Thoughts During a Long Run

runnersToday is Sunday, which in the world of marathons (half and otherwise) means long runs. Which feels redundant because every run feels long lately, especially  the 7.25 mile I ran Wednesday. But what used to be my long runs 4, 5, or 6 miles, are now called (according to my training scheduled) “easy” runs.

On the one hand I’m ahead of the game. This morning I completed 9 miles. With my 13.1 race still 4 months away, I don’t have to be hitting it so hard. On the other hand I’m fighting against 40-something years of not running. I feel like I have a lot to overcome. I’m trying to get to the point where I feel that 13 miles isn’t that big of a deal.

Once upon a time, not very long ago, 5k seemed far — a long way. Now a 3 mile run seems like a fun distance. I’m working towards getting to think of 8, 10, and 12 mile runs as a fun distance, but I’m not there yet.

For your amusement, here are some of my nagging, inner thoughts while trying to reach this goal:

  • Mile 1: I feel terrible. I don’t think I’m going to be able to make 2 miles, let alone 9.
  • Mile 2: Feeling better. What was I thinking about? I could do this all day.
  • Mile 3 and 4: You’re running too fast. Slow down or you will burn out too soon. You’re running too slow. at this pace you’ll never finish. You’re running too fast. Too slow. Too fast. 
  • hate runningMile 5: Only 5k left. You can totally do…. Oh wait! I’m doing 9 today. Damn!!
  • Mile 5.5: Wait?? That’s it. It feels like I’ve gone 7 miles already. Is this GPS broken?
  • Mile ??: How far did she (GPS) say? That stupid driver almost hit me and I missed what she said…
  • Mile 6.5: (on learning that one of my water bottles was unexpectedly empty) aaaaaaaaaagh! Oh wait, there’s a deli ahead.  SAVED!
  • Mile 6.99: Now my GPS is just effing with me. She can’t just say 7 miles?
  • Mile 8: Just finish this mile and you are done. No, really, you can do it.
  • Mile 8.5: I can’t feel my legs.  Am I still moving?
  • Mile 8.96, 97, 98, 99 DONE. 

I feel totally done in. It is hard to imagine that I will be able to run 13 when 9 feels this bad, but that is what I said about 5, 6, 7, and 8.

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