Sunday I had my longest run since Feb. 1’s half marathon. I’ve been struggling with almost every single run since that race for reasons I don’t even understand. I wish I wasn’t, I’ve been dealing with a shit ton of frustration when it comes to my running lately. I throughly enjoy running, I really do. But it feels like running isn’t loving me back.
I went in knowing I had to run 5-6 miles and at most time 65 minutes. My running coach really wants me to focus on time running and not distance. I apparently run too fast during long and easy runs and beat the allotted time given to me. So now we are focusing on longer times each long run and not longer miles. Either way I love running for both time and distance.
I had my usual long run breakfast: oatmeal and a bottle of water. Delicious. I do drench my oatmeal in agave nectar, it sweetens it up just right. I was ready to go, but even before I stepped out the door I told Zach I was having major doubts and was actually scared to attempt this distance. I’m very blessed for an amazing husband who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. The moment I got to the trail, not only was it fully packed, but the weather was 100% perfect.
I tackled my negative thoughts and set out with my Garmin and RunKeeper so I could break this up into 5 minute segments and not overwhelm myself with how long I was and had to run. I was immediately tired. My shins were hurting. I started to get frustrated and thought about quitting. But I didn’t.
I kept going.
I was slow, but I picked up speed. I was hurting, but it slowly disappeared. After 35 minutes of solid running without stopping, I hit my turn around point. And then I mentally hit my low. I was getting hot and tired, this was further than any other run. Not gonna lie, I wanted to be done! But I still had 30 minutes left and so I buckled down and kept running.
The last 2 miles were highly frustrating. Not because of my pace, but because of my mental state. I was so angry at myself for getting so down in the dumps about having to run this distance. I was actually enjoying this feeling of working myself past exhaustion, for pushing through pain and getting that high of hitting my goal.
I made it to 6 miles. In exactly 1:05. I was pumped!
Yes, it was slow for me. And I’m ok with that. It was hard both mentally and physically, but I overcame those obstacles. And I did what I was set out to do.
I did however call and whine to Zach. At the time I was irritated to why it was so hard, why I struggled. And he was honest and said, “because you haven’t done it in a while.” At that moment, I shut up. He was right. I haven’t ran that far in a while. I was actually doubling my prior distances. I was getting past my comfort zone and challenging my body to what I needed to. And I freaking succeeded!
Sometimes you just need a kick in your ass to get you past your downfalls. Sometimes you need to accept challenges with the result of changes. And always you need to be thankful for whatever your body is beyond capable of doing…like running 6 miles.