Monday’s Long Run (10/25/10)
* Peanut butter toast? Check!
* Water spiked with strawberry-cranberry juice? Check!
* Long socks because my short socks are all dirty? Check!
* Bandana to keep wild hair in place during a windy run? Check!
As you can see, I take my preparations for the long run very seriously. It only seems fair that if you are about to make your body uncomfortable by making it run beyond its comfort zone, you should at least try to make the experience as painless as possible. For me, that means not running on a completely empty stomach and making sure my hair won’t try to eat my face during the run. It’s been really windy for the past few days, and I find that the worst thing about trying to run on windy days is my wild hair, whipped into a frenzy by strong gusts. (The second worst thing is the way wind picks up dirt and gravel and flings them at you. That’s painful.)
I must confess that I was feeling intimidated by Monday’s run, a 40-minute after-work jaunt. For some reason, 40 minutes always feels like a hurdle to me. 50 minutes—eh, you’re not so bad. But 40 minutes crosses a line from short, easy run into more serious territory. At my pace (estimated to be 9-10 minutes/mile), 40 minutes is at least 4 miles, which doesn’t seem intimidating at all. Perhaps I should stop trying to psychoanalyze the 40-minute run and just say this: my legs know when they are being pushed beyond their comfort zone. My knees were a little vocal during the last 10 minutes, complaining that this was hard and what happened to 30 minutes? Energy-wise, I felt really good and I even made it through the run without any planned stops. I did have to stop twice to cross the busy road, but I think I could have made it through the whole run without any stops at all. It was a good run, and even though it felt daunting before I left, I am glad I was brave enough to take the first step. It really is the hardest step of any run.