“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.” Benjamin Cheever
Somehow I cheated myself into thinking that I was beyond that point where running is a struggle. I was lying to myself. I’ve done half marathons and have tried to keep up a healthy running regimen that wouldn’t let me slip into the pit of laziness. I wasn’t training for anything but I wanted to, so I was crosstraining and running 50 minutes twice a week and adding a long run here and there. I felt great. I was loving the distance and much like the quote above says, running was a staple in my life. I looked forward to it. I was getting stronger. I was getting faster. I was starting to feel like a runner. That was until this week.
I have been in that 50, cross, long run repeat for a good couple of months and in the past four weeks have started my marathon training for the Cincinnati Flying Pig. So far, up till this point, I have been ahead in the training. It would say to go out and do a 3 or a 4 miler. I stuck to my 50 minutes so I wouldn’t backslide. The long runs were still in my safety zone of 6-8 miles. I felt great. My body responded well to it. Finally I felt like I was doing something right. Then I had a nasty 9 miler this past Saturday. I thankfully have had a great friend running with me who keeps me motivated and I felt awesome as we were running. Then the last mile or two I just died. I couldn’t pick my legs up, my IT band started to tighten and for the first time I wondered if I would be able to finish. I wouldn’t let myself quit. I finished that last bit but the miles were unkind to my body and my mind. Could I really do this? How am I going to run THREE TIMES this distance? (Can you tell I’ve been a little whiney this week?)
So here it is Thursday and I haven’t run since Saturday. I know. I’m ashamed. I’ve taken a break and thought a lot about running lately. Sure, this training has kicked me back into “running is an ordeal” part but I forgot about that. I forgot that you have to have that for the accomplishment. Simple I know. I forgot that I’ve accomplished so much. I was a sprinter in high school, the longest I ran was a 400, now I run 6 miles a day. Pretty sure I didn’t get there without many ordeals like this nasty niner. So after a mental and physical break. I’m ready. I’m jumping back into the ordeal phase of running, when it’s not fun or even comfortable but I can’t wait to accomplish this marathon. I mean isn’t that what runners live for? That second you cross the finish line and KNOW that all the hard work you put in was worth it? This week I forgot what a real runner is but I’m back. Once again, I’m out of my comfort zone, as Dorothy says, “I’m no longer in Kansas.” But after this week, bring it on! I love to run and I love a challenge. BUT…I need your help! I’m a marathon rookie and I’m getting into terrain I don’t know. This post by Chic Runner I thought about how words like ice baths, compression socks and recovery plan are foreign to me. I want to be smart about this and I need your help. What are your tips for running long distances? What are your favorite products? How do you recover from a long run?
So all my runner friends, those who’ve done 1/2’s,marathons, ultras, tri’s and live to tell the tale…I need you. Here’s what I’m starting with: my trusty foam roller, Asics, and favorite running tights. GO…