Two Plus Ten Plus Three

I’ve just returned from my first fifteen miler. It was a beautifully cold morning, the temperature only reaching thirty-five (even an hour later), as I sit here to type.

I bundled properly with my thick Target base layer, my trusty black Define Jacket, with a Lululemon wind breaking vest over top. My LLL Dash Tights have become my long run pant of choice, but due to the cold, I layered them with a pair of Speed Shorts and Running Skirts knee-high compression socks. Not a fan of running commando, I tested out my new hot pink Under Armour boy short underpants. The only part of me that was not layered was the space between my thighs and my knees.

Yesterday I signed up for, which is a site that charges a monthly fee for audiobooks. How happy I was to download The Hunger Games for a mere seven dollars. How happy I was that this book, like my last choice, is the story of a heroine. Girl power. My favorite kind.

I was tempted to name this post The Pee Pee Games, since my effort to hydrate this morning left me with a bladder that was full and uncomfortable after a mile. As I saw it, I had three options; find a bush, pee in my pants, or run back home. It was too cold to drop trou and if I peed my pants it would probably feel warm and nice for a second, but surely freeze within minutes making for an unhappy remaining thirteen miles. As I circled home, clearly the best option, I was lucky that the monsters were upstairs. I snuck in quiet as a mouse.

I literally had to peel off my pants to pee and my skin was both frozen and burning. The sting only lasted for a minute before I stopped worrying about it and focused on the warmth of the heat being pushed through the vent in the bathroom floor.

Pants pulled up, I was back on the road in one minute.

The next ten miles I spent transfixed by The Hunger Games and was reminded me what I love about books; story telling, picture painting, suspense, character development, all conjured through words. I love words. I love stringing them together and seeing what results. I think I’d like to meet the author of this adventure. I think I’d like her in real life.

My goal to run negative splits was like a dark cloud over my shoulder. I started slowly enough, but as happens around seven miles, I started feeling really strong and so I sped up more than I should. I told myself, “I can keep up the 12 point something pace,” but as I’d hit hills or a stomach cramp, would realize that I should have held back until a little later in the game.

The stomach cramps. I had three. They were more like bubbles that appeared out of nowhere and only subsided when I’d stop short, bend forward, watch my shoes for a few seconds and breathe. Maybe chinese noodles for dinner don’t really count as good carb loading before a big run?

My last three miles were happy ones. I was almost finished and my route home was familiar. I wanted to finish strong and I pushed so hard on my last half mile that my heart was beating out of my chest.

“Come on Martha! You can do this Martha! Negative splits! Negative splits! Finish strong Martha!” I was chanting to myself under my breath. Somehow repeating my name pushed me on. Miraculously, I finished my last mile a block away from home where I took a picture of the Garmin.

I can’t even imagine what I’ll be saying to myself as I near 26.2.

There may be no words, but there will certainly be tears.

Fifteen miles, 3 1/2 hours, average pace @ 14

11 thoughts on “Two Plus Ten Plus Three

  1. Woo hoo!!!!! Also, I LOVED The Hunger Games!! Those should be great books for long runs.

    And trust me, when you finish you first 26.2, there WILL be tears.

      1. You have idea how much I love your spell checking. I think it’s our writer’s/teacher’s curse!
        You must be getting so excited! Sleep well tonight….will be thinking about you tomorrow!

  2. Congratulations! I’m also a running mommy and I so appreciate you sharing your running times. My comfortable pace is about 11 min mile, and I’m always telling people, “I run, but I’m slow.” After reading your posts and hearing your achievements, im realizing that I need to be proud no matter what! Whether it’s a 12 min mile or an 8 min mile, its a mile! I hope this is making sense, I just wanted to say thank you for your blog, I love reading it !

  3. Love all the comments to your post. My best half marathon, Baltimore Under Armour, time is 2:30 (had I not stopped to kiss my husband near the finish it would have been 2:29:45 lol) and I am so proud of that but still hate when people ask my time. I am a slow runner but loved the comment from BriAnne. A mile is a mile!!! Good job. It was cold in MD today but still went for a 4 mile hike and loved every minute of it.

  4. I was recently convinced that I absolutely needed to read The Hunger Games. Glad to hear another affirmative opinion!

    I’m running a half marathon tomorrow…I will try repeating my name to myself….hopefully I will have your luck! GREAT JOB on your run! I hope to someday make it past the 13.1 milestone.

  5. What a great run! I too enjoy audiobooks on long runs. It helps to get engrossed in something other than how many miles are left. Good luck with your training!

  6. Well done!! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you just put one foot in front of the other. Keep up the great work!

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