Today I ran 13.1 miles for the first time. I say for the first time because my race is still 6 weeks away. I’m hoping to run this distance (maybe a little farther) a few times before the actual race. Even if I don’t, today was a big accomplishment. I proved to myself that I can do it (something I haven’t been totally sure of).
Today’s run was brutal. It wasn’t the “joy of running” that I frequently blog about. It was more like the “slog of running.” I had to wake up early (6 am) to try to beat the heat of the day. Even at that it was about 80˚F/76% humidity when I left the house, and in the high 80s when I finished the run. The first 6 or 7 miles were fine, but after that I really had to convince myself to keep going… Every! Single! Mile!
Most of what made the run difficult is my own attitude. I know it is hot, so I should run slower. I know that it is a longer run than what my body is used to, so I should run slower. I know that I beat my goal time (3 hours) by almost 17 minutes. Yet the nasty voices in my head wouldn’t let me just relax into the run. I kept pushing to go faster and the more I pushed the harder the run got.
Around mile 8 I noticed that my toenails were hurting. Really?? It was all I could think about for a good portion of the run. How my pinky toenails were going to fall off… Oh please could they just fall off and put me out of my misery.
Towards the end I almost gave up. I’m not sure what pushed me to go the last few miles. Maybe it was the knowledge that, good or bad, I was going to post about the run afterwards. Maybe it was the constant stream of positive self-talk, as I desperately tried to be my own coach. My mantra sounded something like this:
You can do it. Don’t fall. Don’t quit. Keep going. Just 3 more miles. Oh, I like this song. A little faster. Don’t fall down. C’mon, you can do this. Just 2 more miles. You can run 2 miles easy. Don’t trip. Watch out for that car. Keep it up. Just 1 mile left… and so on.
Whatever it was, I did finish the full 13.1. I was dripping with sweat. Every bone and muscle was sore. My toenails were painfully cutting into my toes. My stomach was starting to cramp. And I don’t know when I’ve ever felt that good.
And I can’t wait to try it again!