I can make every excuse in the world not to run. I’m too tired. I’m mentally drained from work. My legs ache. My head hurts. Murphy’s being a pain in my behind. I have too much work to do. I have too many at home responsibilities I am neglecting. It’s hot. It’s cold. It’s raining. It’s snowing. My clothes aren’t washed. I didn’t eat right. I don’t know where my water bottle is. I’m grumpy. My Garmin isn’t charged.
Get OVER it, and be the responsible adult you are. You committed to a goal of running a race in the foreseeable future, and if you don’t train, that race is going to SUCK.
I’m guilty of thinking ALL of those thoughts, even when I am out there running! But you know what? I’m still out there. I am up, out of the bed within the 5 o’clock hour, on most days, to get in my run before my work day even starts. Want to know why? Because if I can’t rely on myself to do it, what kind of person am I? I’m certainly not proving myself to be reliable, or dedicated, or driven. No one else can run for me, train for me, eat for me, sleep for me…
Today was an exception to all of this. I have not been sleeping, or at least sleeping well, in weeks. My body and mind have been sluggish and lacking energy. My brain has been fuzzy, and I’ve started to feel achy all over. These are typical signs of my immune system saying, “I give up. You need more than I can do, but you need rest, food, and a little TLC to feel better.” I let myself sleep in. I went to bed at 9:30pm last night (yes, I know… super early), and woke up at 7:30am. I woke up feeling rested, but still achy. I chose to just chill for a bit longer, and eat a decent breakfast before I went out for my long run. Last night’s early bed time was preceded by a good dinner and a long soak in Epsom salt. For those that don’t know, an Epsom salt soak helps ease sore, tired, and tight muscles. I definitely recommend it. If you get super bored in the tub like I do, bring a book.
Once I finally felt like I had eaten enough and rested this morning, I took off for my long run. I wasn’t hesitant about running later in the day because the forecast called for 75 degrees, overcast, and a mid-range humidity all day. I was actually pretty stoked that it would be that cool. It definitely makes for better running weather. My goal today was to complete 13 miles without feeling like I was maxing out my body. I’ve pushed a lot in the past few weeks on long runs, tempo runs, and speed work. I needed a day to focus on a steady pace, even if it was a little slower than normal.
The breeze proved to be nice and cool, especially in the shaded areas of my run. The sun, however, was a little hotter than expected. I mentally kicked myself when I stopped at a local place to fill up my water bottle and noticed my shoulders were already turning pink. I know better than to skip sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. I continued along, and soon realized I would have to run over the Great Neck Bridge to make my 6.5 miles before I turned around and headed home. The bridge proved to be a welcome wind tunnel. I paused there for my gu. (By the way, the Lemon Sublime Gu is actually really good!) I moved on, and continued on my run to the turn around point and headed back. It’s the first time I have done a solo long run all summer (at least for the whole thing). I actually was paying attention to my music, but I think this was partially because I also haven’t really run with it all summer either. I tackled the bridge again on the way back, and looked for an excuse to stop, but realized if I stopped it would just be that much longer before I got home. Sometimes I just shake my head and laugh out loud at the conversations I have with myself while I am running. Often times, I am thinking about food, particularly food that I really shouldn’t be eating… like pancakes! At one point, I realized my water was low again, and I stopped at a local 7-11 to refill. The gentleman at the counter graciously told me that I was welcome to come get ice and water any time I was out running. I am so thankful for kind, giving souls like this. I hope I get the chance to pass on this kindness in the very near future. I continued on my journey home, but was slowing down because the heat was really starting to wear on me. Sometimes, even when you have the fuel, the salt tabs, the water, and have eaten well the day before, the elements can still get to you. I walk/ran the rest of the way home after mile 11. My lethargic body just wasn’t having it today. It made me appreciate the beautiful crepe myrtles I passed under all the way home! 13.1 miles in 2:16:21 is done. And yes, my schedule only actually said 13 miles for today’s long run, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to say I had run another half marathon! Now I get to put my feet into the ice bath, and just hang out for the rest of the day. I can’t believe the Rock N Roll Half Marathon is next weekend! This summer has flown by too quickly! Enjoy the sunshine while you can!
Live. Love. RUN. Passionately!