It’s entirely possible my legs won’t function tomorrow, but right now I’m feeling pretty good because I just got back from an 8 mile run. (!!!!!!! WOO!) This is the longest I’ve gone to date and I’ve really been slacking with the Broad Street Run training. So much, in fact, that I’ve really been starting to doubt my ability to do it at all. With only a few weeks away ’til the big race, things haven’t been going as planned.
How come? It’s been a combo of things. First, I ran with some friends two weeks ago – 10k (6.2 mi) – and pretty much died. It was cold, I started out too fast for me, but in the end I had to walk a good chunk of it home and it left me wondering if I could really go the distance. Even walking in the end hurt and I remember thinking, OMG, if I can’t even walk, how am I going to cross a finish line at 10 miles?
It’s just been bitterly cold in Philly and I have a pretty severe case of Raynaud’s Disease. Besides the whole, my hands are totally white and I can’t feel a thing, I also just don’t do well in the cold. I really think it affects my lungs and breathing or something when it’s under 40.
So because of that, I’ve either been having cold, lame runs outside or going inside to the indoor track where 12 loops is a mile. That’s a heck of a lot of loops, people.
I planned ahead for today. I waited for Monday because the forecast sounded perfect – low of 50, high of 75. I ate carbs last night & drank plenty of fluids throughout the day yesterday.
Things that are key to a successful long run:
Diet. I really think what you eat can make or break you.
Sleep. I made sure to get a decent night’s sleep.
Pace Yourself! I’m weirdly obsessed with telling myself I can do it when I’m running. It’s like my running Mantra. ”Yes, you can.” Goes through my head a weird OCD amount of times while I’m running – especially when I’m having a tough portion of my run. Today I had a different chant. ”Slow down, Whitney.” I had to FORCE myself to slow my pace down a ton the first two miles. I really believe slowing down in the beginning is one of the biggest keys for me to going the full race. I think going slowly helps me warm up – helps me stretch – and gives me the confidence to keep going. Plus it’s an easy start and feels nice!
It’s All About You. And Only You. I have to tell myself not to care about my time in regards to anyone BUT myself. Not my neighbor, not the dude in front of me on the trail, not what Jane Doe in California said she ran her 8 miles in on Twitter today. Because there are so many factors that going into running that are so individual to only yourself and I have to remember that. Go easy on myself. Compare my runs only to myself. I’m slow – so what. Did I do as well as I did last time, or improve my time at all from last time? That’s the more important comparison.
Have fun. Today, while I ran, I took the time to remember why I’m running. I like running! Or I did before I started training? Why am I hating it now? I’m hating it because I feel obligated; I’m hating it because I had a few bad runs and I’m panicked about this race. But really, I took the time today to check out the streams, enjoy the scenery, smile and say hello to fellow runners. I was all, F this crazy naysaying Whitney. If I have to stop, I stop today. And you know what? I didn’t stop. I took the pressure off myself and tried to have fun.
Let’s hope I remember that the next time but I’m feeling pretty good about it all for now. Plus, I ran 8 miles. Booyah!