Saturday, April 11, 2009

Listening to the madness of my mind-Long Run Day

Relaxing after my long run

Feels so good to stretch

Today was my long run day. My goal was 12 miles and I had planned on driving over to Fort Collins to run the race course, however, I got up on Saturday morning and there was a chance of rain for Ft Collins and Denver. The race course is on a fairly busy road and Rick convinced me that I did not want to run on a busy road, which I was not familiar with, in the rain, so I chose the Cherry Creek trail, which is a paved bike/jog trail that goes all of the way to downtown Denver. I had coerced Rick into dropping me off at one of the trailheads and then picking me up at the big REI downtown. He was happy to oblige, in order to stop me from the whole Ft. Collins plan. The radar map showed that the rain would probably start in the next couple of hours and I was determined to get my run in before the weather turned bad, so I changed, loaded up my supplies, and went to the trailhead that was exactly 12 miles from downtown. Rick and I have biked on this trail many times and it really put the mileage that I was running in perspective. The path ahead seemed daunting. I ran 12 miles a couple of weekends ago and I ran in and out of neighborhoods and different trails and it didn’t quite seem as long as the trail ahead of me. The farthest that I have ever ran was 15 miles, back in college, when running came easier to me, even though I was a beer drinking, shitty food eating college student.
I was doing the first 6 miles at a nice easy pace, then hitting my goal pace for a few miles, and finishing up with an easy three miles.
It’s so easy to get lost in your thoughts on a long run and I was completely immersed within a few miles into the run. I thought about what I was trying to accomplish by signing up for more half marathons and attempting a marathon. Running has always been a solace for me, a way to escape my own thoughts and the madness of the outside world. When I sign up for races, I am usually locked inside the madness of my own mind, consumed by thoughts of paces, goals, and time. I’ve been there before and I was doing it to myself again. My goal pace for this half is to run the 13 miles while doing 9 minute miles. Running nine minutes per mile is a fairly comfortable pace for me, but I’m not used to holding it for 13 miles. I will get there, I will teach my body what it feels like to hold this pace for 13 miles, it will happen and it will happen before this half marathon. I will make my goal and then we will work on whittling that pace down to 8 some minute miles, then we will work on holding 7 some minute miles for 13 miles. That will happen too, I’ve been there before, and I will be there again. I am not a fast runner anymore, I accept that, but hopefully, I can work to get where I want to be. It will just take time, patience, and work. I’m still not sure why I am doing this. I don’t really have anything to prove to anyone, but myself.

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