To distance run or not to distance run

I’m currently sitting on my bed, trying to get pumped up for my run. Actually I’m feeling okish in terms of pumped level. Really I’m sitting here to charge my watch a little longer.

I should have run 10 miles last weekend. I did not. I should have run 11 miles yesterday. I did not. I’m running tonight. I hate saying this, but I’m not particularly excited about my race this weekend. The truth is, I’ve discovered, any distance longer than 8 miles? I’m not into it. Not. At. All.  It just takes so much time. And it’s not just the time running. On long run days, you have to think about your long run for almost 48 hours. There’s the day before where you have to watch what you eat and drink. There’s the day of where you have to watch what you eat and drink magnified x10 because now you have to worry about when and how much. Then there’s the getting dressed. I have to put on body glide and make sure I have exactly the right clothes and my shoes are tied correctly and I have a spare breathing strip and water and should I bring long sleeves because the sun is going to go down and I have to pack gels and all this other stuff. Then you run. And that takes forever and the whole time it hurts and the whole time you have to mentally fight yourself to not quit. And then you’re done and your legs are dying and you’re starving. But that doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want. Because you have to eat enough so you won’t starve the next day, but not so much that you completely negate all the work she just did. Then you stretch and foam roll and ice and compression sock. And then 5.5 days later you start again. Maybe someday when I’m in better shape and running is easier I’ll find the appeal. But right now my running fitness is less than stellar. And so every step is a battle. And even when I finish my runs all I feel is mentally drained – not energized because I accomplished something. So why do this to myself? I wanted to do this. And I will give it my all on Sunday, I really will. But I don’t think my heart will be in it.

I paused this blog post to go run. Because my watch was charged enough and if I didn’t go then, I really wasn’t going to have much sun. And then look what happened.

Yeah. That’s 10 mile markers right there. 10! And you know what? I didn’t have a single freak out. I didn’t have to stop and give myself a pep talk. Truth be told, some of it was actually kind of fun. And I ran all of the last 0.65 miles. And when I finished, in the middle of Boston Common, I felt like my body was going to explode with happiness. I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t have a problem tonight and had such a miserable time the last two weeks trying for long runs. There’s was the 9 miler that nearly broke me – heart, body, and soul. And the 10 miler that just wasn’t – after two attempts. And there are two things I’ve found for tonight and I think it’s more one than the other. 1) I listened to an old playlist so some of the songs were nice surprises – songs I haven’t heard in a while. But then I ended on a playlist I’ve been using a lot. Which is why I think it has more to do with 2) I made a huge effort to not look at the distance on my watch until the last 2 miles or so. And then it was only because I was hurting and had to keep telling myself “it’s only 2 miles. It’s only 1.5 miles. It’s only 1 mile. It’s 0.65 miles. That’s only 8 more minutes of running max. Just grind it out”. (And I did. Squeeeeeeee) I have to look at my watch frequently to check my time for intervals. Early on if I keep running past the interval, I’ll regret it later. And later if I don’t have the interval, I’ll give up too easy. I think on Sunday I’m going to cover the top half of my watch with lab tape so I can’t keep looking. There are mile markers on the course and I won’t need to know when I hit 13.1 miles. The finish line should clue me in.
After that great of a run I’m feeling optimistic and sort of excited about Sunday now. I still don’t see another distance race any time in the next few months and my dream of running Boston on my birthday will just have to hold tight for another 6 years. But as I was running all through the city tonight I had some really unbelievably fortunate moments. I saw the city skyline from three bridges and one of them revealed the skyline a little at a time until finally the Citgo sign peaked out, I ran along the Charles and “Dirty Water” randomly came up on my playlist, I ran over the Arthur Fielder foot bridge, I ran around the pond in the public garden, rubbed Mama Duck’s head for good luck, ran through the Common, Downtown Crossing, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Rowes Wharf and along the harbor for two blocks, up past the Old South Meeting House and Fanueil Hall and finally up Beacon Hill (Jennie how in the HELL do you and Sheri do hill repeats up that hill every week???????). All through the second half of the run there was one thing that kept popping in my head and kept me going. Somewhere back in the Public Garden, I was starting to feel the burn. I was at 6 miles. I was more than half way. I only had about another hour of running. But I just wanted to go home. And I had this thought. I am so privileged to be able to walk out my front and run along all these iconic and historic sites. There are a thousand other things I ran by and haven’t even mentioned. And each one makes Boston so distinct. And I love them all.
I guess, what I’m saying is this. Right now, I don’t love distance running. I don’t have the mental space for it. But I do still love running. And I am head over heels in love with running in this city. I want to take you all with my sometime. And show you the views. It’s spectacular. We’ll just keep it to 5 or 6 miles.
For now I’m going to sit on my bed with two ice bags, a heating pad, compression socks, and that glorious, glorious Nuun and then pass out shortly, I’m sure.
Hearts and double freakin’ digits!
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One thought on “To distance run or not to distance run

  1. That's great! I had a few (erm. Maybe many.) "why am I doing this again?" runs, but the good ones totally make up for them.Run whatever distance makes you happy. You are a runner.

    Like

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