I love running and love training for races. I enjoy the structure, the focus, discipline and the satisfaction of completing these long runs. With that said, make no mistake, long runs are long.
And no matter how pretty a course or how interesting the route we (Lisa, my running partner in crime and I) select, a long training run doesn’t get very exciting. Trust me, I try. I pour over http://www.mapmyrun.com in an effort to find new, different and interesting runs. I try and mix the trails with the road and have come up with some really cool runs. But, at the end, a long run is long. 🙂
While it may sound like I hate the long runs, I don’t. I appreciate and respect what the long run is designed to do; prepare me mentally and physically for a longer run. A 16 mile run gets me to an 18 mile run. That 18 mile run takes me to the 20 mile run, which then gets me ready for my race. It all boils down to time on your feet and working through the mental garbage that screams “you really should take a break”.
Last weekend Lisa and I tackled our 16 mile run and it was a good, but challenging run. We had some hills and some flats. We ran from the water, up and over a hill then back down to the water again, along a path leading to a trail, up the trail to the top of the trailhead then down towards the beach. And then we turned around and headed back. All in all, we ended the run feeling strong and confident. Sure, we were tired and a little stiff but that feeling of accomplishment is huge and will carry us far.
This weekend we are doing our 18 mile run. From Tiburon to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. We’re trying something new, a one way route. Lisa and I have run many parts of this route before, just not in this particular configuration.
But we’ll lace up our shoes, grab our Gu’s, a few bucks for coffee (and the Ferry ride home) and head on out. ‘Cause that’s how we roll, or run.
Now go run!
PS – the lesson from today, boys and girls, is that whether you are running 18 miles or a mile and a half, the feeling you get when you finish should motivate and encourage you.