all night. Not a single z.

3. The next day was pretty normal. It was a low mileage hike (7 miles at most) to the next camp site. We took many breaks. I had a stop to use the privee at one of the AT shelters. That was amazing (for me) because I couldn’t imagine myself digging a hole in the woods and I needed to go. The hike was my limit that day. I found I was sored in areas of my body I didn’t expect. My IT bands were stretched till I felt they would pop at any second. I was huffing and puffing. I was dead last. Every hill was a challenge.

4. The third day was much better. We hung around in the morning watching clouds and sunrise. I had a breakfast on the outcrop. I hiked fast without much breaks out of the mountain and surprised myself to find strengtg.

5. I slept at home the third night but went back out on the fourth day (Saturday) since most of the group was still out camping. I didn’t arrive at the camp early enough so I basically met the rest of them near the trailhead. I got some hiking out of it (couple miles). My friend K was ecstatic to see me. We hiked Crabtree Fall together and had lunch at Harrisonburg.

6. I drove like 7 hours that day, more time spent in the car than in hiking. It was unavoidable. Not much was done for the rest of the day except to unpack and clean up. Once arrived home, I felt asleep early and slept for 11-12 hours, after eating three bowl of Trader Joe’s fried rice.

7. Sunday was another highlighted day. I visited K church. The dipping thing and the Sunday run. I was pretty excited. I time tested myself on the run and felt I was on the road of recovering, finally.