Here we are at the famous Hayward Field in Eugene, where Nike started! Keith's got his Chi on.

More on my California adventures to BlogHerBET in a bit, but did I mention I ran 11 miles for my Eugene Half Marathon training on Sunday? Well I did, with a little help from Gatorade, the Chi Running techniques I learned from Keith’s workshop, and the encouragement of Rebekah and new friends we met at his training group run on Sunday.

After driving and eating for days last week, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull off this big of a run at 9:00 a.m. last Sunday morning, but I was supposed to, and Rebekkah was counting on me, so I went. It was horribly rainy, but it usually is in Eugene, and that never stopped Steve Prefontaine, or Phil Knight, so I decided to buck up and Just Do It.

I was a little nervous. I ran 9 miles two weeks ago, but crashed hard on my 10 mile attempt. Since I’ve been on the Paleo diet, I’ve been trying to avoid sugar, so I haven’t supplemented with sports drinks or gels on my long run yet, but figured I’d try the Gatorade offered on this run to see how I’d respond.

We started out fine, and made it to the first five mile aid station where Keith and Kathy filled little cups with water and Gatorade. I drank half a cup of the pink juice, and half a cup of water. Yum-ola, said my body, I love this stuff.

And then Bingo, I ran the next three miles like they were nothin’. I kept asking Rebekah if we were really that far along, or maybe we took a shortcut? She kept saying yes, we’re at eight miles. Oh look, now we’re at nine.

Then we found Miram, who just started running two months ago, and is now a super star already. She agreed with Rebekah. Damn, I said, I’m getting more Gatorade at the 10 mile aid station! It’s magic juice.

From mile 9 to 10, all I could think about was about how much I wanted that pink juice. My legs were feeling tired, but I made it, and there was Kathy again, pouring little cups of juice from the trunk of her car in the pouring rain. I drank a whole cup! And a whole cup of water! She also had tiny bites of granola bars, and gummie bears. I tried those too.

All was well until I hit mile 10.5. Yes, just a mere half mile from the finish line of my longest run evah, and boom I felt a little sick. Way too much in the stomach. Blech.

Help me out, ladies, I said to Miram and Rebekah. I don’t feel so good, but I’m not stopping now. So they encouraged me and distracted me and boom, we made it.

By the end I actually felt okay, but I learned some valuable lessons: a little Gatorade and water goes a long way. Too much liquid makes me sloshy. I don’t think solid food will work for me. I’m going to try the gel though, to see how that goes.

We were so thrilled with the 11 mile accomplishment, and jumped around a little to celebrate. I’m feeling good about doing 13. I’m feeling good that I can actually run these distances, I never thought I’d even want to. Funny how setting a goal I wasn’t ready to commit to a few months ago turned me into a real runner.

[Movie coming soon!]