We have not yet started our team training, though I have started my Half Marathon training for sure. Still, there are a small group of us meeting on Sundays for the long run. Today, we did 8 miles (close enough) out at Dorris Ranch. It was a blast. I ran mostly with Stephanie Gray and Shelli Lisenby Clemo. The thing I like about running with women is the range in our conversation while we ran(t). We talked about movies, funny parenting moments, our dogs. You know. This is important stuff. I got to off load a but of my physical stuff, concerns with my so-called "allergies" and how I am frustrated and a little scared.
Speaking of, I will see the ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist in a few weeks. This was the earliest available opportunity. It's fine though; I am in no rush to have the polyps discovered (as my PA now suspects) or to learn that I truly am allergic to my dog. The thing is, I have had lots of ailments over the course of my running career. Twists and sprains. Fevers. Flues. Bruises. Fatigues. Nothing has been quite like this, though. I have been spraying my nose and taking my pills and battling the ear pain, nose pain, eye pain. So, sure, if the ENT doctor can offer me some relief, it will be welcomed. But mostly, I am growing more concerned about the possibility of much worse.
So, relax, I hear. I hear that there are lots of people with terrible allergies here in the "valley of death." I also hear that sometimes MSers have a harder time getting over an allergic reaction. I hear that I should relax and coast until I meet with the next doctor and have the next round of tests. Sure, I can relax. I just cant stop itching my ears.
Now, I realize that I started this rant with the wonderful experience of running with two great ladies earlier today. That is where I need to focus, too, because something important happened then. Stephanie reminded me that I am okay. It was subtle and simple and exactly perfect. She went on to talk about how difficult our first 9 mile (ever) run was for both of us. It was too. She reminded me that we had committed to making it to Autzen Bridge before we would allow ourselves a walking break. Now, 9 miles is still quite a distance, but I know I can do that with much mroe ease that I once did...and here I am now contemplating my first 30 miles.
It's great to have a running friend whom you have been running with for a while. It is a good reminder of how far I have come in such a short amount of time. I am grateful to have this experience with Steph. Thank god that she helps to keep my wandering thoughts focused on what's real when it really counts. And thank god that she also helps to distract me when the miles get long and tedious.
So, these interim training runs have been important for more than just keeping up my base. I am also keeping up my spirits through camaraderie and team building. My advise for the day is go out for a run with a few of your long-term running buddies and talk about the early days when mileage was lower and efforts were greater. Hopefully you'll see what I mean.