I have a lot of good runs. Which largely centers around the fact that if it does not end with severe GI distress or crippling injury, I put it in the win column.
Last weekend for a whole host of reasons that aren’t terrifically interesting, I swapped my 12 mile run for the 18 mile run on my schedule.
I’ve been working very hard this training cycle to just step back and let the process work its magic, which has been largely successful.
Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way.
At the end of the day, unless you’re trying to Boston Qualify, marathon training is not rocket science. There is a reason that you can buy a book or look up a plan on the internet and just go, provided you have the mileage to back you up.
So on Saturday morning, I rolled out of bed at 6:00 AM, did the breakfast thing and actioned my mitts.
I’m sure you weren’t thinking that my weekly running workshop would turn into Barbie Beauty Shop. I promise, it’s not.
But I cannot understate the importance of having well-done mitts when you’re racing or on a long run.
Chipped nail polish involves an amount of mental energy that I am not willing to use, ever.
Things that shine are motivating beyond measure.
Thus, being able to flash a bit of color and sparkle at yourself when spirits are flagging can go a long way.
So I hopped on the treadmill.
After about nine miles, I was feeling incredibly good. I was focused, I was keeping my pace, I wasn’t feeling weird pain. I was living in each mile (something that I am notoriously bad at) and running that mile.
And I knew that if things kept on going the way that they were (namely, avoiding pain) I was going to have a 20 mile day.
16 miles in, I decided I was more interested in listening to my iPod than watching the last nine minutes of my second episode of The Biggest Loser for the morning. As Starships started playing, I could tell that I had it.
20 and done.
Just like 16 miles is the point where the marathon is cooked, 20 miles is the longest distance that you train up to before race day. Most training plans have you hit that distance two or three weeks out from your race so I know that by most standards I am about two weeks early.
But in a morning, all of my race anxiety was erased.
Now I can spend the next four weeks concentrating on running healthy (it’s a new habit of mine) and running toward a finish line.