Two weeks ago I did my first long run of my half marathon training plan. It was ugly and I was miserable. A week later my long run called for only four miles, a huge relief. This past weekend I was scheduled to run six. I dreaded it.
Nashville had been experiencing day after day of dense cloud coverage that put me in that type of funk many people get during dark winter months. It rained much of the day on Saturday so I decided to schedule my run for early Sunday morning. The ugly five miler was still stuck in my head and I spent Saturday dreading Sunday. I didn’t dwell on it, but it was a dark cloud that just sort of hung over me all day.
The next morning my alarm clock jolted me out of bed at 5:45 a.m. My first thought was anything but carpe diem. It was more like, oh, crap. I can’t avoid this any longer. I have to cover six miles.
Most runners who have a half marathon scheduled build a mileage base first, then train. Well, I managed to skip the base building part and just jumped into training a few weeks late. Hence the five ugly miles from a few weeks ago. So far my training has consisted of alternating running and walking every tenth of a mile.
But on Sunday, glorious Sunday, a switch flipped. I found myself walking .10 and running anywhere between .30 and .50. When I took scheduled walk breaks I knew I had it in me to keep running, but I made myself take the breaks as an act of self-discipline. My only goal is to finish the half marathon injury-free following a two-year layoff from such distances. The walk breaks are a necessary part of my getting back in shape and I know there will come a time in my training when I’ll no longer need them. It was cloudy during the entire run, but my endorphins kicked in and I felt happy. Really happy.
I know that just as every training session won’t be ugly, every one won’t be beautiful either. But Sunday’s run made me feel like my old self again. I’ve missed that ol’ broad who wakes up on a weekend morning looking forward to the long run…to spending time deep in my head while out on the running path…listening to my Ipod…letting the endorphins to their thing.
I think she’s coming back to me.