One thing that I’ve needed to get back to is the long run.
Since the Gate, I’ve been taking it very easy. I’ve started building pretty much from the beginning, with consistent sets of three to four mile training runs. However, three to four miles does not a marathoner make, and at some point, I needed to suck it up.
To be honest, I pretty much bailed on last week’s 6 miler. And I wasn’t planning to be able to make it up over the weekend because Mr PugRunner was out of town and the idea of running back and forth in front of my house to keep an eye on little man was less than appealing.
Things worked out, though, because my parents decided to spend Saturday night, and they were ok with the fact that I wanted to head out for six miles first thing on Sunday morning and would watch little man for me. Have I mentioned how awesome they are? Not this week? They are awesome.
I woke up with the alarm, but then turned it off instead of hitting snooze, so I got a bit of a later start than I intended: just after 6:00 rather than 5:45. It happens. I was still out early enough to catch the lovely sunrise.
We had a bit of a cool front so it was in the 50s when I made it outside. I didn’t take any hydration with me – it was too cold for me to need it, and I really didn’t feel like carrying my bottle. It was the right call.
The run started out ok, but I floundered in the middle. I just couldn’t get myself in the right frame of mind, and the third and fourth miles were absolutely grueling. Oh, how they dragged. I modified my planned course along the way, just to make things more interesting, and by the time I got to my last mile, things were improving, and I was able to make up some serious time.
I had intended to run 6 miles, but then I thought I would go for an actual 10K, and had to loop around my culdesac a few extra times to score that distance.
I was incredibly happy to have it done. I feel like I’ve leaped a huge hurdle, and I’m relieved to report that I’m not experiencing pain like I did the last time I attempted some distance.
I’m also starting to experience such crazy thoughts as “Gee. It’s only 20 more miles. How hard can that be?” So it’s safe to say I’m in the crazy and positive upswing of early training.
For the first time back, my times weren’t hideous. I was definitely tired at the end, but i feel like I’m making forward progress, which is what matters most.
In the wise words of Dorie, the forgetful fish: “Just keep swimming.”
What are some mantras that you use to motivate you when the going is tough?
What are you training for right now?