A nice long, slow run…

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Yesterday I made a huge accomplishment in my running.  I ran my longest distance to date, 7.82 miles!
2-20-10 run
That’s just crazy!  All week I have been talking about how Saturday or Sunday I wanted to do a long run, and I can’t believe I actually did it.

A few people have asked me how I did it…how I didn’t give up or let my mind get the best of me.  Mind games…a close friend of mine.  I would say that probably 95% of the time, I stop running because my *mind* stops running.  It’s not very frequent that I stop because my body is feeling pain or like it’s had enough.  I often start thinking about what time is it (I have to run in the evening a lot due to me working 8-4:30 Mon-Fri), what I have to get done that night, “oh I think I just felt a pain”, “oh I’m tired”, “oh I don’t want to over due it” (ok, that is a serious thought, but sometimes can be a lazy one).  It’s all of these thoughts that usually stop me from pushing myself. 

During the weekdays I normally try to get in at least 3 miles.  Sometimes I can shut up my mind and push myself to 4 or 5, but I’m usually set on 3.  I find that sometimes when I "*set* myself to miles though, I tend to dwell on them too much.  My focus turns away from my running and the joy of my body in movement, and goes towards “ok how many more miles till I am done?”.  When I first began running I started following the C25K program (couch to 5K, for those who don’t know).  It is a GREAT program and I would recommend it highly, but for me, it just didn't work.  I hated the thought of having to follow all these strict times of when I could run, when I could walk and so on.  I often get bored and tired with these kind of plans.  Even now, I’m in training for my 1/2 marathon coming up this September, but it’s *my* program.  I’m trying to log so many miles per week, but I am not forcing myself to do any certain amount any certain day.  This is just what works for me.

So how did I manage to push myself to run almost 8 miles yesterday? (I probably could have gone the full 8, but my body was telling me it was time to stop. I was trying to be smart and not injure myself)
I didn’t have any expectations going into this run.  Like I said earlier, I had talked all week about getting a long run in, but when Saturday came, I just wanted to run.  I didn't care for how long, or how many miles, I just wanted to run and be able to say that I got a good workout in.  When I started I thought to myself “ok, I did a 5K last Saturday, so I have to do that at least”, then it became watching the time on the clock…”oh ok, I will run to 12:40 and check my miles”…”oh, 4.50 miles, well lets see where 1:00 gets me to”…”6.50 miles! WOW…longest yet, well lets just round this baby up to 1:30”.  Ok so those are not the exact times and miles, but it was around there…you get my point.

I think that by not having such a strict laid out plan, I was able to just enjoy running.  I was able to focus my thoughts on day dreaming and enjoy the feeling of my body in movement.  Have you ever really paid attention to the way your body feels when its running??  The feeling of your arms swinging and your legs moving one after another…it’s quite a remarkable experience.

I can’t say that this method works all the time.  Tomorrow when I go to run I will probably be forcing myself to get to the 3 mile mark and will be happy when its over!  But its runs like the one yesterday that teach us more and more about what we need to do to keep moving forward and to keep up the continued success.  We learn a little bit more about what it takes in us to have us keep going.  Also, it provides a tremendous amount of self confidence.  Knowing that I had the strength and determination just goes to prove that I really can push myself.  We far too often do not give ourselves the credit we deserve. 
I am taking *all* the credit for my run yesterday!

I also want to thank the fabulous Sheryl over at *Bitch Cakes* for the very sweet shout-out.  I can’t believe that I got to inspire *her* for once!  She always makes me want to try harder and stay on the right path.  I’d like to think that if we lived near each other we would be great friends and she would drag me to punk rope classes with her.  I absolutely adore her!

7 comments:

  1. Wow that run is quite an accomplishment. Good for you girl!! I run too and I do 3 miles, I've yet to push myself further. 3 miles feels good to me and I'm always happy when its over, as good as it feels lol

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  2. yeah! that is amazing! I'm doing a 12K end of March (which is just over 8 miles) and I have yet to actually get to that point, BUT, when I run I also try to just keep going as far and long as possible and listen to my body at the same time. I did 10K a couple runs ago and it was such a great feeling! So I may still be Fat Girl Running but I don't care anymore - it makes me feel so good!

    I'm glad to have "met" someone else who has the passion (even though we have the passion for beer as well, hahaha!) for running - it is very inspiring to know you and Sheryl and my new blog friend Katie are out there!

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  3. Bravo, woman! Really, that's amazing! I can't even being to imagine running 8 miles *or* for a full hour and a half! Holy crap, that's impressive!! What you said in the last paragraph (not the one about me, your last paragraph in this entry) is so true. I related to everything you mentioned in this post about having no expectations, talking yourself into doing a little more, the feeling of self confidence as a result. I had no intention of running or going back out to the gym last night (I was showered/made up/hair set to go out that night) but I went to the gym and ran because of you (even though it meant I had to redo all those things). Thank you for being awesome. And I'm sure not only would be be pals if you were closer, but we could tell everyone we were sisters and they'd believe it. xo

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  4. Congrats! I did 6 myself..and it felt awesome!! Doing something your head tells you cant do is such an amazing feeling! HIGH FIVE!

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  5. WOW that is awesome...youre increasing your milage quick! Keep it up. On another thought, since im looking at the nike + screen...I would reccomend buying a garmin forunner 205 watch for $125 when you have the extra cash.....they are worth it and very accurate for keeping runs...more so than the Nike Plus ive found (somtimes mine are off by half a mile which is weird, the nike plus says ive run more)...the calories and pace are great to keep track of on your computer versus a website!! I actually ran over 10 today..my garmin kept beeping another mile before I got to the mile markers during the race!! haha Just a thought for the future...Thanks for asking abou the race :)

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  6. WOW that is amazing. As someone who is smack in the middle of C25K, knowing that you started in the same place and can now run 8 miles is a huge inspiration/motivation! What tool do you use while running to create the charts that you post? Where do you run (streets, trails, gym?)?

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  7. Thank you SO much everybody for all the sweet words!! Your support & encouragement means the world to me. Sorry I have been mia the past couple of days. Have some stress going on and I need to get my head clear before I start writing again. No one wants to read blogs with greys clouds hanging over them right, lol.

    101- First of all, congrats on doing the C25K program!! That's so awesome. The chart you see is through my Nike+. I have the Nike+ Lunar Glides and I use their Nike+ sensor chips that hooks up with your ipod and tracks all of it for you. It's very exciting! Actually, I just got the new 'droid' phone and I found some GPS running apps on there. I'm excited to try those too! I prefer to run outside, but due to the crappy winter weather in Syracuse NY, I usually run on the treadmill I have at home during these months. I can't wait for Spring to come so I can get outside again. I tend to push myself harder when I run outside too.
    Thanks for the questions!! If you have any more please feel free to ask.

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