I’m two weeks away from another half-marathon. That means today I was due to run 12 miles. I had plans to wake up at 5 a.m. and be on the route by 6 a.m. After running 12 I planned to wash my car and do very light yard work. A shower would follow yard work and then it would be on to my niece’s dance team fundraiser. So much for plans.
I awoke at 5 a.m., no problem. Let me rephrase. I got out of bed at 5. But I just couldn’t get moving. I drank my coffee, ate my oats, surfed the Net…I did everything but prepare to run. By the time 7 a.m. rolled around I was about to head out the door when I realized my cell phone wasn’t charged. I’m won’t go on long runs by myself without my phone. So I plugged in the charger and waited…and waited. Finally, I had a 70% charge and I hopped in my car and headed to the YMCA where I run on a green way. By the time I got on the course it was 8 a.m. and I was not in the mood.
I ran anyway. There have been many times during my fitness journey when I didn’t feel like working out. I’m learning that unless I’m dealing with fatigue or injury, not feeling like it isn’t a good enough reason to skip. Plus, when training for an endurance event such as a half marathon, the long-run two week’s prior to the event is important, at least it is for me.
A funny thing happened during today’s run. After clocking two miles I began to enjoy it. It’s a beautiful Fall day here in Nashville. There were other added benefits. On Thursday I received a work assignment that frankly has fallen victim to writer’s block. But during my run the creativity started flowing and ideas came to me that I never would have thought of while sitting behind a desk staring at a blank computer screen. I said a little thank you prayer for this. I believe my Higher Power has hard-wired me in such a way that to do my best work I have to take care of myself first.
Usually during long runs, I’m over it by the time I get to mile 9 or 10. Completing 12 miles means I put one foot in front of the other grind out the last two. But today, after 10 miles I realized a had a little more gas in the tank. More than needed to run two more miles. When I reached my last fork in the road, a left turn would have taken me to my car which was parked a mile away. For some reason I turned right instead. I little voice inside me was asking for a gut check. Could today be the day I run farther than ever before?
While running an extra loop my Garmin showed I’d completed 12 miles. I kept running, slowly, mind you, but I was running. A few minutes later and I’d gone 13.25 miles, the equivalent of what I actually run by the time I complete a half marathon (Half marathon courses are marked according the the absolute shortest distance. I weave all over the course which adds a smidge to the total milage). By this time my legs hurt and my right arch was cramping pretty significantly. But I really thought I could put in 14 miles. And I did.
During the last half mile I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. No one out on the course knew how far I’d run. Nor would they have cared. But I knew and I cared. It was my personal moment of victory.
I plan to run my first full marathon next year on the day after I turn 50. Secretly, I’ve wondered if I can really do it. I’ve been fearful that the half marathon distance is my limit.
By running higher mileage today, I pushed through an invisible brick wall I built a long time ago. Today I taught myself that with proper training, I’ll be able to achieve my goal.
“The invisible brick wall that I built long ago .” I’m SO happy for you that you conquered this one! I SO despise how we listen, give in & accept that negative thinking & unrealistic fear.
I can really relate about the morning not going as planned & then losing the mood to work out. It’s amazing what we can discover when we don’t give in to the negative thoughts & proceed with our plans.
What I’m always looking for are other areas of my life to relate & apply this.
Thanks, Dave. I’m a work in progress, but hopefully progressing!
Pam, I am so very proud of you. Just wanted to know I read a lot of your blogs.
I’m one of your cheerleaders.
You go girl!!
Thank you, Helen!
“a personal moment of victory” … I love that! My biggest foot-feat was a 5-mile run. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I don’t know why it won’t stick. Well, my 4 kids do in fact throw a wrench into my workout plans many times, but I still feel like that’s no excuse. I need to get running to stick.
Well, I know that you are a Workout Woman, so if running isn’t your thing, you’ve no doubt found a cardio routine that works for you. But if you want running to stick, start with low mileage and slowly build over time. (As if you didn’t know that). Hal Higdon has some good, FREE training plans on line. Keep me posted and be sure to post photos on your blog of you crossing the finish line at a race!