Thursday’s Long Run (12/09/10)
Apparently, when I said that running 40 minutes felt intimidating, I totally forgot about all the long runs that must follow 40 minutes during half-marathon training: 50, 60, 70…The truth is, they are all intimidating because you must convince your body that it can do this thing that, at best (at least for me), it has not done in a long time. If you’re training for your first half, you might have to convince your body that yes, it can run six or seven miles in one work-out. When you are staring into the face of your longest run yet, whether in the season or ever in your life, it’s hard not to want to hide under a table until this insanity called “I want to run a half-marathon” clears your system.
Not surprisingly, I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of running 60 minutes in the dark on Thursday night. I cut myself a little slack after I came home from work—a little computer time, a blog post written, a snack with peanut butter (for energy, of course). But at some point, one must lace up her sneakers and go. At some point, the prospect of doing a long run turns into a question of now or never. I chose now.
I started out slowly on my 60-minute run, running at a very easy pace, which is another way in which I ease myself into the long run. Once I got going, though, I think my pace resumed its “natural” speed—that is, the speed at which I tend to run unless I’m deliberately running faster or slower. It was a good run, and not nearly as hard as it could have been. My legs held up well until about 40-45 minutes into the run, when I started to feel fatigued. I took a tiny walk break at the 43-minute mark, which gave me a little second wind, and I finished my 60 minutes feeling pretty strong. Most importantly, I finished feeling happy that I had completed that which I set out to do. That feeling, that sense of triumph—that is why I run half-marathons. That is why I run, period.
PS Congratulations to my blog friend Kate O., who finished her first marathon this weekend! Congratulations, Kate! 26.2 hurrays!