Monday, July 18, 2011

Double Digit Doubt

A few weeks ago, my training schedule had me running 9 miles (you know, when my dog chased me). That was, at that time, the farthest I had run to date. 9 miles is quite a distance! Truth be told, I actually ran just over 9 miles. And despite the extra excitement and the challenge of a hot day, I actually kept a pretty decent time.

So logically, if I already knew I could run 9+ miles, what's the big deal about adding on a few extra minutes? Not even a full mile more would get me to the next goal. So why does a double-digit mileage scare me so much? It's like I have a mental road block that 9's okay, but 10 is impossible.

All week, I brooded over this. I knew that come Sunday, I was going to have to put my big girl running shoes on and prove my fears wrong. I knew it was going to be a scortcher this weekend, so I figured I should get up early and get running to beat the heat. I was dissapointed, as my nerdy new water bottle thingy didn't arrive yet. So I grabbed myself a liter of "electrolyte water" from good ol' Trader Joe's and I took to the pavement. I started running at about 8am, and in retrospect, I should have been finishing at that time. It was warm when I began, and it only got hotter as the day progressed.

I had planned my run from my place, down the Lakefront Path to Buckingham Fountain, which is exactly 5 miles, then back again. Seemed like a great idea, as it's a pretty stretch. Again, in retrospect, my run likely should have gone north on the path, where there's some shade, as opposed to south along the beaches and full-on direct sunlight.

As you can imagine, I pretty much melted out there. On my run, I drank >1.5L of water, and drank far more when I got home. Despite all my fears, I was able to complete ten miles, but I have to be honest - it was HARD. I really do think that a large challenge for the day was the heat. It was pushing 90 when I finished. Now I've done runs in the heat before, but usually they're short jaunts under 5 miles, not a double-digit run. I was just totally wiped at the end. And the idea that the marathon would be more than double the length I ran yesterday... well, it made me doubt if I can do this.

But, the marathon is 82 days away. And that's 82 days of preparation and training... and 82 days for the weather to cool off a bit. I think I just need to be confident and keep working hard. Can't forget that the adrenaline of the day will also help fuel me. So, I'm keeping my chin up and charging on. I'm also learning from my experiences. My long runs will likely be taking place in the early morning hours for the rest of the summer. I'll be sure to drink plenty the day/night before and get good rest. And I will continue to take my prophylactic ibuprofen (b/c let me tell you, for running as much as I did yesterday, I'm not that sore!)

Next week, 12 miles. Yikes!

Oh, and a big congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law for completing their 5K yesterday! Very proud!

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