Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Long distance runner

After posting yesterday, I spent awhile on my blog reading about my marathon training from 2 years ago.  I think I romanticize the training in my head.  I definitely don't like the constant short runs, but I forget how difficult some of my long runs were. . .  how about the 13 mile run I did where I just wanted to stop running at mile 11 and actually sat down during my run. 

Or the time I broke into a church to use the bathroom and then spent the rest of the day sitting on the toilet at home?

How about the 24 miles that ended up being 22.5 miles instead?  And that one was the last long run I did before my marathon, not exactly confidence boosting.

What I guess I'm getting at is that running is hard.  Some days I have good runs, and some days they are hard.  I keep pushing myself to run.  I am very hard on myself when I'm not successful at whatever distance I set for myself, weekly or daily distance. 

Last Friday I ran 5 miles on my normal route, not my hill route, and when I got home Chris asked me how it was.  Truth is, I didn't remember, and maybe that's the best type of run.  The type of run that you forget you're running.  That doesn't happen very often, and it tends to happen more when I'm training for a long distance race and then do a shorter distance on familiar routes.  I remember the audiobook way more than the actual run.

And I think that is what I strive for when I go running.  I want that zoned out feeling, it's a nice break from what is normally in my head.  I also think that is why I don't care for the short distances so much.  3 miles is not enough time to get to that place, so even though it happens rarely, that is what I'm always looking for. 

I've had some pretty big personal problems at home the last week and a few days.  I've talked to a friend and my sister about it, and both those people told me that I am a strong person.  My first reaction when I was told that was denial.  I am not a strong person.  I have never felt that I had good self-control or was capable of doing hard things on my own.  But then I stopped and I thought about it.

I am a strong person.  I have become a strong person.  Part of that started when I was a single parent.  You have to be strong to be a single parent.  But I think the majority of my "strongness" comes from being a long distance runner.  There is something inside you that changes when you start running past your comfort zone, not just once, but many times. 

In reading back through my blog about my marathon training, I found these quotes

"Run on cruise control. Do a mental check during the early miles and midway through the race. 'You should feel relatively comfortable up until mile 18,' he says. 'You should be able to get to that point comfortably, then you have to go to work and see how tough you are. At that point, it’s all about what you have left.'  Found here. 
"Every marathon has moments when the effort starts to feel uncomfortable. Backing off from physical discomfort for self-preservation is a natural human tendency, but one of the characteristics that makes runners unique is their penchant for seeking out discomfort. Hitting a rough patch in the race is when you learn about yourself and what you’re willing to do to meet your goal.  Found here"

Ironically I shared those quotes on the same post that I talked about the "failed" 24 mile run.  You know what, I didn't run 24 miles that day, but I did run 26.2 miles a few weeks later.  I didn't give up on my overall goal, I continued. 

Hitting a rough patch in your life is the same as hitting one in your race, or run, that is when you learn you're made of.  That is when you grow.

1 comment:

  1. I think you wrote this post for me!!!!! Just what I needed to read today!!!!

    Hopefully your personal problems will right themselves in a way better way than you could ever imagine!!!!